Maryland is the home of the first railroad in the United States—the Baltimore and Ohio (B&O)—making the state a great place for train lovers to indulge their passion. Hop aboard at one (or all) of these five stops.
Distance: 2 day, 5 stops, 156 miles
1500 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Md
Constructed in 1911 in the Beaux-Arts style, Penn Station is currently the eighth busiest station in the country, serving more than three million Amtrak and MARC passengers each year. Train lovers will love the ambiance of the station, which retains much of its architectural detail from the “golden age of the railroad,” as well as the chance to see the arrivals and departures of today’s modern engines. Mount Vernon, the cultural heart of Baltimore, is within walking distance, so your visit could include nearby museums, public art displays, and performance theaters.
B&O Railroad Museum
901 West Pratt St., Baltimore, Md
Considered the birthplace of American railroading, the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore stands on the site where the first mile of commercial railroad was constructed. The museum houses one of the most significant collections of nineteenth century engines in the nation, all under the roof of the 1884 E. Francis Baldwin Roundhouse. Your visit can include multiple exhibitions, an HO model layout of early Baltimore railroads, and a ride on the rails.
Baltimore & Ohio Ellicott City Station Museum
3711 Maryland Avenue, Ellicott City, Md
In 1830, the first horse-drawn Baltimore & Ohio (B&O) train traveled 13 miles on newly-laid tracks from Baltimore’s West Pratt Street site to this Ellicott City Station, which remains standing today as the oldest train station in America. Visitors to the site can see an HO model of those 13 miles of track, as well as historically furnished Freight Agent and Ticket Agent offices, a car house, and a recently restored caboose. Located in historic Ellicott City, the train station is within walking distance of a variety of quaint restaurants and shops.
Walkersville Southern Railroad
34 W. Pennsylvania Avenue, Walkersville, Md
Take a ride on a vintage 1920s passenger car or an open flatcar past a century-old lime kiln and scenic Maryland farmland on the Walkersville Southern Railroad. Traveling the Pennsylvania Line’s tracks, which were laid in 1872, you can choose from a variety of themed rides: Santa Trains, Jesse James Days, Civil War reenactments, and Murder Mystery evenings are all popular and sell out fast. Don’t miss the Walkersville Southern Railroad Museum and the historic 1880 train station.
Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
13 Canal Street, Cumberland, Md
On the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, steam and diesel trains depart year-round, traveling round-trip between Cumberland and Frostburg. Featuring scenery much different from what you saw on your previous excursions, your journey will carry you over an iron-truss bridge, through a 914 foot tunnel, and around the picturesque hills and valleys of western Maryland. You can select from themed trips like Moonlight on the Mountain, Mountain Dinner Trains, Murder Mystery Trains, and the ever-popular Polar Express journey to the North Pole.
Lead Photo Credit: Western Maryland Scenic Railroad
About the Author
Heidi Glatfelter Schlag is a marketer, history lover, and traveler who can often be found exploring museums, parks, small towns, and farms. She founded Culture-Link Communications, where she helps local nonprofits and small businesses build their brands. Heidi lives in Frederick, MD, with her husband and two dogs.