Experience the Allegheny Mountains in autumn aboard historic train lines with Smithsonian Journeys.

Starting at: $5,295 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Cass Scenic Railroad train depot.  Credit: Alan Kolnik  The Cass Scenic Railroad  B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore  B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore  B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore  Frank Ackerman, a Smithsonian Expert, at Martinsburg Roundhouse  Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Yard Tour  Oakland, MD historic train station  Western Maryland Scenic Railroad Locomotive 734  Union Station, Washington, D.C.   Beaux Arts architecture of Union Station, Washington, D.C.

Railroading the Alleghenies

8 days from $5,295

Experience the Allegheny Mountains in autumn aboard historic train lines with Smithsonian Journeys.

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

The Allegheny Mountains, which extend 400 miles across four states, once impeded trade and settlement until railroads changed the landscape. Join us in the autumn to experience some of the important railways, built for lumbering, coal, and passengers, which altered the region’s history. 

Highlights Include

  • Baltimore & Ohio Railroad: The B&O began the nation’s first scheduled passenger trains in 1830. Trace its history at Baltimore’s B&O Railroad Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, and tour some of the city’s historic railroad stations.
  • Cass Scenic Railroad: The Cass Railroad required special trains and switchbacks for logging this mountainous region. See a large concentration of Shay gear-driven steam locomotives and ride one of the historic trains to the top of Bald Knob, third highest peak in West Virginia. From here, enjoy panoramic views of the fall foliage. In the Greenbrier River Valley, ride a train powered by a rare Climax locomotive built in 1910. 
  • Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park: Ride on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad starting from Cumberland. You’ll also see the recently restored Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6+6-2 no. 1309—the largest steam locomotive operating in the eastern U.S.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrive in Baltimore, Maryland

After arrivals into Baltimore, gather with fellow travelers for introductions, orientation, and a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 2 – Baltimore

On May 22, 1830, a horse-drawn Baltimore & Ohio train traveling 13 miles to Ellicott City began the first regular railroad passenger service in America. The Baltimore & Ohio collected locomotives and other artifacts of its history and in 1953 opened the B&O Museum, where our tour begins.

In the afternoon we visit a few of the city’s many active and former railroad stations; some of which are renowned architectural landmarks. (B,L,D)

Day 3 – Amtrak’s Cardinal for Clifton Forge, Virginia

At Baltimore Penn Station we board Amtrak’s Cardinal for Clifton Forge, Virginia, by way of Washington and Charlottesville. The train crosses the Potomac River, passes through Virginia's rolling horse country, and crosses the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley before climbing the Alleghenies.

It’s a short drive to our home for the next two nights, the cozy Inn at Gristmill Square in Warm Springs, Virginia. (B,L,D)

Day 4 – Cass Scenic Railroad State Park / Bald Knob

We spend today at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, home to the largest concentration of Shay gear-driven steam locomotives anywhere. From the town of Cass, elevation 2,438 feet, our train (journey: 4 hours, 30 minutes) will ascend Back Allegheny Mountain to its summit at 4,843-foot Bald Knob, third highest peak in West Virginia. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – The Durbin Rocket and the forests of West Virginia

This morning we travel beside the Greenbrier River on the “Rocket” powered by a rare Climax locomotive built in 1910 (train journey: 2 hours).

Afterward, we traverse rural highways through the scenic mountain country that makes up the north half of West Virginia, stopping along the way to see two remnant stands of trees that escaped logging– one Spruce; the other, Hemlock. They suggest what the original forests of West Virginia were like. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

This morning’s trip on the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad (train journey: 2 hours, 30 minutes) begins at an imposing office building and station in Cumberland, Maryland, built in 1913. The building, now the centerpiece of Canal Place State Park, also houses a visitor center for Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park. WMSRR’s roster includes C&O 2-6+6-2 no. 1309, the largest steam locomotive operating in the eastern United States.

This afternoon we visit vestiges of the Western Maryland Railway in the eastern Alleghenies as we drive to Shepherdstown, West Virginia. (B,L,D)

Day 7 – Washington, D.C.

En route to Washington, D.C., we board Amtrak’s Capitol Limited. Union Station in Washington is Amtrak’s second busiest station and the southern terminus for electrified operations, including Acela trains. We will have the opportunity to see the equipment used only on the Northeast Corridor, and possibly one or more of the private railroad cars for which Washington Union Station is home base. (B,L,D)

Day 8 – Depart Washington, D.C.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)