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In the last post we took a look at the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad’s (WMSR) Consolidation 2-8-0 steam locomotive taking on water at the Cumberland Railroad Depot. Here we see the magnificent station building less than an hour before the arrival of the train. As you can see I had the station to myself which was definitely not the case once the train had arrived to take on water before its journey along the 16-mile line to Frostburg.
In the later half of the 19th century, Cumberland had become one of the East Coast’s major transportation gateways. Three major transportation systems began or ended there – America’s first highway, the National Road; one of America’s most profitable railroads, the Baltimore & Ohio; and the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal.
The Western Maryland Railroad was chartered by the state of Maryland in 1853 to compete with the growing monopoly of the B&O. The WM ran north and west from Baltimore along the Pennsylvania border. Throughout is early years, the WM lacked capital and by the end of the century still had not connected with Cumberland. In 1902, the WM was taken over by the Gould railroad family as part of their plan to build a transcontinental railroad system. It was with their injection of funds that the line eventually reached Cumberland in 1906.
The WM continued to be financed with out-of-state capital and it was with this money that the imposing structure of the Cumberland Depot was built in 1913. It was designed as a symbol of the railroad’s power and importance even though it was the last of the major transportation systems to arrive.
Today, the depot acts not only as the starting point of the WMSR but also houses an exhibit about its early rival, the C&O Canal.
As with the images of Number 734 in the last post, this image has been finished using the new On-One Software Perfect Effects 9 Software. I thought the last version of the Perfect Effects plug-in was great but this one is so easy to use that I can create images such as this one in less than 5 minutes!
Click here for some great shots of the Western Maryland in the Cumberland area from the glory years of operations in the 1950s to its final years of pre-consolidation in the 1970s