Travel reviews by
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
Based on 193 traveler reviews
not worth the money
Jul 25, 2014 by: lynnecharl0tte from charlotte, nc
the train takes you from cumberland to frostburg, but the cars are closed, and some are very old and smelly, other than the rocking of the car, you would not know you were on a train. In addition, there are only a few places where you can see anything, trees encompass the rails. We were here on Friday July 25th and they had 400 people for the ride. Pretty unorganized. Lots of waiting in long lines. To get on, to get off in Frostburg, to get back on, and to get back off in Cumberland. If you must go, find out how busy they are going to be and opt for the first class - it would be worth avoiding the cattle cars.
Not what we expected.
Jul 22, 2014 by: judyaka03 from Elkton, Maryland
My husband and I went on the July 19th, Civil War ride from Cumberland MD to Frostburg MD. There wasn’t any narrations on the ride out to Frostburg, but there were a couple “actors” dressed in period clothing (not much interaction with passengers though). When we arrived at Frostburg we went into the train station and saw a slide show & narration by a published writer. The train was vintage (but it wasn’t powered by the steam engine, as I assumed it would be from the pictures). The train cars were air conditioned, some passengers were complaining that they were cold, but I was not. I think the train consisted of four cars plus the engine. One car looked to be the service/kitchen car. I know two of the cars were the dining cars, I didn’t see the third car. I think my review ended up with more of a negative connotation because of a seating discrepancy which pretty much ruined my trip and in the end I saw more bad than good. It would have been nice if they at least tried to compensate us in some small way for their mistake. We were looking for an overnight weekend trip to celebrate our wedding anniversary so I called about a month before to get the specifics. I was told there was about 70 seats left and the cost was $85 per person for a window table in the first class (dining car) and this included a meal. Cash bar was available.. When I called three weeks before the trip date, the $170 cost was for a first class two-top table on the scenic side. I specifically said the trip was for our anniversary and we were staying overnight in the area as an anniversary get-away. The civil war theme was for my husband (the civil war buff) and the scenery and relaxation was for me. On the 19th, after boarding we found our table with our name printed on a tent placard, placed on the table. I was surprised to see that we were assigned to a four-top table with another person. The location of the table was perfect with a spacious window on the scenic side of the train, but the seating arrangements were not. Because this was a special occasion (and this last minute change to our seating was not acceptable), I asked the server about moving us to a more private table (as I reserved). We were offered another table in a different car. The “only other table available” was on the non-scenic side of the train with a very small window about 1 ½ feet by 1 ½ feet. There was an additional window of the same size, however it was permanently fogged and did not offer a view of the cut-out mountainside. Because I wasn’t comfortable sitting next to the other passenger and very un-happy about having to share our conversations with a stranger, we agreed to take the other table. My plan to relax, watch the scenery go by and enjoy a glass of wine was ruined though. The food was “ok”. We had a choice of chicken (I didn’t know it was fried chicken until I received the email confirmation), roast beef or fish with seasonable (canned?) vegetables. They offered Lemonade and Iced Tea, but our cups ran dry more than once. The dessert was a home-made apple cobbler (made that morning by one of the servers) and was delicious. Coffee was ok. There was a typically-priced cash bar. The servers were very nice and were capable. I will give the servers credit for serving food on the moving train, because carrying drinks back to our table was problematic. Table service for drinks by the experienced staff would have been much more preferred. There was a girl circulating and taking pictures for $12.00 each, but when I saw the picture of us in the cardboard frame, seated at the worst table on the train (one that someone had to pay the same price as everyone else), I did not want that reminder of the train ride and quickly decided they could keep it. Once we got into Frostburg, I would have liked to know about the “turntable” for moving the engine around because I would have enjoyed seeing that, but I had no idea because my back was to the train while we were in the (warm and muggy) Frostburg train station watching the presentation and no mention was made of it. The bathrooms were much better in the train station than on the train itself, so if you can wait, I would choose waiting. On the train, when you actually flushed the toilet (foot pedal) there was a very, very strong septic smell. When I first entered the bathroom stall (think smaller than an airline bathroom), I thought someone had just finished using the toilet before me. I called to let them know how disappointing the trip was and other than thanking me for my input to be used for future trips and future customers and apologizing that we had a bad experience, there was no consolation for the mistake they made. I would not plan another trip on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad was well worth it....
