Landslide Cuts WMSR Route to Frostburg

Western Maryland Scenic Railroad passengers will be making a shorter journey after a landslide severed the tracks between switch No. 9 and Frostburg, Maryland.

Officials said that track damage will prevent WMSR trains from reaching Frostburg for more than half of the 2016 season.

Western Maryland ScenicInspectors found the landslide damage during a routine track inspection. Land below the right of way has slipped an estimated 2 to 4 feet.

Maryland Bureau of Mines staff recently visited the site of the landslide are expected to take up to 45 days conducting field tests.

It remains to be seen who will pay for the track repairs. WMSR General Superintendent John Garner said if the railroad has to fund the repairs they will not likely be made this year and service to Frostburg would remain suspended.

If the state bureau of mines determines that a mine caused the landslide, then it would be able to fund emergency repairs. In a best cast scenario, service to Frostburg would not resume until July.

Garner said that for now the railroad will renovate switch No. 9 to create a runaround siding. It also hopes to create a small picnic-type area next to the siding.

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