B&O Rail Museum

Housed in an original “roundhouse,” the B&O Rail Museum in Baltimore was a nice day trip. I’d never been in a roundhouse before. From the outside, it looked fairly modest.

But on the inside, it was a soaring space of wood and steel, highlighted by a cathedral-like cupola.

The displays take you from the earliest incarnation of a Baltimore and Ohio line train — horse drawn as it turns out — through the largest steam engines ever made. Some of them, you can go inside and twiddle with the dials.

Some you just get to see their exquisitely oil-stained exteriors.

The repair building houses some fine examples of the glory years of rail design.

Unfortunately, the space wasn’t meant for display so there’s no good place to stand to get the big picture.

Here’s the 1604, the biggest steam engine every produced. It weighs somewhere in the range of three quarters of a million pounds, according to our tour guide.

The finer details are on display as well, like this elegant light fixture from the early 20th century.

Or just the logos and typography.

As well as a few questionable (but fun) color choices.

E. and I considered the admission fee ($14) to be a bit steep for what it was, but still we’re glad we went. There are also exhibits outside you can wander around in (not much) for free, as well as — of course — a gift shop.
[googleMap name=”B&O Rail Museum” width=”450″ directions_to=”false”]901 W Pratt St Baltimore, MD[/googleMap]

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