Posts Tagged ‘Durbin Rocket’

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.

Cass Season to Begin 3 Weeks Early

May 6, 2016

Cass Scenic Railroad trains to Whittaker and Bald Knob featuring Shay steam locomotives will begin this weekend.

The schedule will offer two trips to Whittaker and one to Bald Knob on each Saturday and Sunday in May along with Monday trips during the Memorial Day Weekend.

Cass ScenicThe first fire in the firebox of the season was lighted on April 19 in Shay No. 5, which will join running mates Nos. 2, 4 and 6 in pulling trains this year.

Nos. 6 over the winter underwent a 1,472-day overhaul and was recently taken to Durbin, West Virginia, where it will pull the Durbin Rocket of the Durbin & Greenbrier during the 2016 season.

Moore & Keppel Climax No. 3, which had been the motive power for the Durbin Rocket is now at Cass being rebuilt. It is expected to return to service by late this year.

Cass Shay No. 2 is expected to return to service this spring after having been out of service for several years.

The opening of the Cass excursion season is three weeks ahead of what it has been in previous years.