The Western Maryland Railway Station is part of “Canal Place” in Cumberland, Maryland, USA. The historic location has been wonderfully restored to preserve the rich heritage of times past. This station is located at the very point where the C&O Canal ends. The canal was used to transport mail, coal and goods all the way between Washington, DC and Cumberland, and trains provided distribution to points farther west.

This site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, Reference # 73000885.

The Cumberland and Pennsylvania (C&P) and B&O and railroads were very important additions to the transportation system in the mid 1800s. The railroads eventually replaced the need for the C&O Canal completely. The railroads continued on to Ohio and beyond, but the canal was never extended beyond Cumberland. The Western Maryland Scenic Railroad still operates tourist train excursions between Cumberland and Frostburg, MD.

The dark history of the competing railroad lines and the C&O Canal is truly quite fascinating. The historic details and stories are kept vividly alive at Canal Place National Park, in Cumberland, Maryland, for all who are interested. This railway station is an integral part of the large National Park complex.

The official website for the Western Maryland Railway Station at Canal Place contains the following:

Originally opened in July 1913, this grand terminal rivaled stations in larger cities. The Station remained in use as a passenger terminal until 1958, serving the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Western Maryland Railway. Under the care of the Western Maryland Station Center, Inc., and subsequently the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority, the building underwent a series of renovations, completed in 2000. The Station now houses the Authority’s offices as well as several other offices, visitor services, and attractions.

The official website for Canal Place contains the following:

In 1993 the State of Maryland created the Canal Place Preservation & Development Authority to oversee the preservation, development, and management of the Canal Place Preservation District, a designated area within the City of Cumberland surrounding the western end of the C&O Canal.

This photo was taken on July 11th, 2009, with a Canon EOS 10D using a Canon EF 28-70mm f/2.8L zoom lens, set to the 31mm focal length. The shutter speed was 1/180th sec. at f/8. The camera’s ISO was set to 200. A Manfrotto tripod was used with a remote shutter release cable.

Your comments are always welcome! Constructive criticism is appreciated.

© 2009 Gene Walls

All copyright and reproduction rights are retained by the artist. Artwork may not be reproduced or altered by any process without the express written permission of the artist.


railway, tracks, station, trains, locomotive, railroad, cumberland, western maryland, railroad car, rails, maryland

Hello, My name is Gene. I live in the Susquehanna river valley (West Branch), in the mountains of north central Pennsylvania. I strive to produce photographic images that are simply “true” to the subject, usually with minimal post processing. If something is beautiful or interesting enough to deserve a viewer’s attention, it justifies being captured just as it is …or as close to reality as possible.

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  • DebraLee Wiseberg
    DebraLee Wisebergabout 5 years ago

    Good capture Gene…it feels like you can step right into the scene! Good work.


  • Thanks, Debra!

    It was a very interesting trip back into our nations past (and my own). I was raised in this city, but hadn’t been back for many, many years. HS reunions can be very “informative”. LOL

    Best wishes,


    – Gene Walls

  • kalaryder
    kalaryderabout 5 years ago

    Lovely scene, agree with DebraLee above

  • Thank you so much!


    – Gene Walls

  • Joy Watson
    Joy Watsonabout 5 years ago

    Excellent work.

  • Thanks, Joy!


    – Gene Walls

  • Rainy
    Rainyabout 5 years ago

    Beautiful colors and capture Gene!!

  • Thank you very, very much, Rainy!


    – Gene Walls

  • Jan  Tribe
    Jan Tribeabout 5 years ago

    beautiful capture!!! love your title! gives character to your amazing image!!

  • I really appreciate your very kind comment! Thank you!


    – Gene Walls

  • JanT
    JanTabout 5 years ago

    Good curves in this, and great to see such restoration. Brave man – a HS reunion!
    If I had a nit, since you asked, I might only suggest that either one of the rails or brick platform start out of the lower right corner. And I’m not even certain of the need for that. The child on the platform is a good catch. Lots to view, but you pull it all together with the rails and two long horizontal overhangs – what are those called?

  • Thank for your kind words and input, Jan!

    I am trying to see the point of view that you described, but I think I’m missing it. Were you talking about a crop of this shot, or an alternative shooting location? I have about 20 frames of this scene, but I was severely limited by the lens I had decided to take to this spot.

    I was using a fast 28-70mm zoom and it turned out not to be quite as wide as I would have preferred for this frame. I wanted to capture everything from the train to the entire station. A wider lens would have made that much easier to do.

    If you are talking about cropping this shot, please describe where it would be most effective. I would love to see what your suggestion looks like. I could also make some original images available, if you would like to show me what you envisioned.

    Oh, the long covered areas are called “platforms”. This is a “two platform” station.


    – Gene Walls

  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKabout 5 years ago

    Hi Gene, this is a wonderful capture, I like old railway stations, somehow they have more character than modern ones. Thanks for the history behind this too, always makes a picture more interesting. Do people still use the canal as well? Thanks for sharing. Don.

  • Thank you, Don!

    Yes, I totally agree, the old stations have so much more “character”. The C&O Canal hasn’t been used for barge traffic since the early 1900s. However, it has been converted into a wonderful national park, all 184 miles, from Cumberland, Maryland, all the way to Georgetown in Washing, DC! You can actually hike or bike the entire length of the canal on the old “toe path”. It’s a wonderful park with lots of historical buildings, a very long tunnel and many of the original locks along the way.

    Best wishes,


    – Gene Walls

  • DryFlyPhoto
    DryFlyPhotoabout 5 years ago

    Gene, you took me back years with the photo. My great-grandfather, his father and his brothers built part of steepest railway incline in the U.S. the Big Cut going out of Madison Indiana toward Ohio. So this photo brings a special interest to me, a student of history and of family history.

  • I am so pleased that this photo reminded you of some important memories of your family, and their history. My father worked for B&O railroad as a machinist in Cumberland, MD, while I was a young student there. This beautiful train station didn’t look anything like my picture back in those days. The historic society did a fantastic job of transforming this run-down site into a fully restored treasure!

    My best,


    – Gene Walls

  • Edge-of-dreams
    Edge-of-dreamsalmost 5 years ago

    Lovely !!

  • Thanks!

    Best wishes,


    – Gene Walls

  • Vickie Emms
    Vickie Emmsover 4 years ago

  • Thank you so much for this wonderful news, Vickie! I am extremely proud to be honored with Top 10 placement in this challenge! I owe special thanks to those kind members who voted, too!



    – Gene Walls

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