Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

Posted By BrokenClaw on December 15, 1998

Two weeks before Christmas we drove to Cumberland, Maryland, to visit the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. We left on Saturday morning. We made arrangements for a lodge room in West Virginia, less than an hour’s drive from Cumberland. The hills and mountains were covered with just a dusting of snow, which was more than we’d seen back home.

We arrived in Cumberland in plenty of time for the train, but we had a little trouble finding the station. So we pulled into the parking lot behind the Holiday Inn and called for directions. As it turned out, we were only two blocks from the train station. The station was all decorated for Christmas. After checking in for our boarding passes, we found a seat in the lobby and listened to a children’s choir performing a concert for our pre-departure entertainment. Then we boarded the train and were seated at our reserved table, which happened to be the very last seat at the back of the train.

The Mystery Train

Dinner on the TrainThe program included the 32-mile round trip to Frostburg, dinner, and a comedy murder mystery. Dinner was served on the trip out to Frostburg. At various intervals, the actors would appear in the aisle and play out their scenes. The play was loosely based on the characters from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Travelers were provided with a playbill which included a questionnaire, ostensibly to help solve the murder when it happened. When we arrived in Frostburg, we had time to browse through the little shops by the train station. With the temperature in the twenties, no one spent much time outside. Back in the Frostburg station, the final scene of the play was performed, which included the murder of Ebenezer Scrooge. We then reboarded the train for dessert on the trip back to Cumberland. Everyone crowded into the station at Cumberland to hear the resolution of the murder. Neither of us had the correct answer, and we never did figure out what the questions on the playbill had to do with solving the mystery, but it didn’t matter. We loved riding on the train, the atmosphere was festive, dinner was excellent, the play was funny, and we had a wonderful time all around.

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