A portion of scenic railroad track in Maryland is not much to look at between the rails. That’s because crossties needs to be replaced … all of them.
The Federal Railroad Administration is ordering the replacement of 50,000 ties between Cumberland and Frostburg, Md., before the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad can resume operations.
The cost to replace that many ties is expected to be about $2 million. According to the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, the ties are about 50 years old.
The railroad has been shutdown due to the global pandemic, and it says it does not have the money to replace all of the ties. Allegany County Commissioner Creade Brodie knew some of the ties needed to be replaced, but not all of them.
Frostburg Mayor Bob Flanigan is on the scenic railroad’s board of directors and is calling for a track maintenance program to be established. The main line is the property of Allegany County, which gives the railroad $140,000 in funding annually.
Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan awarded the railroad a $500,000 grant back in January, but those funds were earmarked for maintenance on the No. 1309 steam locomotive.