Skip to main content

We are looking into taking a trip to Strasburg this month (August, 2021) to see the 611, then going over to the B & O museum.  We have been to Strasburg a few times so our main reason for returning on this trip is to see & ride on the 611.

This will be our first visit to the B & O museum.

Any Hotel recommendations (in Baltimore) ? And other interesting sites ?

Last edited by yardtrain
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

A complete B&O trip must include the Avalon area of Patapsco Valley State Park. The park entrance takes you beneath the Thomas Viaduct, and the main park trail (paved and mostly level) follows the original B&O main line, which is still used by CSX. Here, one can still see artifacts of the very beginning of railroading in North America. This web site makes a great companion to a railfan's tour of the park: http://trainweb.org/oldmainline/ The Avalon area of the park is very convenient to Baltimore.

Not much farther away is Ellicott City, which boasts the nation's oldest remaining train station. The station contains a small museum, which is now run by Howard County, rather than the B&O museum. It is worth a look, but check the hours before going. Ellicott City also has some dining and shopping, and is an interesting old city in general.

Do the B&O museum first, though. It will help you appreciate the history when you see it in the state park and at Ellicott City.

Yardtrain - Enjoy the 611 and Strassburg!  I've seen her both on static display and in live action , took the cab tour given by the chief mechanical officer back in 2019 too.  

I've lived in the Baltimore/DC area all my life.

You've already been given lots of great suggestions so here are a few more .. LOL!  Yes definitely check out the B&O Museum first.  Then check out other rail sites/tour that Nickaix suggested.  The Thomas Viaduct is a beautiful structure! You may also want to check out the Baltimore Street Car Museum which re - opens Aug. 15 according to their website.   The Ellicott City Museum is on the old main line and is the first railroad terminus in the US.  The famous race between the horse and Peter Cooper's Tom Thumb took place from Mount Claire ( home of the B&O Museum ) and Ellicott City which spanned 13 miles.  The first US president to ever board a train boarded that B&O train at the station in Ellicott City and rode to Mt. Claire Station.  

If you are into RR architecture ... the old B&O Mt. Royal Station is a beautiful structure.  It's now part of the Maryland Institute College of Art, but the exterior is preserved and looks like it did back when it was first built.  Also check out Penn Station ( now serving Amtrak ) built by the Pennsylvania RR.  Camden Station is now home to a sports museum and next door to Camden Yards Stadium, home of the Orioles.  

The best crab cakes are NOT to be found or tasted at the Inner Harbor.  Those crab cakes are found at G&M Resturaunt in Lithicum Heights about 15 minutes outside of Baltimore.  Your tastebuds will not be disappointed, I assure you!! G&M is a favorite of locals and is known all over the US as they fly their crab cakes out of BWI airport to customers throughout the country.   Beware that due to a shortage of crabmeat and high demand the cost of crabmeat has skyrocketed ... hopefully temporarily.  

Out for a night - check out Fells Point, the oldest neighborhood in Baltimore.  Located on the Harbor ( not the Inner Harbor ) Fells Point's cobble stone streets offer lots of eclectic shops and restaurants.  It's a fun place to be at night!  Due to it's popularity parking can be a bit of a challenge.  

While checking out the Inner Harbor you can check out the USS Constellation, the last sail ship built for the US Navy.   You may need to make reservations ahead of time to visit the National Aquarium located in the Inner Harbor.  It's a great Aquarium!!  Well worth a visit if you can get tickets.  Heck it might even give you a reason to purchase a Lionel aquarium car if you don't already have one... LOL!

You can also take a ride on Baltimore's Light Rail.  

Baltimore and surrounding area offers the usual array of chain motels/hotels from Motel 6 to high end  luxury Hotels.  AAA can probably give you best advise ... if you are a member.  

At any rate enjoy your trip!!

Last edited by trumptrain
@trumptrain posted:
The best crab cakes are NOT to be found or tasted at the Inner Harbor.  Those crab cakes are found at B&M Resturaunt in Lithicum Heights about 15 minutes outside of Baltimore.  Your tastebuds will not be disappointed, I assure you!! B&M is a favorite of locals and is known all over the US as they fly their crab cakes out of BWI airport to customers throughout the country.   Beware that due to a shortage of crabmeat and high demand the cost of crabmeat has skyrocketed ... hopefully temporarily. 




I concur, but it's G&M.

Last edited by johnstrains

B&O actually has two museums, one in Ellicott City, and one Downtown. The one in Ellicott City has a lot of (only?) model train bits. Having driven past it for years, some how I never made it in...

DEFINITELY check out Avalon area at Patapsco. It is super easy to get there (95 south to 195 south to rt 1 south make a right, make a left, park). There are a few different ways to check it out. An old girlfriend and I put different coins on the rails on the viaduct and watched a train run over them. We collected them once the trail passed, and had our very own flattened coins. I think the conductor might have been cranky about that...

@yardtrain posted:

We are looking into taking a trip to Strasburg this month (August, 2021) to see the 611, then going over to the B & O museum.  We have been to Strasburg a few times so our main reason for returning on this trip is to see & ride on the 611.

This will be our first visit to the B & O museum.

Any Hotel recommendations (in Baltimore) ? And other interesting sites ?

I have been to Baltimore a number of times. The area to stay in is the Inner Harbor. Marriott has a number of properties there at reasonable prices. There are plenty of good restaurants in the Inner Harbor as well. The B&O Museum is well-worth visiting. Very interesting and impressive. You may want to check to see if there are any Covid-19 restrictions in place currently at the Museum or whether the Museum is closed for any private events when you are planning to visit it.

