A miniature Maryland
Asure sign that the holiday season is here is the opening of train gardens around the area. The tradition started in the late 1800s with Moravian immigrants who would set up a Nativity scene in their homes and changed over the years to a more secular one, often in firehouses, featuring buildings, landscapes and model trains.
The Fire Museum of Maryland has operated a train garden since 1986. Tom Colleran, a duty officer who also leads tours of the museum, says their type of display is an “old-fashioned Baltimore garden that I remember growing up.”
Six sets of O-Gauge Lionel trains will run through a town that occupies a 10-by-27-foot area. This year there will be a new section of the garden where visitors can watch a fireboat working to put out a fire at the Sparrows Point Shipyard. Many local businesses and landmarks are represented in the model railroad display, which opens a week from today. The Palace Theatre — now the Everyman Theatre — is located on a busy street in the train garden.
John Palese, a volunteer at the Fire Museum of Maryland’s train garden, where local landmarks are represented, works to ready the display.
A train crosses the eight arches of a model of the Thomas Viaduct, "the world’s oldest multiplestone-arched railroad bridge" as listed on Maryland’s National Register Properties.