Saturday, December 21, 2013

Jim Russ From WBAL Radio 1090 AM Visits the Highlandtown Train Garden and Interviews Terry Maillar

WBAL Radio 1090 AM reporter Jim Russ stopped by the Highlandtown Train Garden to take pictures and interview an engineer. Follow the link below to see his pictures and video of the Train Garden and hear Terry Maillar, one of the engineers, who is pictured below, tell his story about his interest in trains and insight into the Highlandtown Train Garden. Mr. Russ also provides some information about the Union Station Train Garden.

 For information about the Highlandtown Train Garden visit

Terry Maillar
Click on the link below to see Mr. Russ' pictures and hear Terry Maillar's interview.

You Can Win This Train Set at the Highlandtown Train Garden Raffle


Complete and ready to run HO scale electric train set

Action accessories/cars

- Coal tipple
- Crossing Gates

- Gravel Unloader Car

- Snap-In Bridges and Pier Set

- 2 Switch Tracks

- 3 Shanty Huts

- Cars and Trucks

- Transformers

76” X 49” Oval Track

Friday, December 20, 2013

Great Prize for the Raffle at the Highlandtown Train Garden - A Basket Donated by Rob Hoehn

The Highlandtown Train Garden is having its raffle again this year. One prize is the Basket generously donated by Rob Hoehn from Hoehn’s Bakery. In the basket Rob has placed the following items:

1) 2 adult and 2 child combo tickets to

- B&O Railroad Museum

- Ellicott City Station
- Mount Clare Museum House

2) B&O Logo Hat

3) Book - A Story of Mayor Schaefer

and his Train Garden

4) Ravens Train Christmas Ornament

5) Train Garden Pieces – a train

station, a small bakery, and a baker


Many thanks to Rob and to Hoehn’s Bakery for their support and donations.

School Visit Days Were A Success

Even though one school visit day (Dec. 10)  was cancelled because schools were closed still 803 pre K to 4th Graders came from the neighboring schools to visit the Highlandtown Train Garden this year. The students came from Hampstead Hill Academy # 47, Highlandtown Elementary and Middle School # 215, Highlandtown Elementary and Middle School # 237, Patterson Park Public Charter School # 327, John Ruhrah Elementary and Middle School # 228, and St. Casimir Catholic School. Words like “cool” and “awesome” were heard repeatedly during their visits.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Grand Opening of the Highlandtown Train Garden and Spending Your Holidays in Highlandtown

On December 6, 2013 visitors came to the intersection of Conkling St. and Eastern Avenue to witness  the Kick-Off Celebration of  "Spend Your Holidays in Highlandtown". The cold rain did not damper the enthusiasm of the crowd and particpants. The band Sac Au Lait performed their motivating tunes and the hula "hoopers" and stilt walkers fascinated the crowd and Santa Claus cheerfully announced the beginning of the holiday season.  At 6 pm the Tree Lighting at the corner excited everyone by its beauty, and then everyone walked over to Fire House # 41 across the street to officially open the Highlandtown Train Garden. Santa, A.K.A. Maryland State Delegate Luke Clippinger and Father Lou from Our Lady of Pompei Church pressed the remote button that quickly energized the lights and trains of the Train Garden and it now was officially open to the public. The other events were the Merry Mixer along the Avenue and the Family Movie at the Library beginning at 7 pm. Thanks to Matt Saindon for the pictures.

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Engineers of the Highlandtown Train Garden Are Recognized by Maryland State Senator, Barbara Mikulski

Ms. Amy Seeberger, theOutreach, Grants, and Projects Assistant at the Office of U.S. Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski presented a certificate to the engineers of the Highlandtown Train Garden at its Grand Opening on Friday, December 6, 2013. It read as follows: "This certificate is presented to the Engineers of the Highlandtown Train Garden in recognition of your hard work and dedication to spreading holiday cheer in Southeast Baltimore on the occasion of the 5th Annual Highlandtown Train Garden. Congratulations on reaching this milestone! Your work has created countless opportunities to spread joy to the children, families, and communities of Southeast Baltimore throughout the holiday season. Here’s to many more years of this great tradition! Barbara A. Mikulski, United States Senator on this day the sixth of December, two thousand and thirteen."

Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Train Garden Closes at 3 pm Due to Poor Weather Conditions

Due to the snowy and icy weather the engineers have decided to close two hours early. The Train Garden closes at 3 pm today and will reopen on Saturday, December 14, 2013 at 11 am at our regularly scheduled time. See you then.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sponsor Night - Friday, December 6, 2013

About twenty sponsors and their many guests visited the Highlandtown Train Garden for Sponsor Night between 5 pm and 5:45 pm on Friday, December 6, 2013. Despite the chilly and rainy weather, the sponsors enjoyed seeing the Train Garden while drinking hot coffee, donated by HighGounds, and eating homemade, delicious cookies baked by Carol Hartke, one of the volunteers. The Train Garden committee wishes to express its thanks to all the sponsors who came and to High Gounds Coffee Roasters, a sponsor, for their coffee and to Carol Hartke, for her baked goods, and also to all the volunteers who helped to make Sponsor Night a great success.


Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The First Visitors Have Arrived To Tour This Year's Train Garden

The first visitors to the 2013 Highlandtown Train Garden are smiling for not only being first but also for enjoying the Train Garden with the whole family. 

The Train Garden Has Been Moved To The Firehouse

The Train Garden is now ready for visitors. All the volunteers hope that this 5th year will be a success like the previous four years.

The Volunteers Are Preparing the Firehouse for the Train Garden

The volunteers are deciding what decorations are needed to make the Highlandtown Train Garden a festive place. After all the decorations were put up, everyone waited in anticpation of the moving of the Train Garden platforms into the Firehouse.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

The Train Garden Is Ready To Be Moved To The Firehouse

The "engineers" have completed the Train Garden and it is now ready to be moved to Engine House # 41 at 520 S. Conkling St. The move will probably take place the weekend before Thanksgiving. Once moved, the "engineers" will test everything to see that all parts of the Train Garden are working properly. Everything must be set to go for Opening Day on Friday, December 6, 2013.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Final Meeting Before This Year's Opening

On September 9, 2013 the Highlandtown Train Garden Committee met for the last time. All issues were discussed and decisions were made. As can be seen in the pictures below all members work very hard to make the Train Garden a great success. At the meeting were the following in no particular order:
Chris Ryer, Amanda Smit-Peters, Ted Baccala, Dave Eaton, Bernie Deasel, Rafi Guroian, Terry Maillar, George Lambilotte, Frank Bratkowski, Carol Hartke, Nancy Supik, and Joe Manfre.


Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Work Continues

The engineers - Bernie, Ted, and Dave - continue to work on the Train Garden. On one of the platforms there will be many carnival rides and Super Streets. Visitors this year will be fascinated by the new interactive additions to the Train Garden.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Work Has Begun On The 2013 Highlandtown Train Garden

Several of the "engineers" of the Train Garden have begun planning and devloping the new 2013 Train Garden. This is the 5th year of the Train Garden and it is hoped that many visitors and students will once again visit the Train Garden. One main new addition to the Train Garden this year will be platforms devoted to carnival rides resulting in more interaction between the visitor and the Train Garden. And Ted Baccala, one of the engineers, has created a scale model of the Grand Theater that once was situated on Conkling Street where today stands the Southeast Anchor Library.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Our Fourth Year Is Another Success

This is the Train Garden's fourth year and it is another great success. The Train Garden received over $4,000 from business and association sponsors. 3,702 persons visited the Train Garden. This figure includes 796 school children from the surrounding schools who saw the Train Garden during the week of December 17 to December 21. About $3500 was colleced at the Train Garden from donations and raffle proceeds. Fourteen volunteers gave 872 hours of their time to make the Train Garden such a success. Thanks to the sponsors, visitors, and volunteers who helped make this year's Train Garden the most successful one in its four year history.

The Train Garden Has Departed

On Sunday, January 13, 2013 the Train Garden was moved to its storage area. With the help of several volunteers and four paid workers the Train Garden left the Fire House and was transported to its storage area without any difficulty. As can be seen by the pictures, the Train Garden is ready to be loaded onto the truck, the volunteers await at the storage area for it to be unloaded, and then all the platforms are covered with tarps to protect them. In about five months the "engineers" will visit the storage area, uncover the Train Garden tarps and begin planning for the 2013 Highlandtown Train Garden.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

The Breakdown of the Train Garden Has Begun

Over the weekend of January 5 and 6, 2013 the breakdown of the Train Garden has begun. Bernie, Terry, Ted, and Rafi are working feverishly to get the platforms ready to be moved to their storage location on Sunday, January 13, 2013. Trains are being stored, buildings are being placed in their boxes, tracks are being removed, figures are being packaged. The bolts are being removed from the platforms so they can be separated and be ready to be placed in the truck next week.

Dylan Geho Wins the Train Set

Dylan Geho from Pasadena was the winner of the Train Set that was the first place raffle prize at the Train Garden. On Saturday, January 5, 2013 Dylan and his family came to the Train Garden to pick up their prize. Pictured below is Dylan on the left, his brother Evan on the right and their father Ron. When asked what Dylan liked the most about the Train Garden he said the Thomas Train. Congratulations!

Kim Suter from Highlandtown Wins the Panera Bread Raffle

Kim Suter and her son Nathaniel came to the SECDC office on Thursday, January 3, 2013 to pick up the Panera Bread certificate. Her ticket was pulled from the raffle can at the Train Garden on New Year’s Day. The certificate entitles Kim to receive a loaf of Panera Bread every month for a year. This was the Second Prize. The First Prize, the Train Set, was also selected on New Year’s Day and information about that winner appears above.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Highlandtown Train Garden Is Now Closed

The last day for the Train Garden was Tuesday, January 1, 2013. This year's attendance surpassed last year's. 2881 persons visited the Train Garden as well as 796 school children. This brings our total attendance to 3677. There were many suggestions as to how to make the garden even better and the thinking over of these suggestions as well as any others will begin in a few months. Hope you were able to visit the Train Garden this year. Thanks to all of the volunteers who made the train garden possible.