Detail Pages:
Catenary & Poles
Track, Switches & Switch Machines
Substations & Power Feeds

Stuff on this page:
Ticket Vending Machines (TVM's)
Cable Trench's
Equipment Housings


This page covers support equipment used on the Baltimore light rail system that is not covered on the "in depth" pages.

Ticket Vending Machines (TVM's)

When I worked at Light Rail, I had heard that the TVM's at the time cost around $70,000 each.  The one pictured below first is a second generation machine, with internet connectivity.  No telling how much one of them cost.

One of the FEW nice things Baltimore did, was to NOT make you validate the ticket before you rode the line, lines like the NJT River Line make you validate the ticket by getting it time stamped, necessitating you hunting out the machine that does this, and taking more time for you to get the ticket if you're running late.

at North Avenue

Here's an older picture of the same machine in the blue & yellow theme - rebranding yourself sure does cost a lot of money, that they don't have :-)  :-)

The Tickets

Baltimore, being the small system it is, has not seemed to go out for "special edition" tickets that (for instance) New York City has.

the back side of a single trip ticket

A ticket from 2007, notice the back, or information side, has not changed much:


Cable Trench's / Ducts

The cable trench, or conduit duct that runs down the middle of the majority of the tracks is a "new" thing, having been installed on the system when the system was double tracked on the south side in 2004, and the north side in 2005.  Prior to that, telecommunications cables were hung from the catenary poles.

In this view, we are looking south from Shawan Road in Cockeysville, or Hunt Valley, whichever you prefer to use.  many use them interchangeably, but Hunt Valley actually refers to a zip code that was once Cockeysville, and covers the industrial park and the mall.

In this shot, we have:
1)  the BGE step-down transformers
2)  Equipment cabinet
3)  "Gate Down" signal
4)  Battery box - maybe
5)  Standard NO TRESPASSING sign
6)  Pole
7)  Catenary support
8)  Track
9)  Ties
10) Cable Trench or duct
11) Underground transition

Here is a picture of the cable trench before anything was put in it, while the double tracking project was underway on the north end in 2005.

Detail shots of the cables inside the duct, the "power cable" was the last to go in - 7 pairs of #14 wire....

Equipment Housings

These "buildings" are everywhere, anywhere they need to house wayside equipment that keeps the railroad going.

The largest of them are the housings for the substations, which come already wired up and ready to go.  This one is at the Beltway in Lutherville.

Most of the other equipment housings are for either the grade crossing equipment, or for signals.

Here we have a couple of contractors working on the grade crossing equipment in mid 1997 at Warren Road before the Hunt Valley extension was placed into service.


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.

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 :-)

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.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

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!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

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


NEW JAN21/2006, SEP09/2020
Last Updated: 12 September 2020