Pat

Last edited by irish rifle

I highly recommend a Fried Hard Crab but Ill be ****ed if I can find one anymore. I used to eat them frequently when I was a kid living in Locust Point. Now, its all rich 20-30somesomes done gone and converted what used to be a community of people from the paper factory, dominos, and longshoremen. Im not even old, and the massive change to the area in what I feel was a short time has been startling. I doubt I can afford a locust point rowhouse now.



edit: Try half and half soup. It is half maryland crab, half cream of crab soup, in one bowl. Wherever you go, they should know what you mean when you ask for "a bowl/cup of half and half". If they don't... you might want to find someplace else for your maryland crab fare.

Last edited by Erik the Newbie

I am with Boilermaker. Unfortunately the crime in Baltimore has to be more of consideration in ones plans these days. Perhaps you may want to consider overnighting in Havre de Grace and taking in the town and railroad bridge crossing the Susquehanna; then head south for a visit to the B&O train museum (the museum parking is very good) and on to lunch at G&M, then on to the Thomas Viaduct and the Avalon area of the Patapsaco State Park, then on to Ellicott City via 166/S.Rolling Road/Frederick Road.

I am with Boilermaker. Unfortunately the crime in Baltimore has to be more of consideration in ones plans these days. Perhaps you may want to consider overnighting in Havre de Grace and taking in the town and railroad bridge crossing the Susquehanna; then head south for a visit to the B&O train museum (the museum parking is very good) and on to lunch at G&M, then on to the Thomas Viaduct and the Avalon area of the Patapsaco State Park, then on to Ellicott City via 166/S.Rolling Road/Frederick Road.

To my knowledge, Havre de Grace also has its issues in a few areas. However, it also has a few bed and breakfasts and a killer lighthouse and promenade along the shore. The town is picturesque.However, the Route 40 corridor is a little iffy at times (I live a few miles off of it so I know). I haven’t been to the museum since I was a kid, but I remember the rotunda and the extensive yard. Furthermore, maybe look into the trolley museum. They had a building collapse or fire a few yrs back and I’m not sure if it’s back to 100%, but this was another memorable childhood outing. If it’s the same as it was 15-20 yrs ago you get unlimited (short) trolley rides from most of their fleet. I haven’t been to Baltimore city in a couple yrs, but crime is bad. Canton/Fed hill are having some issues (enough to be reported on the local news), and they are the young yuppy areas. As long as both museums are still up to snuff, they should be fun. I wouldn’t mind heading back to both in the coming yrs.

If you stay at a reputable hotel downtown and stay near the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, and Camden Yards you should be fine.  The area around the B&O is likely to be more dangerous.  Speaking of Camden, excellent place to catch a ball game.  It's a beautiful ball park and helped to spark the renaissance of purpose built baseball parks after the garbage "dual purpose" arenas that used to be the norm through the 70s and 80s.

Fyi:  Baltimore has free bus service on 4 routes that depending on what you are doing can save time and money with trying to park at certain places.   It's called the Charm City Circulator and consists of four separate routes—the Green Route which runs from City Hall to Fells Point to Johns Hopkins Hospital Campus, the Purple Route which runs from 33rd Street to Federal Hill, the Orange Route which runs from Hollins Market to Harbor East and the Banner Route which runs from the Inner Harbor to Fort McHenry. The HC consist of 3 routes – HC1 which connects Maritime Park to Locust Point: HC2 which connects Canton to Fells Point: and HC3 which connects Pier 5 to Harbor View.  A simple google search can get you more information.   I never knew about it until my niece told me - she'll attends Johns Hopkins and uses it all the time as do I when I visit.

-Greg

The B&O RR Museum is really something, and well worth the trip.   There are a lot of wonderful places nearby, also.

I lived in Baltimore in the inaugural year of Oriole Park at Camden Yards.  A great place to see a ballgame.  That long warehouse that runs along the outfield was a railroad warehouse, built to run trains in one end.  You can see the two bricked-up entrances where the tracks went in.  It was the longest building in the world when built, then eclipsed by a sister building built in Cincinnati that was even longer.

Stumbled across a gem a few years ago right near the inner harbor, the Industrial Museum of Baltimore.  A working belt-driven machine shop, and a working Linotype machine -- absolutely fascinating bit of machinery on which our printing presses relied from the 1930s until the 1980s

https://www.thebmi.org/exhibitions-2/

Outstanding soft-shell crab sandwiches and much more may be had at the Cross Street Market.

The Hippodrome is a wonderful old theatre that was falling apart and hosting punk shows in the early 1990s, but has been restored to full grandeur, and is a wonderful place to see a show.  Saw the fascinating stage production of "War Horse" there several years ago.  Looks like Steely Dan is playing there on 10/25.

Not sure if it is still open to tours, but the Baltimore Shot Tower is worth seeing, if you can catch it open.

Baltimore has had its troubles, but if you pick a hotel near the Inner Harbor, you should be fine, and in walking distance from nearly everything mentioned here (if you don't mind a good walk).

Have a great trip!

David

My wife and I visited the B&O Museum a few years ago, and had a very pleasant day there.  The exhibits were top notch and the staff and volunteers were friendly.  Some are retired railroaders and one of them noticed my Santa Fe ball cap and the way I was checking out the exhibits and surmised that I was a railroader.  We had a very interesting conversation.  The only disappointment was that the EA unit was off limits, as it was under restoration.  Despite the significance of all the other displays, the EA was the locomotive I really wanted to see.  Oh, well.  In spite of that, I'm glad we went, and I bet you'll be glad you went, too.  Who knows, maybe we'll go again and actually see the EA.

Add Reply

Post
OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
330-757-3020

www.ogaugerr.com
×
×
×
×
Link copied to your clipboard.
×
×