Cumberland, Maryland: Ride the Rails

Date: May 16, 2024
Registration: Full (We encourage you to join the waitlist.)
Registration deadline: May 1, 2024

Important Note

When train tickets become available to the public in late November, they will need to be purchased as a group. If you are interested in this trip, and to potentially secure a train car exclusively for OLLI travelers, we ask that you register promptly.

Join us for a train ride adventure on the Western Maryland Railway* as we experience the beautiful countryside of the small, charming town of Cumberland and Frostburg, one of the first cities on the “National Railroad.” Cumberland, long known as “The Gateway to the West,” is famed for its historic charm, mountain-flavored art and music scene, and remarkable outdoor opportunities. Frostburg, home of Frostburg State University, combines the eclectic hipness of a college town with the rugged roots of Mountain Maryland.

As we leave Cumberland, the route travels west through a breach in the Allegheny Mountains, over an iron truss bridge, around Helmstetter’s Horseshoe Curve, and through the 914-foot Brush Tunnel under Piney Mountain. Climbing grades up to 2.8%, the route follows the former Western Maryland Railroad right-of-way, then joins the old Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad.

*The Western Maryland Railway was a Class I railroad (1852–1983) that operated in Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, where it eventually extended to Waynesboro, Shippensburg, and Gettysburg. It was primarily a coal-hauling and freight railroad, with a small passenger train operation. Today, the railroad has revived the mountain spirit of the area, with passengers experiencing the scenic Allegheny Mountains from inside a comfortable streamline-era passenger car.

We’ll end our evening with dinner at the U.S. Hotel Tavern, Hollidaysburg, PA. The U.S. Hotel Tavern was built in 1835 and has a long and exciting history, which you’ll hear more about on our trip. The Tavern features a hand-carved mahogany back bar, beveled silver mirrors, hand-leaded stained glass windows, and a brass foot rail. During WWII, the Navy used the U.S. Hotel as a radio school, and that very same tiled bar area was used as a shower room and rebuilt as the original bar after the war.


8:30 a.m. — Leave Fullington Bus near the University Park Airport

10:00 a.m. — Arrive in Cumberland, MD

11:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. — Train ride from Cumberland to Frostburg, MD

  • On-the-train historical discussion by the train conductor
  • After arriving in Frostburg, passengers will have 90 minutes to enjoy time on their own.
  • A list of restaurants and a map will be provided to attendees before the trip and on the bus.

4:30–5:15 p.m. — Discussion led by a National Park Ranger about the canal system near the Cumberland train station

5:15 p.m. — Depart Cumberland, MD

6:30–7:45 p.m. — Dinner at the U.S. Hotel Tavern, Hollidaysburg, PA

  • Dinner will be in Liberty Hall, a private dining area. Buffet includes chicken marsala, penne marinara w/ meatballs, baked haddock, dill baby carrots, oven roasted vegetables, herb roasted potatoes, rice pilaf, chocolate and white cake, and nonalcoholic beverages.
  • Alcoholic beverages can be purchased by attendees at their own expense.
  • Accommodations will be available for those that have food allergies and/or special meal requests.

8:00 p.m. — Leave Hollidaysburg, PA

9:00 p.m. — Expected arrival in State College

Cost per person

  • $225 for members
  • $250 for nonmembers

Included in cost: Bus transportation, train ride, dinner at the U.S. Hotel Tavern

Not included in cost: Lunch in Frostburg, MD

*Portions of this trip are nonrefundable.

Join the Waitlist