Baltimore in miniature at The Fire Museum of Maryland

24 Photos

Photos and text by Kim Hairston

A sure 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 featuring buildings, landscapes and model trains often in firehouses.

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-Guage Lionel trains will run through the town that occupies a 10×27 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 on November 26.