Big news coming from Mountain Maryland in 2016

David Williams

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s restoration of C&O Steam Locomotive 1309 will add another historic engine to power the excursions from Cumberland to Frostburg.

As Maryland’s fastest growing getaway destinations, Cumberland and Allegany County are becoming the centerpiece of Mountain Maryland’s new appeal for outdoor relaxation seekers as well as those who enjoy the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s excursions.

The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s restoration of C&O Steam Locomotive 1309 will add another historic engine to power the excursions from Cumberland to Frostburg.
The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s restoration of C&O Steam Locomotive 1309 will add another historic engine to power the excursions from Cumberland to Frostburg.

Barb Buehl, who promotes the area, is looking forward to 2016 as a year of new attractions and new events, especially in the area of heritage activities and entertainment.

The Mountain Maryland calendar this year includes bluegrass legend Del McCoury’s namesake DelFest event on Memorial Day weekend, and the season opening of popular farmers’ markets the next weekend, in early June.

“Farm-to-table dining, outdoor recreation, and Americana music

are ideal companion interests,” Buehl says. “We are an authentic place and that seems to be a growing interest for visitors from the metro area.”

There is no lack of new destinations on the heritage side, either, as a new Whiskey Rebellion Festival is planned on Cumberland’s traditional Heritage Days Weekend in mid-June.

Railroad preservation

The biggest news of all may be the debut of the impressive new steam locomotive acquired and now being restored by the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.

The former C&O 1309 Baldwin articulated steam locomotive was transferred to the WMSR by the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore and is expected to enter service in late summer, to the delight of rail fans nationwide.

One of the last steam locomotives made in America, 1309 will be the largest engine of its type in service once the million-dollar restoration is complete.

The railroad’s excursions climb 1,300 feet from Cumberland to Frostburg and provide a leisurely trip through vistas that are spectacular in each season.

Find all of Mountain Maryland’s Allegany County and Cumberland travel resources, events, and attractions at mdmountainside.com.

 

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