CUMBERLAND MD – In the heyday of train travel before the interstate highway system was constructed, America’s passenger railroads hung their hats on the reputation of their dining and hospitality services.
As the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad opens their 27th season as Maryland’s premiere operating railroad attraction, they are following in the tracks of the famous B&O dining car experience by upgrading lounge car and dining options out of their Cumberland hub.
“Service counted in those days,” WMSR Superintendent John Garner shared. “As we planned this season, our team took a look at trains like the B&O¹s famous Capitol Limited back in the 50s.” What they realized, Garner said, was that their operation had the rolling stock to offer similar experiences in comfortable lounge cars and dining cars with rolling kitchens to prepare meals on the move.
As a result, WMSR’s 2016 mainstays, daytime “Mountain Limited” experiences and nighttime “Evening Paradise” runs, will feature new dining and lounge car options, including white tie service dinner on the evening trains.
The 2016 schedule is also filled with more holiday events and children’s trains than in previous seasons. Dinner trains to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day and Easter, as well as shorter one hour round-trip Easter Bunny Hops to City Junction are on the schedule in March.
April will feature the last days of operation for the Baldwin Locomotive Works “734” steam locomotive before it is parked for a lengthy Federal Rail Administration mandated rebuild. “Farewell to 734” runs are scheduled on the weekends of April 2nd and 9th.
December North Pole Experience trains, due to their popularity, have been increased in number and are also now open for on-line reservations and selling fast.
2016 full-length round-trips will begin at the Cumberland terminal at Canal Place Western Maryland Station Center and head due west to Mountain View, a siding two miles east of Frostburg overlooking Federal Hill at the base of Savage Mountain, before returning to the Cumberland terminal. When track work precipitated by erosion between Mountain View and Frostburg is complete, WMSR trains will return to the Frostburg Depot as their western terminus.