Oldest Model Railroad Club Draws Interest To Amazing Train Garden

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — This is the time of year many model railroad lovers are packing away the trains and tracks they pulled out for the holidays.

But as Mike Schuh reports,  there is a group in Baltimore where the trains never leave the tracks.

Stop on Saratoga Street, go up the stairs and it’s standing room only.

What are they looking at? It’s a permanent amazing train garden: trains in the city, trains in the country, industrial trains.  It’s an ever-expanding collection at the Baltimore Society of Model Engineers.

“We’ve been around since 1932 and at this location since 1954,” said Jim Berg, BSME Board Member.

The oldest purely model train club in the country is now celebrating its 80th anniversary.  Great scenes attract many to their open houses.

Many visitors have their own gardens, but nothing like this.

“Brings out the little kid in everybody, seeing the motion of the trains. Most everybody can relate from being a little kid to adult, the train garden scenery to the train itself,” said Stephen Dziuba, first-time visitor.

Club members get the next generation involved, even letting them control some aspects of the layout.

“Well, when you’re running trains, they can derail sometimes so you have to go and fix them.  Even though they’re derailed, it’s still fun to run them,” said Caroline Berg, BSME member.

While most people put their train set away after Christmas, such equipment is what led to this.

“Get a train set at Christmas.  This starts with that train set at Christmas and you start small. And look how big you can get it,” said Jim Berg.

That club is located at 225 West Saratoga Street. Click here to find a schedule of open houses. 

More from Mike Schuh

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