Polly fits right in with any crowd!





Cinders the Bear–all decked-out in his railroad duds–is the official mascot of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR). He’s just one of the hardworking folks who keeps the train running on time between Cumberland and Frostburg, Md.


All Aboard!








This is diesel engine 502, which does many of the scenic trips up and down the mountain. General Motors built the 502 in 1963. Steam engine 734, however, does the majority of the excursions. 734 is a Baldwin engine dating to 1916. At first, I was disappointed not to be riding the steam engine, but I soon found out that it’s wonderful to be taking a trip on any train.






My very own ticket!


You may want to check out www.wmsr.com for complete ticket information. This particular ride was a standard excursion train, which cost my human friends $29 apiece. That’s not a lot of money for 3.5 hours of adventure in the Maryland mountains.


Beautiful Scenery!





Helmstetter’s Curve is a 1/2 mile horseshoe bend in the tracks. Our tour guide, Ted, told us that the curve is one of the nation’s best photo ops for train enthusiasts. Ted really knows his stuff, and he helped to make the trip even better!


Frostburg Depot









The Frostburg Depot is the end of the line for the trip up the mountain. Passengers can spend the next ninety minutes either hanging out at the depot or exploring nearby Frostburg. You know me–I went exploring!








Polly, be good! No hopping on the seats!


“Okay, that’s enough waiting around! Let’s ride the train some more,” Polly howled as she pressed her face up against the window.


Chugging along!




Comfy seats are nice, but the semi-open car at the rear of the train allows for some really good pictures. This one covers the entire train as it rounds a sharp turn while heading back down the mountain.


Lookin' Good!












The scenery gets an A+! If the green leaves of summer are this beautiful, I can’t wait to go back in the fall. Naturally, I love everything that’s green, but I hear the many hues of autumn are breathtaking.








Lover's Leap!


Legend has it that an English hunter and an indian princess fell madly in love. Her father, the chief, didn’t approve of the union and died at the hands of the hunter.

The princess couldn’t live with the man who killed her father, but she couldn’t live without him either. Distraught, she ended her life by leaping from the high cliffs. He followed suite and threw himself off the stony ledge after her.


Heading back into Cumberland





Cumberland is the meeting place of the WMSR, C&O Canal, and Great Allegheny Passage. The downtown area is steeped in transportation history and is well worth exploring.


Train station in Cumberland, Maryland











In this picture, all is quiet at the Cumberland Station, but just a few hours earlier dozens of excited passengers were waiting to board the train. However, this story does have a happy ending–another crowd will be doing it all over again tomorrow!







8 people like this post.


7 Responses to “Polly #5 Rides a Train!”

  1. Looks like a great time was had by all!

  2. It looks like you and Polly had a great day! You didn’t mention if the train was crowded, and it’s hard to tell from your pictures. Also, do they serve meals on the train?

  3. Dear Anonymous,

    The standard excursion train offers snacks such as popcorn, sodas, and hotdogs. These pictures are from a Thursday on the diesel train. I would say it was 1/3 of the way full. People seem to prefer to ride the steam engine on the weekend. I’ve been on Saturday trips, and they’re pretty well packed.

    Beside standard excursion trips, there are dinner trains ($55), and the food is actually really good. Other train trips include murder mysteries and the Santa Express. We went kind of bare bones at $29, and the other trips are pricier, but riding the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is always a lot of fun.

  4. Maybe you can take a ride on the Potomac Eagle sometime. It’s in Romney, WV and goes through the trough section of the South Branch of the Potomac River. It’s called the Potomac Eagle because the passengers spot eagles on nearly every trip.

  5. I love the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad! Someday I want to take the train to Frostburg and ride my bike back down to Cumberland. For a few extra dollars, they’ll load bikes in one of the cars. It’s a nice downhill run on the way back.

  6. Polly #5,
    this is very nice post, but the train seems to be on the slow side. Would you like to ride a fast train like I did in Germany?

  7. Have you given any thought to taking an excursion in the fall? The changing of the leaves would be spectacular! That would make a good post.