A Baltimore Holiday Tradition: The Wise Ave. Fire Co. Train Garden

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It’s a must see during the holidays in Baltimore, and it’s still happening in Dundalk, the spectacular train garden at the Wise Avenue Volunteer Fire Company.

It’s the 36th year for the always-amazing garden, which has been seen by 22,000 people this season.

New this year, a Dundalk landmark — the CSX bridge over Bear Creek. That’s the work of Bill Eichner, a volunteer.

“It’s a landmark and I thought it would really be neat to do a model of the bridge,” he says. “It turned out to be a challenge because of all the detail I put into it. It took me about 65 hours of work to do it but it turned out pretty good.”

If you go to see the garden, you’ll also see other familiar places and faces, from Mr. Boh to your favorite WJZ personalities.

“When you take into account all the levels, and there are about four different levels and a dozen trains, you’re looking at about 1,200 square feet,” says company spokesman Bob Frances.

“This is the largest temporary train garden set up in the state of Maryland as far as we know. It’s a lot of area, and at this point we’re limited by our hall. We were just joking the other day we need to build a bigger fire station so we can have a larger train garden.”

And it’s all a labor of love.

“There’s a core group of train garden committee members,” Frances says. “Not all of them are volunteer firefighters, some are civilian members, they work on this all year long. The planning, the layout and the set up. And as soon as this garden goes down they’re already talking about the set up for next year.”

“This is my 11th year as a volunteer,” Eichner says. “I love the train and its really nice to see the people come out and truly appreciate it. It’s a lot of fun and a lot of work too..”

The train garden will remain up through Jan. 8. It’s open weekdays from 6 to 9 p.m. and on weekends from noon to 9 p.m.

Children 7 and under are free and the company asks for donations from adults.

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