For anyone who’s ever been a little thrilled by the sound of a train horn, or happily built a wooden railroad track as a kid, or knows and loves a child who can’t get enough of Thomas, you should consider a visit to the B&O Railroad Museum—one of the most significant collections of railroad treasures in the world. The location itself adds historical value: Mount Clare is considered to be a birthplace of American railroading. Not surprisingly, the museum and station are a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
The B&O collection includes locomotives and rolling stock, historic buildings, and small objects that document the impact of the B&O Railroad. But there’s so much more! This museum nurtures the love of railroading with a number of special exhibits and programs just for kids.
The B&O Railroad Museum features locomotive and rolling stock collection displays historically significant pieces from the B&O and other Maryland railroads and includes the finest collection of 19th-century steam locomotives.
The small object collection covers almost every facet of railroading and includes clocks, pocket watches, textiles, lanterns, dining car china, silver, fine art, communication devices, signals, shop equipment, and an assortment tools and artifacts used on historic occasions.
Visitors at The B&O may take a 20 minute round trip train ride along the first commercial mile of railroad track laid in America on the Mile One Express.
Train rides at the B&O Railroad Museum are offered Thursday – Sunday, April – December & weekends in January. The train ride schedule is Thursday & Friday at 11:30 a.m., Saturday at 11:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m., and Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
For kids, Choo Choo Blueville is a fictional town personalized by the B&O Railroad Museum’s new mascot Choo Choo Blue. This kids-only exhibit offers children a soundscaped, three-minute kiddie train ride throughout the land of Choo Choo Blueville.
Starting September 6, you can buy tickets to ride on The Polar Express! With rides on November 19-20, 25-27 and showtimes at 9am, 10:15am, 11:30am, 12:45pm, & 2:00pm. This special event at the museum (which is closed to the public on these days) will create a Christmas memory that you and your family will treasure forever.
Characters from the award-winning book come to life through this magical holiday journey. The conductor punches your golden ticket, chefs serve you hot chocolate and cookies on board the train, and during the train ride you listen to the story. Santa’s helpers provide holiday cheer and every child personally receives from Santa the first gift of Christmas: a silver sleigh bell.
The War Came By Train serves as the B&O’s primary attraction for the five-year commemoration of the Civil War’s sesquicentennial. This exhibit concludes in December, so the time is now to see it! By making connections between the Civil War and the history of American rail, the Baltimore train museum develops important understandings about the role of transportation and industry during the war.
Both children and adults can ride the B&O Train Carousel. Made exclusively for the Baltimore Train Museum, this merry-go-round features historical images of B&O locomotives and logos and custom made figurines of locomotives, cabooses, vintage horses, and stagecoach.
Young children may also enjoy a ride aboard the Happy Train. Up to 12 children are seated along the sides of this whimsical colorful carnival ride and travel up and around like the wheels on a locomotive.
B&O Railroad Museum
901 W Pratt Street, Baltimore
Hours of Operation
10am-4-pm, Monday – Saturday; 11am-4pm, Sunday