Monday, December 28, 2009

Train Garden Hours Extended!

The train garden will remain open through next weekend, so if you haven't made it by yet, you still have time.

We'll open on Thursday, December 31st from 3 pm to 6 pm and again on Saturday, January 2nd and Sunday January 3rd, noon to 5.

Hundreds of visitors have enjoyed this year's train garden. A great chance to see, not only a train display constructed completely by volunteers, but also a chance to visit your local firehouse. With some luck, you can even get to sit in the firetruck!

Baltimore Guide makes Special Deliveries

Observant visitors to the Highlandtown Train Garden this week noticed a special delivery newsboy delivering mini-Guides to the shops on the Avenue. Each of the shops you see named in the train garden made a donation to this year's train garden fund. Thanks to all of our sponsors and to our friends at the Guide who crafted all of those tiny newspapers!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Snow Closes Train Garden

The train garden will be closed today (Saturday) and tomorrow (Sunday) because of the snow. The firehouse needs the space for extra personnel and vehicles to help with snow-related emergencies. Hopefully we'll be open again on Thursday, Dec 24th from 3 - 6 PM.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Susan Allenback's Train Garden

Susan's one of the many great volunteers helping on the Highlandtown Train Garden Project. These are some photos of her own train garden. Amazing, isn't it! When you visit the fire house in Highlandtown to see this year's garden, you can view a slide show that includes many photos of Highlandtown's great family train gardens. The garden is open Thursday evenings and Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Hope you can stop by!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

See The Polar Express and the Highlandtown Train Garden

The Friends of the Southeast Anchor Library will host a special viewing of feature length film, The Polar Express on Saturday, December 12th at 12:00 PM. See the move (free!) and then head across the street to the firehouse to see the train garden

For more information: Visit the Pratt Library's Website

The Trains are Running in Highlandtown!

What a great opening weekend at the train garden. We even had snow to help us get into the holiday spirit. Some of our friends have posted photos on their sites.

The opening ceremony (photos by Mark Dennis)

A closer look at the train garden (photos by Bob Dewey)

A video or the opening posted on Channel 2's website

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Baltimore Area Train Gardens

The Highlandtown Train Garden is one of many in the Baltimore area. You might want to check out these too:

Fire Museum of Maryland

Wise Avenue Volunteer Fir Company in Dundalk
B&O Train Museum
Ellicott City B&O Railroad Museum
Baltimore Society of Model Engineers
The Shops at Kenilworth
Baltimore City Fire Dept,Engine 45/ Truck 12/ Medic 14
2700 Glen Ave Baltimore, Md 410-396-0171

and here's a great list of train gardens around the region:

Grandpa's Holiday Train Garden Page for 2009

Saturday, November 28, 2009

We "Throw the Switch" on December 5th!

Please join us at the Southeast Anchor Library at the corner of Conkling St. & Eastern Avenue on December 5th at 11:00 AM for the opening ceremonies. Help us celebrate a new Highlandtown tradition. Watch us 'throw the switch' to get the trains moving for the 2009 holiday season. Meet and honor the train layout volunteers, see our giant slide show of the train gardens of Highlandtown and enjoy treats from Hoehn's bakery and Santonis Market. Join our parade across Conkling Street to 'throw the switch'. Everyone Welcome.

Lots more going on in Highlandtown that day as The Miracle on Main Street holiday festivities begin....

Maryland State Boy Choir
performs at the Southeast Anchor Library at 2 pm. FREE
NicoloWhimsey Show at the Creative Alliance at 3 pm FREE Creative Alliance,
Holiday Craft Show at Sky Lofts. 11 Am - 4 PM

Santa will be at the Southeast Anchor Library in the afternoon and they'll be a holiday petting zoo at Abbott Memorial Church.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cool Souvenir Buttons

When you visit the Highlandtown Train Garden this year, you'll receive a souvenir button like this one. How cool is that? The train garden will be open Saturdays and Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings in December. We're even open on Christmas Eve!

