Bells (Nostalgia from Bygone Streetcar Days)
By Jerry D. Kelly
For starters, the Maryland Rail Heritage Library needs your help regarding the photograph above. Written on the back is “Donated by C. M. Echols.” On the front is "Looking N. At Point Breeze Underpass Showing Setting of Precast Stone For West Rail ...” Also right above is, “1307-Point Breeze-10/3/30.” The question is what is going on, why the underpass, etc.
I wish I had a dime for all the times we have talked about the use of the stadium spur. Most remember it for trippers to baseball and football games. It also had another use and that was for school trippers. The photo above from M.R.H.L. has only the following information on the back, “Baltimore Transit Co. #5182.” When it first opened, Baltimore City College and later Eastern High School were served by special school trippers. As far as I recall, this service lasted to the end of World War II. The photo shows car #5182 as lead car in a two-car train. This a car from the #26 line. Note the multiple-unit hookup and bridge trippers. The hang sign reads as follows: “To Lombard and Haven Sts. via Harford Ave., North Ave., Wolfe St.” From shadows on the left side of the car, I would say the photo was taken around Noon or 1 P.M. What can you share with us about school trippers, etc., that operated from the stadium spur? Please E-mail me. As I’ve said many times, one of the things we do at the M.R.H.L. is try and identify photos. Many of them come to us without. any notes, dates, etc., on the back or the front. While it is fun and rewarding to identify the location of a photo, we often do not have a date or reason a car is where it is.
Another thing that is often a topic of conversation is about membership and how both B.S.M. and N.R.H.S. is not bringing in young members. That leads me to the two photos above. The top one is one that we believe at Govanstowne Yard, while the second we are not sure about. From other photos in the collection, we do know that #5201 was used on a charter. I believe the shot was taken just coming out of the Catonsville Loop. If anyone can help with this please do so. But what did attract my attention was the two budding rail fans. Do we know who they are? Can either of them now be a member of B.S.M. or N.R.H.S.? If you can help please let me know and I will share with all in a upcoming Live Wire.
Many times when I am sorting photos in M.R.H.L., I wish I had more information as to where taken, why was the car in that location, etc. In the photo below, it has most of the answers on the reverse side of the photo. This photo must have been taken in February or at least March 1942. Most of us who remember the era of 1941, remember the outbreak of WW II, gas rationing, no new tires, limited use of your auto and of course, a cut back in bus service. In our area, we had a streetcar line brought to a halt and replaced with bus service. The rail line was the #23, which from center city in Baltimore, shared its track with the #26 line. At the Dundalk Avenue cut off from Eastern Avenue, the #26 turned south and the #23 went straight to Back River. In the past, it had reached Middle River but the 1933 storm damage to the Back River Bridge had cut the line back. No one knows what would have taken place if the line was still running to Middle River, not that far from the Glenn L. Martin aircraft plant. But that is all in the past. Now returning to the photo, what else do we know? In this case by turning over the photo, we find the following information.
(Reprinted with permission from the Baltimore Streetcar Museum's quarterly newsletter, The Live Wire.
Copyright 1999, The Baltimore Streetcar Museum, Inc. All rights reserved.)
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