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

Starting at: $5,295 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad.  Credit: Alan Kolnik

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

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

Highlights Include

  • Allegheny Mountain Railroading: The Allegheny Mountains extend 400 miles across four states. They impeded trade and settlement until railroads were built during the decades before and after the Civil War. Coal mining and lumbering fostered branch lines and logging railroads in the Alleghenies later on. The Baltimore & Ohio, Chesapeake & Ohio and Western Maryland railroads connected Allegheny mines and sawmills with the rest of America. We will ride portions of all three.  
  • The roots of American railroading: The Baltimore & Ohio began the nation’s first scheduled passenger trains in 1830. The company preserved artifacts of its history and opened its own museum in 1953.Visit the Museum, Baltimore’s historic railroad stations and the oldest railroad bridge in America.
  • Cass Scenic RailroadVisit Cass Scenic Railroad State Park to see the largest concentration of Shay gear-driven steam locomotives anywhere. Ride behind a Shay to the top of Bald Knob, third highest peak in West Virginia. In the Greenbrier River valley, ride a train powered by a rare Climax locomotive built in 1910. 
  • The East’s largest operating steam Locomotive: The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad has recently restored Chesapeake & Ohio 2-6+6-2 no. 1309, the largest steam locomotive operating in the eastern United States, and has scheduled it to pull trains between Cumberland, Maryland, and Frostburg, in the Alleghenies. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

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 famed Homestead Resort in Hot 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 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)