Any day now, Sykesville's model railroad museum could pull into town.
The museum, a one-time parlor car built by the Pullman Co. in 1910, is to arrive by rail on the train that services the Old Main Line daily from Baltimore.
In April, the B&O; Railroad Museum in Baltimore offered Sykesville an 80-foot-long Pullman car for $1 a year as a "most appropriate home" for Sykesville's $10,000 model collection, said John Ott, director of the embryonic museum.
Before that car could be brought to town, vandals destroyed it.
"Basically, a fire gutted it, and now it will go to a scrap dealer," said Dennis Fulton, acting director of the B&O; Railroad Museum.
CSX Railroad, which owned the Pullman car, came to the rescue.
"CSX was gracious enough to give the museum a car of much the same type and size," Mr. Fulton said.
"They even went to the additional effort to move it in preparation for the trip to Sykesville."
So, car C&O; 911-163, with a newly repaired brake system, is sitting on the tracks at Locust Point rail yard in Baltimore, awaiting an engine to pull it to Sykesville.
"The car could arrive any time."
Although the ride north may be the car's last trip, some town volunteers are planning to get years of use from it.
They will renovate the interior to give the aging car new life as a showcase for the model train collection and its display equipment, which have been in storage since Lionel Trains of Michigan donated them to Sykesville nearly a year ago.
The Baltimore museum, the country's oldest devoted to the study of railroads, has lent cars and equipment for festivals.