Travel reviews by
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Based on 222 traveler reviews
Great way to bike the Great SAllegheney Passage
Oct 23, 2014 by: kod from cherry hill
The train was jammed on a Friday. We were put in the last car with our bikes placed next door. The views were fine and the narration interesting. The seats were very comfortable. The best part is that the train take you 15 miles uphill. We got off and biked another 10 miles uphill through 2 tunnels and the Mason Dixon line. There were some spectacular vistas. From the top we had a glorious 25 downhill ride with minimal effort with beautiful scenery. This is a special experience for the bicyclist.
Fun for children at Christmas
Oct 22, 2014 by: samsmom020108 from Westminster, Maryland
We've been doing the North Pole express (I think they renamed it this year to something else) every year with my son since he was 3. For him, it's simply magical. Although the train cars are circa 1970-80s, they are roomy and comfortable and there is no match for when the historic engine comes barreling down the tracks towards all the excited, waiting kiddos. There is a snack car and my son loves to get a hot dog and popcorn, no matter if he's hungry or not, because now it's a family tradition. We love this one because there is a destination. Passengers get off at another station, decorated for Christmas, and get in a line to sit on Santa's lap. The line is long, but they have it down and it moves quickly. The children are so excited that they don't mind waiting and there's cookies and hot chocolate so that also keeps them busy.
A unique experience
Oct 20, 2014 by: John S from King George, Virginia
We took the Murder Mystery trip on the WMSR. Because we did not book more than a month in advance, we could not get seats in the dining car. It turns out that the Parlor Car was roomier and very enjoyable. The one huge piece of advice I would give is to bring cash. There is wine and beer available. Several people brought food and drinks with them. The Murder Mystery was a fun play with the actors interacting with the guests. The crew was very helpful and accommodating. The train run leaves from Cumberland MD and travels for an hour to Frostburg MD, the end of the rail line. During the 45 minute layover, the train detaches from the passenger cars, drives onto the turntable and reverses direction. This was interesting to watch. I also had the opportunity to place pennies on the tracks to make souvenir flattened pennies. During the layover, the play continues in the Frostburg train station. After the layover, everyone re-boards the train for the trip back to Cumberland and to enjoy the conclusion of the Murder Mystery. I would recommend this trip for families with older children. Next time I would try to take a trip during the daylight to enjoy more of the fall foliage.
Fall foliage was fantastic!
Oct 18, 2014 by: John K from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Excellent narrated trip from Cumberland to Frostburg and return. Although it was misty and spots of fog, the trip was very enjoyable. The conductors were very friendly and helpful and informative.
Western Maryland Railroad-A MUST For Train Lovers
Oct 17, 2014 by: J D from Sterling
A clear, fine day is best for this trip, and more, if the weather cooperates. This train, which leaves Cumberland around 11:30, is booked solid for most of the fall season. Boarding starts 15 minutes before departure. The round trip mileage is 32 miles. The train uses 1 ton of coal for a round trip.On this day we had 600 people on board. I believe we had around 10 cars on the day we traveled. It takes about 2-21/2 hours to drive to Cumberland from N. VA. It's hilly and up and down, so your car needs to be sturdy. The ride itself to Frostburg ( the depot was built to 1898) takes about an hour and is mostly uphill. After boarding at the station, it's best to sit on the right side of the train, since the left side affords views of mostly the forest. The towns, people, trees, etc. are on the right side. Restrooms, snack bar (reasonably priced), dining car, various classes of seats, are available on board. There is a photographer onboard as well as a good narrative of the things to see along the way, both coming and going. Bikers are also welcome and most ride up to Frostburg on the train and then bike back down to Cumberland. There is an open car to watch from, as well, and people can move freely about. The conductor comes around to punch your ticket, at some point. Special features along the way include the Bush Tunnel (it's best to be in a closed car at this point, since the train will fill up with smoke from the engine, otherwise). The spectacular double truss bridge is another highlight. Once in Frostburg, the engine is turned around, and that is spectacular. Also available is the town itself (88 steps uphill gives access), or a tour of the Thrasher Carriage Museum (free w/your ticket). A small, but efficient Trail Inn café is also at the depot. The Trail Inn boasts guest rooms, campground & the aforementioned café. A word of advice---plan your quick visit to Frostburg carefully---the train leaves for Cumberland again at 2:00 or so. The view is best on the left side of the train this time and since it's downhill, the trip back to Cumberland is less than an hour. They turn the seats around, as well. There are whistle blows, the chug-a-chug of the train, spectacular scenery, wonderful history to be learned about, and many reasons to come back, perhaps to stay for awhile in either Cumberland or Frostburg.
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