Western Maryland Railway Station (Cumberland, Maryland)
Western Maryland Railway Station
Western Maryland Railway station in 2003
|Location||Canal St., Cumberland, Maryland|
|Area||1 acre (0.40 ha)|
|NRHP Reference #||73000885|
|Added to NRHP||June 19, 1973|
Western Maryland Railway Station is a historic railway station in Cumberland, Allegany County, Maryland. It was built in 1913 as a stop for the Western Maryland Railway (WM). The building was operated as a passenger station until the WM ended service in 1959, and it continued to be used by the railway until 1976. It was subsequently restored and currently serves as a museum and offices, as well as the operating base for a heritage railway.
The station was designed by Baltimore architect C. M. Anderson, and sited on a filled-in basin at the terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. The building is a large commercial-style building that expresses the architectural functionalism of the turn of the 20th century. The brick structure is nine bays long and three bays wide, with two monumental stories on the west facade and three stories on the east. A one-story platform shelter runs along the west facade and extends out toward the tracks.
The WM began daily through-train passenger service between Baltimore and Chicago, by way of Cumberland, on June 15, 1913. For several years the premier trains on the route, the Chicago Limited and Baltimore Limited, featured Pullman sleeping car service. Other WM trains ran between Cumberland and Elkins, West Virginia. The number and variety of passenger trains decreased through the years of the Great Depression and aftwerward. The WM ended its passenger train service between Cumberland and Baltimore in 1953, and the Cumberland-Elkins trains ended in 1959.:239–266
The WM used the upper floors of the station for its Western Division offices, and a control tower, even after the railroad's absorption into the Chessie System, until the dispatchers were reassigned in 1976.:13–14, 290 The building slowly fell into disrepair, and Chessie leased it, and later sold it to the Kelly Tire Company to store tires. The City of Cumberland subsequently bought the building for one dollar.:318
With the advent of the initiative in Cumberland to create a scenic railroad using the former WM trackage north out of the city, the station was partially restored in 1990. Full restoration did not begin, however, until the creation of the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority in 1996. This restoration created a museum area for the National Park Service on the first floor; a waiting area, gift shop, and cafe on the second floor; and office spaces on the third and fourth floors. Exterior work included the construction of an elevator tower; third, display track; a second platform; handicapped passenger accessibility ramp; and the restoration of the platform shelters, WM employee memorial, and the pedestrian railroad underpass.
Today the building is part of a preservation district called Canal Place, a facility operated by the Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority. The station houses offices of the Authority, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, a visitors center for the C&O Canal National Historic Park, and leased offices to local officials and businesses.
- Queen City Hotel (B&O Railroad station, Cumberland)
- National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- Amtrak, Washington, D.C. "Great American Stations: Cumberland, MD." Accessed 2012-05-16.
- Nancy Miller (n.d.). "National Register of Historic Places Registration: Western Maryland Railway Station" (PDF). Maryland Historical Trust. Retrieved 2016-01-01.
- Cook, Roger; Zimmermann, Karl (1992). The Western Maryland Railway: Fireballs and Black Diamonds (2nd ed.). Laurys Station, Pennsylvania: Garrigues House. ISBN 0-9620844-4-1.
- Canal Place Preservation and Development Authority, Cumberland, MD. "Canal History/Future Plans." Accessed 2012-05-16.
- Media related to Western Maryland Railway Station (Cumberland, Maryland) at Wikimedia Commons
- Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. MD-1318, "Western Maryland Railway Station, 13 Canal Street, Cumberland, Allegany County, MD", 6 photos, 1 color transparency, 1 photo caption page
- Western Maryland Railway Station, Allegany County, including photo from 1974, at Maryland Historical Trust