Thursday, October 10, 2013

Modeling Baltimore Transit - Sparrows Point - Bethlehem Steel - Bay Shore Park - Penn Station - Western Maryland Railway - Pennsylvania Railroad

Baltimore Transit Route 26 crossing Bear Creek into Sparrows Point and Bethlehem Steel Plant.
As a young boy I would visit my aunt and uncle who lived in the Bethlehem Steel company town at Sparrows Point a suburb of Baltimore, Maryland.  To travel back and forth to Baltimore we generally used the streetcar and route 26.  My uncle worked in the mill at the "Point".   I loved to ride the older Baltimore cars rather than the new PCC cars like we had at my home in Washington, DC.  I also loved to walk the two blocks to the chain link fence surrounding the giant blast furnaces.  One thing I never visited was Bay Shore Park as it was gone by the time I was seven.

"Other East Baltimore lines were sideshows to the main event: the heavy blue-collar No. 26 Sparrows Point line serving the big Bethlehem Steel mill and shipyard complex at "The Point" and it's bedroom communities of Dundalk and Turners Station.  The mill was first developed in the remote southeastern corner of Baltimore's harbor in the later 1880s.  In the mill's early days, workers either lived in the company town of Sparrows Point or rode to work on Pennsylvania Railroad local trains.  The streetcar line across the flatlands and the wide Bear Creek estuary was completed in 1903; three years later it was extended beyond to Fort Howard and the Bay Shore Park."(Baltimore Streetcars-the Postwar Years by Herbert H. Harwood)

The Streetcar line ran under the roller coaster at Bay Shore Park.  This John Miller designed coaster was built by Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1920.  The coaster ran until the park's closing in 1947,


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