“While the Western Maryland Railway, affectionately known as the Wild Mary was never a large carrier (only roughly a 700-mile system) although for those who followed it, it was a legendary line. The railroad was built over rough terrain and thus used numerous tunnels and bridges to achieve a manageable grade. While aspects of the system were difficult to operate from a railroad perspective (Black Fork Grade, for instance) the WM allowed for some of the most fantastic photography one could ever hope or wish for with everything from big 4-8-4s bursting from Knobley Tunnel and crossing the Potomac River to brawny 4-6-6-4s lugging freight through legendary Helmstetter’s Curve. To put it bluntly, what a fantastic scenic railroad (at the very least) the entire WM main line (especially through Maryland and West Virginia) would have made if it were all still intact today. Its territory would easily rival anything offered today from other famous tourist lines like the Strasburg Railroad and Durango & Silverton.
“The “Wild Mary” has its beginnings dating back to 1852 when the Baltimore, Carroll & Frederick Railroad was chartered by the Maryland General Assembly on May 27th to connect Baltimore with Hagerstown in Washington County. . .”