So today I was up in Martinsburg tending to some business. As I was driving down Queen Street, I looked to my right down a side street and saw several old cars and what looked like movie set lighting set up on a street that was blocked off with orange and white barricades. So being me, I pulled around the corner, parked, and walked back to see what was going on.
As I talked to the officer, I noticed, just a couple of blocks away, the top of the old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad roundhouse, as seen in this overflight pic I took a year or two back.
I first walked over to the new train station that stands across the tracks from the roundhouse. While there, sizing the situation up, I noticed a woman who appeared to be with the film crew coming out of the door from the walkway over the tracks. As she went out, I walked in, and I ascended the stairs and crossed over the tracks to the roundhouse grounds nice as you please.
It was here that I encountered my first snag. At the bottom of the stairs there was a guy from the film crew who appeared to be doing the security thing, no doubt to keep casual trespassers like me out. I stepped back a bit to mull this, and a moment later opportunity knocked in the form of the woman that I'd first seen on the other side of the walkway. She was coming back, now carrying a box of something. And being a gentleman, I opened the door for her at the top of the walkway. She thanked me and I followed her back down the stairs, remarking about how hot it was today. She was answering me as we reached security dude, and he apparently assumed that just because she and I were talking to each other, it meant that I had as much business in there as she did. We both passed him and I followed her over towards the roundhouse building, where I bid her a nice day as she went inside. Not knowing what was in there yet, I decided to stay out and get the lay of the place a bit before barging in. Besides, you can really only play the "I'm with that person" game for so long before "that person" figures out what you're doing.
The roundhouse and it's repair shops survived the war though, and the B&O continued to use it until 1988. Just imagine the history this pace has seen in the thousands of trains, both steam and diesel, that have been through here. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 started here too, and soon spread across the country. It took federal troops to put that armed rebellion down, and only after a lot of people were injured or killed on both sides.
I saw a couple of people inside the roundhouse at a table by the door, but they barely glanced at me so I walked in and right past them. Nice thing about perimeter security is that everyone relies on it and assumes that if you got past it, you apparently belong inside.
So here's the inside. And yes, it looks much bigger on the inside.
Next, I went back outside and attempted to check out another large building there, but it was filled with cars from the movie and a large guy with a beard really started giving me the eye. I think that he, at least, was suspicious. He started coming over my way and I thought fast. Pulling out my phone, I stared at it as if it had actually been buzzing me then put it up to my ear as if I was talking on it. No one likes to bother people on phones, right? But he kept coming, still looking askance at me as if he wasn't really sure or not. As he drew within earshot, I remembered what the cop on the set had told me.
"So you're going to be in Winchester tomorrow, right?" I said to the nonexistent person on my phone. That apparently did the trick, and Mr. Large Bearded Guy walked right on past without even looking back at me. Where were these wonderful phone props back when I was young and did this sort of thing regularly? Back then I had to carry a clipboard and try to look official as I trespassed on construction sites and in factories. And the success rate was much lower back then, especially before I realized that, in the 1980's, no one anywhere near as young as me worked in Henry Ford's auto plants around Detroit. (It took a while for me to figure out how they always knew I didn't belong there.)
Some outside shots from back around the other side.
Then it was .22lr steel plate time for the Ruger 10-22.
All in all, a pretty good day