Train gardens

December 20, 2000|By Tricia Bishop and Nathan Pitts

Here's where you can see holiday train gardens.

Arbutus Volunteer Fire Department: Half winter wonderland and half country town, the Arbutus train garden reflects the season and still shows off some of the best props in its collection including miniature farms. Through Jan. 1 (closed Christmas and New Year's Eve). Open weekdays 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and weekends 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. 5200 Southwestern Blvd., Arbutus; 410-242-6601.

B&O Railroad Museum: The museum has working model trains year round, but its holiday display runs for just a week: Dec. 23 through Dec. 30; closed Christmas Eve and Christmas. Open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission: $5-$7. 901 W. Pratt St., Baltimore; 410-752-2490.

Baltimore Society of Model Engineers: Formed in 1932, this model train club takes its train gardens seriously, and its two huge layouts reflect it. The club offers open houses 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays in January. Admission by donation. 225 W. Saratoga St., Baltimore; 410-837-2763.

Ellicott City B&O Railroad Station Museum: This year's display features a new, 360-degree, multi-level, animated "O" gauge and 24 operating trains. Open Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 28, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.; and daily, Dec. 26 through Dec. 31, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Closed Christmas Eve, Christmas and New Year's. Admission: $2-$4. 2711 Maryland Ave., Ellicott City;

410-461-1944. Fire Museum of Maryland: The museum's train garden and its 27 trains, built in a 1940s style, reflect an era when trains were still a major form of transportation. Open Dec. 30-31 and Jan. 6-7 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission: $3. 1301 York Road, Lutherville; 410-321-7500.

Glen Avenue Fire House: This 640-square-foot train garden layout is open for its 44th year on Saturdays through Jan. 6 from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: free, but donations welcome. 2700 Glen Ave. at Cross Country Boulevard, Baltimore; 410-396-0171.

Pleasant Valley Community Fire Company: Two trains are running on track about 15 feet wide and 20 feet long through tunnels and beyond diminutive mountains and rivers. Open weekends noon to 4 p.m. through Jan. 14; closed Christmas Eve. Admission: free; donations welcome. 2030 S. Pleasant Valley Road, Westminster; 410-848-1977.

Riviera Beach Volunteer Fire Company: Eight trains on six tracks take up the fire company's entire basement. Fridays through Dec. 24 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and again from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Dec. 26 through Dec. 30, the trains are available for viewing nightly from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: free; donations accepted. 8506 Fort Smallwood Road, Pasadena; 410-255-3636/1314.

The Shops at Kenilworth: The Annual Christmas Train Garden took seven people nearly three weeks to assemble and includes five trains running simultaneously. Open through Jan. 8 during holiday mall hours: Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sundays noon to 6 p.m. Closed Christmas and New Year's. Admission: free. 894 Kenilworth Ave., first floor, Towson; 410-321-1909.

Triangle and Western Model Railroad Club: The railroad club opens its doors to the public from noon to 5 p.m. Dec. 23 and 30, and Jan. 6 and 7. Admission: free. 8622 Belair Road, Baltimore; 410-256-9037.

Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company: Fifteen trains traverse more than 800 square feet of train garden with more than 150 animated scenes. The display is open through Jan. 7 weekdays 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and weekends noon to 9 p.m. Closed Christmas, but extended hours Dec. 26 through Dec. 29 from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Admission: free; donations welcome. 214 Wise Ave., Dundalk; 410-288-0710.

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