All aboard – Baltimore quick picture post

It was National Train Day Saturday, an Amtrak love fest at 30th Street Station, and as Steve and I waited for our train to Baltimore (to visit good friends Chuck and Iris) I ambled around the displays (there was a nice photo display on the Great American Migration that explained how the railroad helped make that possible (via passenger and freight trains).

Our trip to Baltimore began at 30th St. Station with a look at the model railroad display of NJ Southern model rr club

New Jersey Southern N-trak Model Railroad Club, a local chapter of N-Trak, the national modular railroading society, set up a display with tiny N-scale trains (1/160th scale). Rick Spano and Carl Haslett told me about the modular assemblies from various members which fit together into one seamless circular track. Nifty!


Carl Haslett (l) and Rick Spano of the NJ Southern Model Railroad Club

Meanwhile, we just finished watching the entire 5 seasons of The Wire, so were not surprised at all the boarded up houses you see from the train on the way into Baltimore.  That said, one of the town’s tourist areas on the waterfront, Fells Point, looks fabulous.  And Patterson Park, on the route of the Kinetic Sculpture Derby, is lovely.  Its 1890 Pagoda offers a great view of the harbor and downtown Baltimore from its upper level.

View from atop the Patterson Park Pagoda in Baltimore. That’s part of the harbor in the distance.

Iris said she was amazed at how people dressed up in Baltimore.  Shades of Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

Even the audience got dressed up to watch the Kinetic Sculpture Derby. I love this kid’s wig.

The AVAM-sponsored event had its support staff decked out in costumes.  The chicken we ran into was taking a survey of audience favorites.  Later we ran into a “sheriff” on his bike, keeping the peace during the race.  By the way, Philadelphia’s Kensington Kinetic Sculpture Derby is May 21, same day as the Trenton Ave. Arts Festival.

Kinetic Sculpture Derby helper chicken taking a survey of audience preferences. She made her awe-inspiring costume.
Sheriff, pedaling through the crowd to maintain order.

It was a great picture-opportunity day.  Chuck had a Haselblad with him and singled out a few shots to take.  Earlier in the morning he’d seen the beginning of the race and taken some video with his digital camera.

Chuck (in hat), taking a picture.

That’s about it.  The trains ran on time.  Chuck and Iris have settled in to Baltimore.  And it’s clear we will have to go back because we barely scratched the surface.  More pictures at flickr.  Baltimore, model trains