Western Maryland Scenic 2021 Excursion Plans
In March of 2020, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad shuttered operations as the world was shaken by the far-reaching global impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. We are now thrilled to announce that, at long last, we are re-opening our doors to the public once more! As we progress through the 2021 season we will be reopening the railroad in stages to allow us to hire more staff and ease back into the routine of running one of the region’s premier tourist attractions.
Stage 1 will be a “Soft Re-Opening” on May 29th with Diesel-hauled excursions. Passengers will experience a 3-hour round trip aboard the train with a 90-minute layover in Frostburg, for a total time of 4 ½ hours. The classes of service available will be Standard Coach, Deluxe Open-Air, Deluxe Coach, and the Overland Trail Club Car. Deluxe Coach and Deluxe Open-Air Passengers will receive a complimentary snack and bottle of water. Club Car Passengers will receive light Hors d’oeuvres, complimentary non-alcoholic beverages, and one complimentary beer or glass of wine. Specialty mixed drinks will be available for purchase. A Commissary Car will be available for passengers to purchase Souvenirs and Grab-N-Go snack items. Click here to book your trip.
Stage 2 will be a Grand Re-Opening with Steam Locomotive no. 1309 and some of our new premium classes of service. We anticipate a mid-summer debut for no. 1309, however, we will not be advertising dates for specific runs of the locomotive until it has been inspected and certified by the Federal Railroad Administration and we are satisfied that it is 100% ready for service. Once ready we will substitute no. 1309 on our excursion in place of the Diesels. If you have already purchased tickets for one of the previously advertised inaugural runs our Reservations Manager will be in contact with you shortly. For this season only the ticket price will be the same for Diesel and Steam excursions.
Stage 3 is anticipated to occur in the Autumn when we expect to resume operation of our popular Dinner and Special Event trains. We also hope to offer some special events with no. 1309. We are monitoring the ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic and may bring this phase forward if we are able to do so. While it has not yet been finalized, we are anticipating offering The Polar Express again this Christmas season.
The full schedule, more details about each class of service, and other pertinent information will be posted on our website next Friday at 5 pm. Tickets will also go on sale at this time. On operating days passengers will be requested to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the departure of the train with their entire party. Passengers will be assigned to a specific train car and class of service but individual seating will be first-come-first-serve, not pre-assigned. As it is not possible to turn the train at Frostburg before the return journey, passengers will be required to swap seats to allow everyone an equal chance to experience the ride from both sides of the train.
This season we will be operating under the current COVID-19 guidelines from the State of Maryland and will be doing all that we can to protect our passengers. All passengers will be required to wear masks for the duration of the journey except for infants and very small children. Passengers may remove their masks briefly for eating and drinking. Passengers who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 will still be required to wear a mask until we are advised otherwise by State and Local health officials. On arrival at Frostburg, all passengers except those with limited mobility will be required to de-train to allow our staff to sanitize seats and other surfaces. While we will have hand sanitizer available onboard we encourage passengers to bring their own supplies if they feel the need to do so.
We are absolutely thrilled to welcome passengers again to experience a ride on our railroad. We are also extremely excited about the long-awaited debut of Steam Locomotive no. 1309 and the new experiences we have on offer for the very first time on our railroad. The 2021 season promises to be an exciting one for us, the cities of Cumberland and Frostburg, and Allegany County as a whole. We hope you will come and join us this year. Stay tuned for more exciting developments to come.
The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad