Posts Tagged ‘Cass Scenic Railroad’

Cass Steam Parade Set for June 17

March 25, 2023

The 2023 parade of steam locomotives on the West Virginia-based Cass Scenic Railroad has been set for June 17.

Six Cass steamers are slated to roll past the historic Cass depot, including Climax No. 9 and Shays Nos. 2, 4, 5, 6, and 11 during the free event.

The lineup is subject to all locomotives being operational at the tie the event. Officials said it will be the fourth parade of steam held at Cass.

The schedule calls for the locomotives to begin arriving at 9:30 a.m. and the parade getting underway at 10 a.m.

Special trains will run at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. along the newly reopened Greenbrier River line as far as Wanless Run over an 8-mile, 1-hour round trip.

Tickets for the specials are $30 for ages 4 and older and free for ages 3 and younger. More information is available at

D&GV Sets Rail Photo Heritage Event

February 10, 2023

West Virginia-based Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad is selling tickets for its 2023 Rail Heritage Photography Weekend May 6-7.

The two-day event will be limited to 70 attendees. Tickets are $350 per person plus taxes and fees.

It will include a night photo shoot, photo opportunities at remote locations, and other activities.

The event is being staged to mark the 60th anniversary of the Cass Scenic Railroad and will feature locomotives pulling vintage freight trains plying the Cass Scenic Railroad and Greenbrier River lines.

A night photo session will be included; a full schedule of events will be sent to tickets holders before the event.

Tickets and additional information is available at

Cass Steamer Makes Test Run

February 6, 2023

Steam has returned to the Cass Scenic Railroad with Shay No. 5 making a test trip last week between Cass and Durbin, West Virginia,

The test run was overseen by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, which said the 30-mile round trip with No. 5 was the first for a steam locomotive since most of the line was damaged by flooding in 1985.

Locomotive No. 5 picked up former Meadow River Lumber Company three-truck Heisler No. 6, which will be restored to operating condition by the Cass shops.

No. 6 has a badly eroded smokebox floor. Officials said restoration work is expected to take six months.

Another test run with No. 5 with passenger equipment is expected to be conducted this week.

W.Va. Tourist RR to Resume Service on ex-C&O Line

February 1, 2023

A West Virginia tourist railroad plans to operate service between Cass and Durbin.

Trains magazine reported on its website that the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad said the Greenbrier Express will operate over 15 miles of a former Chesapeake & Ohio line that had hosted trains of the Cass Scenic Railroad until much of the track was damaged by flooding in 1985.

The line is being reopened following completion of restoration of the Trout Run bridge.

That project was completed by the West Virginia Rail Authority earlier this month in a public-private partnership with the D&GV. Work continues to rebuild the track on each side of the bridge.

The State of West Virginia purchased a portion of the ex-C&O Greenbrier Division in the late 1970s after it was abandoned south of Cass.

In a related development, the D&GV announced it has adopted a pair of Greenbrier Express logos created by artist Tyler Hardin.

Each herald has a silhouette of former Buffalo Creek & Gauley 2-8-0 No. 4, which is being restored for eventual assignment to the the Greenbrier Express. The herald also feature a C&O-like design.

Events Set at Cass Scenic Railroad in W.Va.

November 4, 2022

The Cass Scenic Railroad has set a number of events on the heritage railroad for later this year.

They include a Steam Rail Heritage weekend on Nov. 4-6 and winter excursions in December. The winter train rides have been set for Dec. 2-4 and Dec. 9-11.

During the heritage weekend, steam locomotives will pull vintage freight cars, including some rebuilt and repainted by Cass shop forces.

Officials said some of the rail cars that will operate during this event will running for the first time since being restored.

The trains will run up Cheat Mountain and along the Greenbrier River.

Tickets are $500 per person and must be purchased in advance. They will not be available on the days of the event, which will be limited to 55 participants.

The winter excursions are making a return after an absence of a few years. Tickets are $35 and $50 but currently are sold out. Cass officials said they will provide information on their website if additional tickets become available.

The winter trips will operate over the former Chesapeake & Ohio Greenbrier Subdivision between Cass and Durbin, West Virginia. Trains will have heated coaches and cabooses.

