Have you ever heard of the small town of Walkersville, Maryland? You have never heard of the town of Walkersville, Maryland? If you have never heard of this town, you are in the majority. There are probably people who live nearby who have never heard of this town. It is a very remote town with the only major route is Maryland Route 194 which passes on the outside of the town and not through the center as many major routes tend to do in this present day.
So what is here in the town of Walkersville?
This small town was once a stop on the Pennsylvania Railroad that served Frederick which is just south of here. The line changed ownership to the Penn Central Railroad, and, years later, service to Frederick was discontinued. The line was abandoned. The bridge over the Monocacy River was destroyed by Hurricane Agnes in 1972, and a section of track is now buried under the reconstruction of Maryland Route 26 at its interchange with U.S. Route 15. These tracks never saw trains on them again.
But the train made a comeback.
In the 1990’s, the line north of Maryland Route 26 was cleared of the overgrowing brush. A new bridge was built over the Monocacy River. The Walkersville Southern Railroad was born. The railroad made its return to this railroad town.
Today, you can take a ride on this train. You just have to make your way to this little hidden town. You can get your tickets at the train depot, the same depot that was used by passengers when the railroad first came to Walkersville although the interior is much different today as it looked when passenger service began. Unlike the old days, you have a handicap accessible ramp to board the train. The Walkersville Southern Railroad may have begun in the late 1990’s, but the passenger cars are from the 1920’s. If passenger cars are not your thing, you can ride in the caboose, or you can ride in an open-air car.
Now comes the moment. The train pulls out of the station, and it heads south. You pass by a park, and you pass behind an old lime kiln. Then you look out over open farmland. At this point, you have no idea that you are in the metropolis of Washington D.C. Then you arrive at the most scenic part of the ride where you ride over the Monocacy River. You may be waving at the kayakers below. You cross what was once Maryland Route 355, and you reach the end of the line.
The Walkersville Southern Railroad is a real treasure of an attraction, and it is a great ride for the entire family or for the simple rail fan. They do regular train excursions, but they also have special trains like wild west robberies, and they have evening dinner trains. (Reservations are strongly recommended for dinner trains.) The great thing about the ride is that it will not drain your wallet dry. Although the train mostly goes south of Walkersville, there are occasional excursion that do go north of the town, and there are plans to expand the excursions. There is also a museum that you can walk through, and you can enjoy a model train. The museum is free to visit.
The Walkersville Southern Railroad is in the town of Walkersville, Maryland at 34 West Pennsylvania Avenue. It is easily accessible from U.S. Route 15 by way of Biggs Ford Road which becomes Pennsylvania Avenue. You will see the train station, and parking is on a grass lot close to the station. You can get more information at http://wsrr.org/.
Now you know about the town of Walkersville, Maryland. It is a little town in the suburbs of Washington D.C. that has a big railroad past.