If you’re ever looking for a fun, local and free activity to share with the family, consider a visit to the Historic Silver Spring Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Station. We ran across it while running errands one day and we are glad that we did. Enjoy the experience that President Harry S. Truman shared on many occasions.
Waiting to Exhale
The Silver Spring B&O Station, located just to the north of the colorful Georgia Avenue underpass, is open to the public on the first Saturday of each month. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. Inside, you can find a completely restored facility that recreates the scene from 1945 when the station first opened. The waiting room features the massive ticket counter, which still contains most of its original equipment, including mechanical adding machines and typewriters. A fun feature of the waiting room is the telephone booth with the working rotary telephone. See how many tries it takes for your pre-teen to correctly dial a phone number using a rotary dial!
Other accessories in the waiting area are designed to delight the toddler set: train-themed books, puzzles and, of course, a “Thomas the Tank Engine” play table are available.
In the back room, you can find a fascinating, HO scale model railroad set created by the Rockville Model Railroad Society. The scene depicts a busy Western Maryland town from a bygone age and features lighting which simulates the day/night cycle every few minutes. There is a hidden secret that can be revealed during the “night” cycle by a careful observer. Several user-activated switches give visitors the ability to interact with the model by opening and closing crossing gates and other features.
Of course, no visit to the station would be complete without taking a step out onto the platform with watch the modern-day freight, passenger and Metro trains rumble by on the neighboring CSX line.
In addition to the monthly open dates, the station is available to rent for parties and special events. Soon, extended Metropolitan Branch Biking and Walking trail will pass by the station on its way north.
Location: History Silver Spring B& B Railroad Station, 8100 Georgia Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
Hours: First Saturday of every month, 10 am to 3 pm.