Baltimore Streetcar Museum

Baltimore welcomed public mass transit in 1859 as the city ballooned to 170,000 people and the need for affordable transportation swelled. As transit technology raced ahead from horse drawn carts to steam, cable and eventually electric powered cars, Baltimore's system expanded to seemingly every corner of the city.

After World War II, however, streetcars in Baltimore (and across the country) went downhill fast as automobile companies bought and retired street car lines and returning soldiers and their families moved to federally subsidized homes in the suburbs and out of reach of the streetcar systems. By 1963, Baltimore had run its last streetcar.

Only a few years later, members of the National Railroad Historical Society's Baltimore Chapter founded the Baltimore Streetcar Museum in 1966. They located a permanent home along Falls Road at a former Maryland and Pennsylvania Railroad station and moved the collections there from Lake Roland Park in 1970. Volunteers worked hours to install track and overhead wire so that visitors can again ride along a stretch of Falls Road. With a unique track gauge (5 ft. 4 1/2 in.) and historic cars, the ride is more than a fair likeness to what a passenger would have experienced in 1885 as Baltimore launched the first electric streetcar system in the country from downtown to a bustling mill village in Baltimore County called Hampden.

Images

Streetcar storage, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Streetcar storage, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Exterior view of the streetcar storage facility at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. | Source: Baltimore Architecture Foundation | Creator: Brian P. Miller View File Details Page

Falls Road tracks, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Falls Road tracks, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

View of the streetcar tracks along Falls Road at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. | Source: Baltimore Architecture Foundation | Creator: Brian P. Miller View File Details Page

Streetcars, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Streetcars, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

View of streetcars at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. | Source: Baltimore Architecture Foundation | Creator: Brian P. Miller View File Details Page

Streetcar, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Streetcar, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

View of graffiti on the side of a streetcar at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. | Source: Baltimore Architecture Foundation | Creator: Brian P. Miller View File Details Page

Detail, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Detail, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Detail view of a streetcar headlight at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. | Source: Baltimore Architecture Foundation | Creator: Brian P. Miller View File Details Page

Detail, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Detail, Baltimore Streetcar Museum (2015)

Detail view of a car at the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. | Source: Baltimore Architecture Foundation | Creator: Brian P. Miller View File Details Page

Access Information:

The museum is open Sunday, 12:00 pm to 5:00pm from March to December; Saturday and Sunday, 12:00 pm to 5:00pm from June to October.

Street Address:

1901 Falls Road, Baltimore, MD 21211 [map]

Official Website:

Baltimore Streetcar Museum

Cite this Page:

“Baltimore Streetcar Museum,” Explore Baltimore Heritage, accessed July 27, 2017, http://explore.baltimoreheritage.org/items/show/396.

Subjects

Tour navigation:  Previous | Tour Info | Next
comments powered by Disqus

Share this Story