Walkersville Southern Railroad
offers scenic rides in Frederick County, Maryland. The trains run on tracks laid in the 1870s by the Pennsylvania Railroad and take passengers from Walkersville into the outskirts of Frederick, crossing the Monocacy River. We went on a weekend in April when they had Civil War reenactors in the area. The Confederates were out in the fields waiting to ambush the train. On the train were some Yankee soldiers ready to defend us. Also on the train were other people in period garb telling stories and history of the area and the era. Our trip started at the train station.
|Walkersville Southern Railroad station|
We came early enough that we had ten minutes to check out the museum across the street (and also use the toilets, since the 1920s train cars did not have facilities). The museum is one large room with a lot of items from the history of the railroad, so ten minutes was plenty of time to see everything.
|Signs and other brick-a-brac|
|Tools for building and maintaining the tracks|
We were impressed by the "tricycle" we saw below. It has three wheels, is designed to run on the tracks, and requires arm-power rather than pedal-power.
|Auto for the iron road|
|Engine wheels without a motor?!?|
The train station itself is small but typical.
The ride started off smoothly, going through some lightly-forested areas.
|Not particularly impressive|
Once we got to Walkersville Community Park, we heard shots coming from the Rebs!
|Gunning for us!|
Even though the reenactors were shooting blanks, they still aimed high in the air just in case.
|Or maybe they have poor aim?|
|The guy in the back is taking different kinds of shots|
The boys in blue on the train gave as good as they got.
One of the civilian reenactors said he was an undertaker and would be happy to make arrangements with any of the passengers who were worried about not returning. He talked about how nice his job was, wearing fine clothes and always having new customers.
|Undertaker digging up some business|
We passed a lime kiln that was fenced off.
|Out of business|
The farms along the tracks were nice. One was infested with more rebels!
|An idyllic setting|
|A lone gunman|
|Using finger guns for defense|
|Less good cover|
As we crossed the Monocacy River, we had a good view of the water but not of the bridge. A reenactor said one of their fellow reenactors didn't like crossing the bridge because the train is larger than the bridge and hangs over the water on both sides!
|View in the other direction|
We also crossed the Tuscarora Creek which eventually feeds into the Monocacy. The recent rain made it larger than normal.
As usual, the kids did not want their pictures taken, even back at the station when we could have had shots with the Union soldiers.
|At least one happy customer|
|Getting the evil eye|
On the way back, we went by the Confederates again who seemed a little more organized and a little easier to shoot.
|Ready to shoot|
|Happy to oblige|
Back at the station, we saw a car in someone's driveway that made us think they were reenactors too.
|Maybe "cosplayer" is more accurate than "reenactor"|
The railroad does some regular train rides, along with dinner rides, Santa rides, and Easter rides. I am not sure we would go again unless it was for a special occasion, like people visiting.