See the side bar for the complete schedule =>

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Volunteers Needed

The Train Garden Committee is looking for community volunteers to help greet visitors and keep the trains on track. If you can volunteer to work a 2 1/2 hour shift on a Thursday evening, or on a Saturday or Sunday in December, please e-mail Nancy Supik or phone her at 410-732-8414. Experience with model trains is helpful, but a friendly smile is the only requirement.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Modular Train Platform built in local woodshop

How do you assemble a train in one place and then move it to another without having to relay track and wiring? Anwer: With lots of careful planning. Fortunately for the Highlandtown Train Garden Committee, Ted, Terry, Bernie & David had plenty of experience constructing large train layouts. They presented their idea for a modular train platform to Mark Supik, a local woodworker. Mark approached National Lumber who generously donated the plywood needed for the platform. Built in 4 sections with removable legs, the platform was built at Mark Supik & Co. on Haven Street and then transported to the old Library on Eastern Ave where it was reassembled. The track, lighting, buildings and platforms were all assemble with care taken to make sure each module remained detachable. On November 21st, the platform will be separated into 4 modules, transported down the street to the firehouse on Conkling Street and reassembled. After the New Year, the team can break down the train for storage. Pretty clever!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Old Train Garden Photos - Here's one

Here's a photo of Mark Supik in front of his family's train garden on Port Street taken sometime in the 1950's. We'd love to see your photos. Please contact Jackie at the Baltimore Guide if you find any. We're making a slide show of the photos to show at the train garden opening event on December 5th.

Jackie: 410-732-6603 or

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Ted, Terry, Bernie & David, our local heroes!

When we say 'built by the community for the community', we aren't kidding. Every weekend and many evenings this fall, you may have noticed four train enthusiasts going in and out of the old Highlandtown Library on Eastern Avenue. Hidden away in a back room, four dedicated volunteers have been constructing the new Highlandtown Holiday Train Garden. Terry Maillar, Bernie Deasel, David Eaton and Ted Baccala have donated hundreds of hour to lay track and lighting, build platforms, coordinate train routes, and add buildings, people and holiday details to make the Highlandtown Train Garden spectacular. When you visit the train garden in December, you're likely to meet one of these four local heroes keeping the trains 'on track'. Please thank them for their efforts.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Sponsors Recognized

Your Name Here!

This year's train garden has been made possible through the generous support of many local businesses. When you visit the train garden, you'll see their names proudly displayed on storefronts and billboards. The list of sponsors continues to grow. See the complete list on our sidebar with links to their websites.

CSX started it all with a generous grant.
The Southeast Community Development Corporation is coordinating all the volunteer efforts.
The Baltimore Guide signed on early as our media sponsor.
MTH Electric Trains gave us 4 engines and trains including a special Christmas train.
National Lumber donated the plywood to build the platform.
The platform was built by Mark Supik & Co.
Banner Neighborhoods awarded a grant to help with opening ceremony
The Friends of the Southeast Anchor Library will sponsor a special viewing of The Polar Express
Come to the opening ceremony on Dec 5th to see what Hoehn's Bakery is doing to help.
A gift of a shopping spree at DJ Liquidators will transform the firehouse into a holiday wonderland.
Baron Stage Curtain and Equipment Company is making the skirt for the train platform.
And of course, the Baltimore City Fire Department is providing a welcome home for the trains and visitors.

Know a business who would like to help? Contact Chris Ryer at the SECDC. 410-342-3233 x 33

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Train Gardens of Christmas Past. Please share your photos.

Do you have photographs of your family's holiday train gardens from year's past. We're looking for old photos for a slideshow to be shown at the train garden. Please contact Jackie Watts at The Guide to set up a time to bring your photos for scanning. Here's Bernie Deasel's photo. Bernie is one of the train garden volunteers.

Contact Jackie by phone: 410-732-8414
Email Jackie:

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Train Garden

Highlandtown is excited to announce a Christmas Train Garden opening on December 5th, 2009. Please come by Fire House No. 41, at 520 S. Conkling St.