There is a small town in northern part of Maryland known as Union Bridge. It was once a major railroad town where, beginning in 1902, the Western Maryland Railway picked up and discharged passengers between Baltimore and points west. There were also railroad shops where cars were serviced. The Western Maryland Railway had many trains service the town with supplies and all kinds of goods. Passenger train service ceased in the 1950’s, and in 1964, the railroad shops were torn down leaving the Greek style train station all alone.
Today, you can take a drive to Union Bridge, and you can go to the historic train station, but you will not be able to catch a passenger train. Instead, you can go and visit the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society and Museum which is housed in the old train station. Inside, you will see many artifacts from the Western Maryland Railway, and you can see model train layouts that display the landscapes that the Western Maryland Railway passed through.
The museum is owned and operated by the Western Maryland Railway Historical Society, one of the few railroad societies to have their own museum. Started in 1967, they have been a part of many train shows, and they have a library of Western Maryland Railroading displaying most of the Western Maryland region. The museum is open on Sundays from 1:00pm to 4:00pm, most Wednesdays from 9:00am to 3:00pm, and by appointment thirty days in advance. Admission is free, but donations are suggested and appreciated.
The museum is located at 41 Main Street (at the railroad crossing) in Union Bridge, Maryland. It is thirty minutes north from Interstate 70 by way of Maryland Route 75. You can learn more about the museum and the society at www.westernmarylandrhs.com.
Denny Wertz of the Western Maryland Railway Historic Society contributed to this article.