What could be more fun than stepping aboard a shiny steam engine, hearing the rhythmic sound of wheels along the track, and watching the world slip by from your window? The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (WMSR) offers year-round opportunities for visitors to experience a historic method of transportation and see the beauty of Allegany County from a new perspective. Whether you’re a railfan, history buff, or someone who craves unique adventures, WMSR excursions are sure to rank at the top of your list of favorite Mountain Maryland memories.




The original Western Maryland Railway, primarily used to haul coal and freight, operated from 1852 to 1983. The Cumberland station on the Western Maryland Railway was a passenger station that opened in 1913 and now serves the heritage train ride experiences. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad is in possession of four engines, including Locomotive No. 1309, the largest regularly operating steam locomotive of its kind in the world.



A blonde haired boy in a blue shirt and shorts stares out the window of a train.

There are countless ways to enjoy the WMSR, including a variety of rides and classes of services, and the majority all start at the grand red-brick station in Cumberland. Book the Frostburg Flyer for a 4.5-hour, there-and-back excursion to Frostburg. Spend a 90- minute break shopping and dining, or linger at the historic Frostburg Depot, built in 1891, for an exciting sight: the diesel trains detach from passenger cars and reverse directions on the turntable. For a special outing with a loved one, check out the three-hour evening rides offered throughout the year for adults over 21: Allegheny Mountain Dinner Trains, which include a multi-course meal and access to a full bar, and Moonlight on the Mountain, a ride featuring acoustic music, access to the rail bar, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. Guests are encouraged to walk to the open-air car to enjoy the night sky. Seasonal excursions include Spring Fling Express—a family-friendly ride with a fun craft, Ice Cream Trains — a short and sweet ride, and Pumpkin Patch Trains—an hour-long ride to a fall-themed stop that includes apple cider and a free pumpkin. (Halloween costumes are encouraged!) Everyone needs to experience The Polar Express Train Ride™ at least once—though you’ll likely want it to become a holiday tradition. Cozy up in your holiday pajamas, sip on hot chocolate, nibble on cookies, and be dazzled by singing, dancing, and a reading of The Polar Express™.

Interesting Features to Watch For

1309 at Helmstetter's Curve - LaVale MD

If your ideal way to enjoy nature is from a seated position, you’re in luck. Passengers will see some of the greatest sights in Mountain Maryland from the comfort of their train car!

  • Come with a charged phone or camera battery—you’ll want to start snapping photos as soon as you arrive at the Cumberland station.
  • A breathtaking ride through the famous Narrows between Wills Mountain and Haystack Mountain kicks off the route, which takes passengers past Helmstetter’s Curve (a spectacular view of Cash Valley and one of the most photographed railroad features on the East Coast) and through Brush Tunnel, which was built in 1911 and is 914 feet long.
  • Take in the views of Mount Savage, a 19th-century mining town where the first rolled iron rails in the United States were manufactured in 1844.
  • Catch the site of Bone Cave, where fossils of 41 genera of mammals were found, including those of a saber-toothed cat that is now on permanent exhibit in the Ice Age Mammal exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History. The sights and sounds of this massive train, with its loud, low whistle, gleaming golden bell, and billowing clouds of steam, will leave you breathless. It’s special enough to witness the 1309 chugging along the track—imagine the thrill of being on board!