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Cumberland, Maryland

Trackside sign at the Cumberland, Maryland Amtrak station.Cumberland, historically nicknamed “The Queen City”, is a town of approximately 20,000 people in Allegany County, Maryland.  Once the second-largest city in Maryland (after Baltimore), prior to World War II, Cumberland was a major manufacturing center for the glass, breweries, fabrics, and tinplate industries.  It was also a major transportation hub, as the northern terminus of the C&O Canal is in Cumberland, and the town also serves as a railroad hub.

In fact, the railroad is how I became acquainted with Cumberland in the first place.  Cumberland is the fourth stop on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited when traveling westbound, and I first passed through it by train at night on December 26, 2007 on the way out to Chicago.  The Cumberland stop is one of the longer station stops.  There, Amtrak changes engineers, and, due to the length of time spent at the Cumberland stop, is also a designated smoking stop, where passengers who wish to smoke are permitted to exit the train to do so.

Having viewed and taken photos of Cumberland from the train on several occasions, I decided that Cumberland was a place that I wanted to visit, and did so on April 2, 2013.  I arrived by car, and explored the center of the town.  I quickly learned that Cumberland is bisected twice: once by the four-track CSX railroad line that runs near the downtown area, and again by Interstate 68.  In addition, Wills Creek empties into the Potomac River at Cumberland.  As my interest in Cumberland came from what one might see from the train, my photography focused primarily on that, as the focus moves from the railroad to commercial buildings, infrastructure, a distinctive church, houses, and finally the WTBO sign on a nearby mountain.

View of the railroad tracks from Queen City Pavement, facing north. Crossbuck for the railroad crossing at Baltimore Street.
"NO TRESPASSING" sign on a fence at the edge of the CSX right of way.
CSX locomotive 578, idle on the track. Railroad signals at the east side of the bridge carrying Bedford and Frederick Streets.
Railroad crossing signal lights at Baltimore Street.
Side and rear view of CSX locomotive 578. Railroad signals at the east side of the bridge carrying Bedford and Frederick Streets.
Final car of a freight train traveling through Cumberland.  Town Clock Church is visible in the distance.
Amtrak locomotive 201, the first of two locomotives leading the westbound Capitol Limited consist. Railroad tracks, viewed from the Bedford/Frederick Street bridge.
Amtrak car 34042, a Superliner I passenger coach.
Storefront of Cumberland Shoe Hospital, a now-closed shoe repair business. Window of Cumberland Shoe Hospital at sunset, reflecting the image of the town.
Fence surrounding part of the Cumberland, Maryland post office.
Queen City Pavement, along the railroad tracks near the Amtrak station. Street sign for Baltimore and Centre Streets in the Downtown Mall.
Street sign at the intersection of Davidson Street and Henderson Avenue.
Road sign for drivers on northbound Frederick Street, shortly before crossing the bridge over the railroad tracks. Exit 43D on Interstate 68 eastbound.
Signs directing motorists towards eastbound Interstate 68 and northbound US 220.
Pedestrian tunnel beneath Queen City Drive and the railroad, adjacent to Baltimore Street.  During my visit, I observed far more people crossing the street and railroad tracks directly, vs. using the tunnel. Graffiti in the pedestrian tunnel.
Abandoned shopping cart in a stair landing on the Queen City Pavement side of the tunnel.
Town Clock Church, home of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on Bedford Street. Town Clock Church, home of First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on Bedford Street.
Clock faces on the steeple of Town Clock Church.
Deteriorated uppermost level on a house adjacent to the Gilchrist Center. Houses along Maryland Avenue.
Houses along Emily Street, adjacent to Interstate 68.
Colorfully-painted houses along Bedford Street, up the street from Town Clock Church. Colorfully-painted houses along Bedford Street, up the street from Town Clock Church.
Colorfully-painted houses along Bedford Street, up the street from Town Clock Church.
House at 416 Park Street. House at 310 Park Street.
House at 300 Park Street.
House at 402 Park Street. House at 216 Park Street.
Satellite dish on the roof of a house's front porch.
WTBO sign, viewed from the grounds of the station on Wills Mountain. WTBO sign, viewed from the grounds of the station on Wills Mountain.
WTBO sign, viewed from the grounds of the station on Wills Mountain.
WTBO sign and transmitter, viewed from the town below. View of Cumberland from behind the WTBO sign, on Wills Mountain.
View of Cumberland from the WTBO transmitter site, on Wills Mountain.
View of Cumberland from behind the WTBO sign, on Wills Mountain, at sunset. WTBO sign, fully lit at night.
Darkened WTBO sign at night.  The lighting pattern lights each letter sequentially, left to right, and then momentarily goes dark before repeating.

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