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Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum Reopens to the Public on Saturday, November 13, 2004

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BALTIMORE, September 15 /PRNewswire/ -- The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum will celebrate the rebirth of its signature Roundhouse when it reopens its doors to the public the weekend of November 13-14, 2004. Visitors will be able to celebrate the complete restoration of the 1884 National Historic Landmark Roundhouse, and also experience some of the museum's expanded facilities.

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040915/PHW001-a )

(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20040915/PHW001-b )

During Presidents' Day weekend in 2003, a record-breaking snowstorm swept through the state of Maryland dumping a record three-foot snowfall onto the roof of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum's signature building, the National Historic Landmark 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse, causing a partial collapse of the roof and damaging some of the most important railroad locomotives and artifacts in the Western Hemisphere. The Museum staff, along with teams of architects, engineers, and construction crews, has worked tirelessly since the collapse to rebuild, restore and reopen this national treasure 22 months following the collapse.

In November, visitors will celebrate the complete restoration of the historic Roundhouse. The Museum's Roundhouse is a 22-sided polygon and is the largest circular industrial building in the world. Designed by E. Frances Baldwin, the Roundhouse was completed in 1884. Throughout the restoration process, crews have worked to completely rebuild the lower roof, clerestory roof and lantern while preserving the original design of the building using modern materials.

In addition to the Roundhouse restoration, visitors will experience some of the Museum's expanded facilities. The Museum will showcase new exhibition galleries featuring the Smithsonian's Railroad Model Collection, Railroad China and Silver, and Clocks, Pocket Watches and Railroad Time. Brand new interpretive panels will provide insight into the historical significance and the cultural aspects of different exhibits and the artifacts presented within.

On the two new outdoor train exhibition platforms, visitors get an inside view of many of the Museum's trains unavailable to the public prior to the collapse. Displayed in the C&O #725 passenger car will be the new HO model train layout, which depicts the lay-of-the-land from Baltimore's port to the Mid-West. Visitors will also rediscover the most important and comprehensive collection of railroad locomotives and rolling stock in the Western Hemisphere. The Museum will now offer daily train rides along the "most historic railroad right of way in America" from April through December and during weekends in January. No train rides are scheduled during February and March.

The Museum's first major event is Holiday Festival of Trains, a seasonal favorite and Museum tradition, beginning on Friday, November 26, 2004 and continuing throughout the holiday season until Thursday, December 30, 2004.

The Museum will celebrate its Grand Reopening during Memorial Day Weekend 2005. The Museum will unveil its new state-of-the-art restoration facility and open the historic North Passenger Car Shop to the public. Other exhibits and expanded facilities will also be part of the celebration including a new living history center and family activity center. For more information on the Museum's reopening celebrations and programs, interested parties can visit http://www.borail.org or call +1-410-752-2490.

About the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum

The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, a full affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of American railroading and its impact on American society, culture and economy. The Museum is home to the oldest, most comprehensive collection of railroad artifacts in the Western Hemisphere including an unparalleled roster of 19th and 20th century railroad equipment. The 40-acre historic site is regarded as the birthplace of American Railroading and includes the 1851 Mt. Clare Station, the 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse and first mile of commercial railroad track in America.

In February 2003, a record-breaking snowstorm partially collapsed the roof of the 1884 Baldwin Roundhouse, the Museum's signature building and collections exhibit space. The focus of the Museum has been to restore, rebuild, and reopen this national treasure. The Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum will reopen to the public on Saturday, November 13, 2004. A Grand Re-Opening Celebration will take place Memorial Day Weekend 2005.

For ongoing updates on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum, its restoration and re-opening celebrations, please visit http://www.borail.org.

    
    CONTACT: Amy Getz, +1-410-752-2462, ext. 214
             agetz@borail.org

Web site: http://www.borail.org

SOURCE Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum



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