The Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad (C&P) was a railroad in western Maryland that operated between Cumberland and Piedmont, West Virginia. The C&P was merged into the Western Maryland Railway (WM) in 1944.
The Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad Company was chartered by the Maryland General Assembly on March 4, 1850,2 and located its railroad shops and headquarters in Mt. Savage. Mt. Savage was an early foundry of iron rail and produced steam locomotives, and was the site of the first iron rail rolled in the United States in 1844.3
In 1854, the C&P acquired the Mount Savage Railroad from the Mount Savage Coal and Iron Company, which was followed by the acquisition of the Georges Creek Railroad from the Georges Creek Coal and Iron Company in 1863. Three years later, James Millholland opened the C&P locomotive shops at Mt. Savage, and from 1868 to 1917, the shop built over 30 steam locomotives for the railroad, along with standard- and narrow-gauge engines for other companies.4
In 1870, the C&P purchased the Eckhart Branch Railroad from the Maryland Mining Company.
In 1944, the C&P was acquired by the Western Maryland Railway, although a formal operational merger did not occur until 1953.5 6 One year later, the WM abandoned the C&P line from Mt. Savage Junction to Mt. Savage, which included a tunnel under Frostburg due to low clearances. Some branch lines to mines were also abandoned.1 Coal traffic south of Frostburg was rerouted along the WM George’s Creek Branch to the WM junction at Westernport, Maryland.
Today, the C&P still exists as the CSXT Georges Creek Subdivision from Westernport north to Borden Shaft. During the 1990s, the line was minimally used until the Conrail merger in 1999, which brought an increased use due to the reopening of two coal loadouts and several smaller mines.6
The C&P station in Frostburg is today used as the western terminus of the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. The C&P track is used until the junction with the WM, where the scenic rail line then continues along the WM eastward to Cumberland.
- “About CSX’s Georges Creek Subdivision.” CSX Georges Creek Subdivision in N scale. N.p., 30 Mar. 2011. Web. 21 June 2011. Article.