RAILFAN GUIDES of the U.S.


Todd's Railfan Guide to
TOWSON MD

A Northern Suburb in Baltimore County

In General
Sights
Fire and Police
Floobydust

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In General

Towson is the county seat of Baltimore County.

While Towson has precious little anymore for the diehard railfan to take in, there are nevertheless, many things to see and visit while here.  The last railroad to come through Towson was the M&Pa, and its last train came rambling through in June of 1958, with passenger service having stopped in 1954.  I didn't arrive on the scene until 1966, darn.  At the time, there was still a freight shed on Susquehanna Ave, across from where the Towson branch of the library used to be at the time.  Too bad I wasn't into taking pictures then, another darn!  :-)

This map is an "enlargement" so-to-speak for my Map 1 coverage of the whole area between Towson and Hunt Valley, because there is a lot of stuff on the Map 1 page, maybe too much!  That is why the main map below has everything but the Towson area greyed out.

Because Towson is the county seat, the headquarters for the Baltimore County Police and the Baltimore County Fire Department are located here.  Bonus.  As of 12/1/2015, Station 1 moved into its new home adjacent to Bosley Ave and Towsontowne Blvd, behind the Towson Police Station.  The original station 1 was at York and Bosley.

Light Rail does not come into Towson, so that will not be covered here, but will be found in neighboring Ruxton, Riderwood, Lutherville, Timonium, and Cockeysville.

There are also no historic or vintage railroad depots in Towson, but there are several around in Riderwood, Lutherville, Brooklandville, and Monkton.

Being the county seat, the main courthouse buildings are here, both the old and the new, as are most of the other county offices.  The 911 center is located in the basement of the "new" county courthouse building.



Also prior to November of 1963, the number eight streetcar line used to travel York Rd and make a circle over to the courthouse building.  Nothing is left of that operation anywhere around in Towson.  Another darn.  Once in a while in other locales you can still find a few waiting shelters around.  The #8 bus follows the same route, plus, it goes further north to the Lutherville Light Rail stop.

Food.  Towson is a destination for food.  You will find almost any and everything along York Road, all the way from down in the city out to Hunt Valley.  From there north, it is not quite as built-up, yet (just give it time, because when we moved into Towson in 1966, York Rd was only a 2-lane road from Timonium Road north, with no turn lane).  In addition, York Road has all the gas stations, car service places, car dealerships, and anything else you might possibly imagine.  There is one 24 hour restaurant in Towson on York Road, the Towson Diner - good food at decent prices.

For shopping, the main attraction is the TowsonTowne Center, a four level mall built on the basis of the old Towson Plaza from the 60's.  In addition, there is a new entertainment center across from the mall on Joppa Road with a number of restaurants and a new Cinemark movie theater.  Why they keep trying to keep alive a movie theater in the middle of Towson is beyond me, considering the outlying movie complexes are free to park at.  We had another "downtown" movie complex a few blocks away, and the whole shopping complex went bust.  My guess is parking, both the fact that you have to pay for it, and they will not get rid of the parking on York Rd, saying it will drive customers away, but makes commuting a horror.  And, I can't tell you how many times I have tried to have my fenders re-arranged going thru the the circle!



The circle in Towson at the junction of York Rd, Dulaney Valley Rd, Joppa Rd, and Allegheny Ave is one of the worst junctures in the county, and they should eliminate a few of the roads leading into the circle, like Dulaney Valley Rd and Allegheny.  People around here just ARE NOT used to a two lane roundabout

Towson is the Baltimore County seat, and as such, has both the police and fire department headquarters in the town center.  There are 4 paid stations, 3 volunteer stations, and 2 precincts on the map, in addition to the Fire Museum of Maryland in Lutherville.

For more info and pictures:
http://tuspcoll.blogspot.com/2013/01/100-years-ago-today-deed.html
http://catonsvillerailstotrails.com/trails-2/8-streetcar-path/
http://quirkyguywithacamera.blogspot.com/2014/11/classic-kodachrome-monday-17.html


Map


Sights


    2     ex M&Pa Bridge Abutments

Luckily, Towson decided to keep the old Ma and Pa bridge abutments and make them part of the Towson renewal.  They are located at the south "entrance" to the CBD of Towson at York Road and Towsontowne Blvd.

               

      Jan 5th, 2016

  
    

 


Fire and Police


      Baltimore County Fire Station #1 - Towson

The Towson Station is also home to the Baltimore County Fire Headquarters. 

On the 1st of December 2015, they moved into a brand new station house down yonder a bit on Bosley Ave. 

For more info on the BaltCo fire stations:  http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/fire/stationinfo/index.html

     Their old digs on the corner of Bosley Ave and York Road.

      Jan 5th, 2016.... Available for immediate move-in!  :-)

 Reserve Ambulance #117


          Engine #1

  Oooooops

              Truck #1

  Jan 5th, 2016

  Jan 5th, 2016

                  Jan 5th, 2016

                    Jan 5th, 2016


      Baltimore County Police Precinct 6 - Towson

Baltimore County built a new Towson Police Station in the 90's, replacing the old one on Washington Ave.  For more info on the BaltCo police precincts: http://www.baltimorecountymd.gov/Agencies/police/precinctsall.html
 

 

        The "new" home of precinct 6, opened for business in 2001

 

 

       
Patrol car outfitted with a nice pair of cameras, I want one!  They are used for automatic license plate ID'ing.

        Jan 5th, 2016


Former Baltimore County Police Towson Station

Around the corner on Washington Avenue from the current precinct.

  Jan 5th, 2016

  Jan 5th, 2016

            The old Towson Station


Floobydust and History Section


A few M&Pa pictures from the past

  The last train departing Towson June 11th, 1958.  The freight shed remained into the late 60's. (from Wikipedia)




 


Streetcars in Towson





  On York Road across from Towson University, around Cedar Ave



   
Towson Plaza, way, way before the Towson Centre was even thought of......

          Towson State Univ Shift Commanders SUV - caught at Jerry's Chevrolet for service

    Providence Road Volunteers Truck 292 going home from fire in Towson.

  Bus on route 11 in Riderwood off Charles St, waiting for operations to give it the go-ahead.

     
The Towson Diner, on York Rd, north of Washington Ave and the circle.... It was completely rebuilt maybe around 2000?

  Seen somewhere around Towson.... Love the double 443

 


Disclaimers:

I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.

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New 09/04/2007
Last Modified: 01/07/2016