The NS Savannah is the United States' first (and so far only) nuclear powered merchant ship. It was built around 1960, back in a time before Medicare and other social spending sapped our collective ability to do big/cool things. Part of the "Atoms for Peace" program, the NS Savannah was mostly a propaganda vehicle to convince the rest of the world that nuclear technology was about more than blowing up the Soviets (Hint: it wasn't). The Savannah had the additional distinction of being a passenger liner built just before such travel was rendered obsolete by jumbo jets and a loose cargo vessel built just before that was rendered obsolete by containerized freight. The ship was mothballed in 1972 due to the cost of operating the nuclear plant compared with oil fired ships...just before the 1973-74 oil crisis. Talk about not being able to catch a break! After being decommissioned the ship spent decades in the James River Ghost Fleet before being moved to the Port of Baltimore for preservation. There it is open occasionally for tours, including every year on National Maritime Day in late May. This year I was able to coordinate with nuclear enthusiast Phil Nasadowski to take full advantage of the open house and some additional rail related sights in the vicinity. You can view the entire set of photos here. The Savannah is best described as a Silver Age comic book come to life or, in perhaps somewhat broader terms, imagine what Tony Stark's yacht would be like. It's half luxury liner, half cargo ship and all nuclear powered.
steam plant and electrical system so it looks more complicated than it is. Also remember that compared to older steam ships this was miles ahead of their brass gauges and valves.
Of course the big question is, "Is it all safe?" The answer? Sure...
Canton Railroad, which provides switching and yard services to this sector of the Port of Baltimore. SD1200RS #1204 and GP7U #1364 were parked next to the road.