Four-year-old Jackson Pellak, of West Friendship, said he came to see "big trains, little trains and moving trains" at the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum Complex in Union Bridge on May 12, National Train Day. The museum didn't disappoint as the train buff encountered a real engine, various scale-model train garden displays and a small operating train just large enough for a kid to ride.
Young and mature train enthusiasts alike delighted in the many historical displays, train gardens with little trains chugging over countryside and through miniature reconstructed local towns, and the spontaneous and enthusiastic commentary offered on the spot by members of the society.
"We promote the Western Maryland Railway here," said society Corresponding Secretary Dave Cline. "We're one of the few [railway museum] societies that we can say we own our museum complex," he said.
The former station and train depot in Union Bridge was constructed in 1902. According to Cline, the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society has "a little over 900 members all over the world."
"National Train Day is being celebrated all over the country," said Cline. "It shows the American history and heritage, and that trains are still important," he said.
The museum complex offers many displays of artifacts, models, advertising and more. "A lot of our artifacts are donated," said Cline. He said the organization is "all-volunteer - that's important."
The trains that run the tracks in Union Bridge today are operated by the short line and regional freight railway company Genesee and Wyoming Inc. Locals may recall the Maryland Midland Railway and EnterTRAINment lines that operated in previous years.
"It's hard to get near the railroads today," said Brian Mahoney, museum director, noting that safety precautions and security concerns limit access, unlike the historic days of local passenger commuter trains. "It's nice that we get [the children] to come out. [Train Day] gives everybody a chance to get to see them," he said.
There is no charge to visit the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society Museum Complex at 41 N. Main St., Union Bridge. It is open from 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays and from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays.
For more information, call 410-775-0150.
St. Luke's "Winter's" Lutheran Church, 701 Green Valley Road, New Windsor, will have a strawberry festival from noon to 8 p.m. June 2. A yard sale will begin at 8 a.m.
Hot dogs may be purchased for 25 cents and a nickel will buy a drink. There will also be fried chicken platters and chicken salad platters, french fries, funnel cakes, smoothies, and strawberries and ice cream.
Enjoy the music of the William F. Myers Band from 5 to 8 p.m., with old-fashioned cakewalks. Portraits will be rendered by local artist Barbara Schnell.
Call 410-635-6177 or visit stlukesnewwindsor.org to learn more.