Next year the West Virginia Central Railroad will resume excursions behind diesel locomotives.

Trains will operate on Fridays and Saturdays between Jan. 13 and March 18, 2023, between Elkins and Tygart Junction.

The  4-hour, 40-mile round trips through the Tygart Valley River canyon ended in 2000. Tickets range from $57 to $92, depending on age and accommodations chosen.

Steam Saturday: Runby on the Cass Scenic

November 20, 2021

It’s May 11, 1997, on the Cass Scenic Railroad. Several Akron Railroad Club members have traveled to West Virginia to ride a photo special arranged by Carl Franz. In the image above a runby is being staged at Back Mountain Road.

Photograph by Edward Ribinskas

Freight Revenue Helped Get Some Tourist Railroads Through the COVID-19 Pandemic

June 16, 2021

The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic last year are all too familiar to John Smith, president of the West Virginia-based Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad.

Based in Elkins, West Virginia, the railroad and its subsidiaries carried 84,000 passengers in 2019.

Ridership in 2020 was 22,000. Aside from the D&GV, the carrier also operates the West Virginia Central (former Western Maryland), Cass Scenic Railroad, and Durbin Rocket (former Chesapeake & Ohio Greenbrier River Branch) in West Virginia, and the Shenandoah Valley Railroad (former Norfolk Southern) in Virginia.

Of those carriers, the Cass Scenic carried 14,000 and 8,000 rode the Durbin Rocket.

The New Tygart Flyer and Cheat Mountain Salamander, did not operate in 2020, largely because they use sealed-window passenger cars. The Cass Scenic and Durbin Rocket were able to run because they had open window cars.

Some tourist railroads were able to earn some extra revenue by offering freight service.

That boosted the Shenandoah Valley Railroad in particular. Some tourist railroads in 2020 were able to make money by storing freight cars for Class I railroads and private owners.

Climax Locomotive Returns to Corry

October 19, 2020

A Climax-geared steam locomotive built in Corry, Pennsylvania, in 1902 has arrived back in that city.

Locomotive A-313 arrived recently inside a shipping container from Alaska. Plans are to reassemble the locomotive and restore it to operating condition in the city that built more than 1,000 Climax locomotives between 1888 and 1928.

The container containing the 15-ton locomotive was shipped by barge to Seattle and then moved by truck across the country.

Because of the container’s high profile it had a take a circuitous route at times and obtain permits from the 10 states through which it traveled.

The engine will be displayed by the nonprofit group Corry RAILS (Rail And Industrial Legacy Society).

There are 21 Climax locomotives in existence with three known to be operational.

They include one at Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia (1919, Class C-1551), one at the White Mountain Central Railroad in New Hampshire (1920, Class B-1603), and one in Australia (1928, Class B-1694).

Climax Steam Locomotive Ready to Go at Cass

September 7, 2019

Moore-Keppel & Co. three-truck Climax No. 9 steam locomotive steamed up this week and is expected to be out for the Cass Scenic Railroad’s heritage weekend.

Restoration of No. 9 has been ongoing for 20 years although the idea of restoring the locomotive to operating condition dates back nearly 50 years.

It will be the first Climax to operate at Cass, which is better known for its fleet of geared steam Shays and a Heisler.

Cass how has all three types of the most popular North American logging railroad geared locomotives used in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
No. 9 was acquired by Cass in the early 1970s but damaged in a 1972 shop fire.

It then sat derelict for several years until restoration began by a non-profit support organization.

Restoration of Cass Steam Locomotive Nearly Done

July 18, 2019

Shop workers on West Virginia’s Cass Scenic Railroad are in the final weeks of completing a restoration project to Middle Fork Climax No. 9.

The restoration, which has been underway for more than a decade, is down to the final jacketing and reassembly, Trains magazine reported.

The magazine said in a report posted to its website that exterior plumbing and jacketing is largely complete and new air tanks are expected to be installed this month.

A motion test must be completed to ensure that all items were properly installed before the reassembly of the drive shaft is completed.

Workers expect to complete the restoration project in mid August and the locomotive is expected to operate during the Rail Heritage Weekend on Sept. 6 to 8.

The event will feature runbys, freight train consists and nighttime photography opportunities.

Overseeing the restoration project are the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association and the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.