Western Maryland Railway Historical Society

A History of Pride and Performance

western maryland railroad In the 125 years of its operation as an independent railroad the Western Maryland built a reputation as a truly "Fast Freight Line." From the laborers on the docks at Port Covington to the top brass, Western Maryland people were noted for their skill in the transportation field and the pride that showed in every aspect of their work. Today, the WM is a fond memory, its remnants serving as important links in the CSX Transportation chain plus various shortline railroads. Its memory survives, however, in the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society, Inc.

The Society

The Western Maryland Railway Historical Society was founded in 1967 for the purpose of preserving a portion of America's rich railroad history. We do this by providing programs for community organizations, publishing educational materials drawn from our collection, supporting activities related to railroading, and by making historical records available to groups and individuals researching railroad history. With the cooperation of the Western Maryland Railway, the Society established a Museum in Union Bridge in the buildings that once served as the station, the company's main offices and express shed. The entire complex was built in 1902. The WMRHS is not affiliated with CSX, its predecessors or the Genessee & Wyoming Railroad (Maryland Midland Railway) in any way.

 :  : Dave Hughes photo

The Museum

The Western Maryland Railway Historical Society is one of the few organizations of its kind to own and operate its own museum. This affords members and the public alike the unique opportunity to enjoy and study our collection to its best advantage. It also serves as a focal point for Society activities and events.

The Museum complex houses our extensive collection of WM artifacts and memorabilia, a voluminous photo archive, archival material directly from the Western Maryland Railway, and an extensive railroader's library featuring historical and technical publications about the WM and other roads of the region. Major exhibits include the callers boards from Hagerstown, Md., and Ridgeley, W.Va., and the CTC panel for most of the Lurgan Subdivision.

Integral parts of the organization are model railroad layouts. A permanent N-scale layout, which represents the Union Bridge to the Twin Bridges (west of Thurmont) section of the East Subdivision of the Western Maryland Railway in the 1950s, is housed in the Museum. There is also a 4 x 16 foot HO scale layout on display in the depot building.

The organization also supports the modular group's HO-scale layout. This group has built and continues to build numerous interconnected modules depicting scenes along the former Western Maryland Railway. The modular group represents the Society at train shows and certain Society and community events. The layout can be as large as 30 x 70 feet.

The Museum is open to the public Sundays 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed for lunch 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.), and by appointment. Tour groups are also welcome, with at least 30 days advance notice. To arrange a time, call 410-775-0150 and leave a message, or write the Society at WMRHS, P.O.Box 395, Union Bridge, MD 21791-0395.

 :  : Dave Hughes photo


Donations of railroad oriented items are always welcomed and may be tax deductable. Items may also be loaned to the Society by arrangement with the board of directors. Write to the Society for more information.

Russ Wilcox photo

Western Maryland Railway Historical Society
410-775-0150 email
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