Jul 17, 2014 by: TravelerDan1 from Cleveland, Ohio
Well worth the money and the trip, but be sure you book it when they are being pulled by the steam locomotive as opposed to the diesel. We booked the dining car with a meal... staff was more than helpful and courteous... food was ok, but worth the experience and the extra money as opposed to sitting in the coach cars....
Jul 16, 2014 by: Regina N from
Beautiful scenery and good food at the cafe in Frostburg. My granddaughter was excited during the whole experience. Highly recommend.
Nice train - but not worth the money...
Jul 13, 2014 by: CharlieInReston from Reston, Virginia
We were looking for a replacement for the Lazy Susan Dinner Theater in Woodbridge VA Only because they’re closed – we loved LSDT). We took the “Murder Mystery” dinner excursion. We’re not hoity hoity and we go to a lot of small community theaters. We’d rather have small intimate venues than larger professional casts. They charge $60 for the parlor car (show – but no meal) and $85 for the dining car show and a meal). So, the cost for 2 adults in the dining car is $170. Firstly – It’s a great train. It’s vintage and all that. And it’s air conditioned. If you’re looking to ride in a climate controlled car, this is the car for you. I was a bit chilly and my wife was cold. It’s a good thing that she brought her jacket. On the return trip someone in our car grabbed the tablecloth from an empty table and used it as a shawl. The meal? Eat before you go! The portions are small. I had the salmon. It tasted good. But I came away from the main course hungry. I tasted my wife’s pasta meal – bland. Dessert was a small piece of sheet cake on the return trip. Dry and not sweet. No coffee was available until the return trip. So – if you like a nice cup of coffee after a meal, this is not the place… All in all, not worth the additional $25 charge from the plain parlor car service. _If_ we ever do this again, we’ll bring a meal and sit in the parlor car. The show? Some of the actors appeared to be giving it their all. Others – well – didn’t appear to be. They appeared to be adlibbing a few of their lines I believe). The plot was a bit convoluted but that’s what you want in mystery murder where the audience has to solve the crime. And – as with audience participation shows, we expected a little cheesy – and got it… What surprised me (and several folks sitting next to me) was that they announced who the killer was but didn’t explain the how or the why. True, all the details were given through the course of the evening, but it you didn’t put it all together, it wasn’t explained to you. This proved anti-climactic. It would have been nice to at least get the condensed version of the murder as they were telling us “who did it.” There was a young woman taking souvenir pictures of couples – as expected. They’re $12 per picture. With the prevalence of camera phones, have the couple you’re sitting with snap a few then print them off when you get home. My wife bought 1 of the 2 that were available. I was certainly willing to forego – the cardboard folder / frame certainly wasn’t worth it. For the best views – sit on the starboard side (look it up). That’s the side with the views of the mountains and valleys. The port side, for the most part, has a close up view of the cutout. It has a view good views, but nothing like the starboard side, and taking pictures across the aisle gets too much cruft in them. The “facilities” – go before you go… I’ve travelled to third world countries and love it – so this is not a complaint – just a head’s up for the ladies. The rest room is a small – short commode that you use your foot to flush. There’s only 1 per car. The room itself is extremely small; you have to straddle the commode to get the door open or closed. The turnaround – There’s a small station in Frostburg where you get off and can sightsee for about an hour (there’s also real restrooms). There are a couple of museums and a souvenir shop closed on the Saturday we went). I’ve seen reviews where there’s sights to see at the top – we didn’t walk up so I can’t comment. The turntable where they turn the engine around is pretty neat. All in all – not worth $170 (or $182 if you but a souvenir photo in a cardboard frame). We’re going to try the Potomac Eagle next…
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