America’s First Highway | The National Road, National Geographic: Cumberland Steam Engine

Smoke fills the air and dramatic shadows mark the street as a steam engine moves through the center of Cumberland, Maryland. Some 40,000 train buffs take the scenic, 16-mile  trip up the mountain to Frostburg, Pennsylvania. The Western Maryland Railroad locomotive named “Mountain Thunder” was originally built in 1913 for the Lake Superior and Ishpeming Railroad in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.  Rail travel all but doomed the National Road when the Baltimore and Ohio line reached Wheeling, West Virginia. A century later, cars elbowed the train aside.