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Appalachian Getaway: Cass Scenic Railroad

Appalachian Getaway: Cass Scenic Railroad

By Giles Kennedy

Family and Travel Columnist

 

With recent restrictions lessening in Ohio, Columbus Wired continues their goal to bring you fresh content and ideas for family trips.

This entry in our journey is one of America’s iconic scenic railroads; The Cass Scenic Railroad.

Recently, the parent company of the Durbin and Greenbrier Scenic Railroad purchased the line from the West Virginia State Parks Board.

Although the park land is still managed by the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources; you can book either through Mountain Rail Adventures or Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

Both have continued to partner on promotions and preserving the natural beauty.

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Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Basic info on the Bald Knob Excursion(the only excursion running currently due to COVID 19 standards; per Mountain Rail’s website)

Cass Depot
Cass, WV 24927
38°23’50.6”N 79°54’51.2”W


To Reserve By Phone – 304-636-9477

Call Monday – Friday – 9AM – 5PM

Group Seating: Every effort will be made to seat groups as close together as possible on the train. Please let us know your needs prior to boarding.

Boarding: Cass boarding area is located at the Cass depot at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park in Cass, WV.

Important Info: If you have a reservation, please check in a ticket window prior to boarding. If you forget your tickets, we can print them for you. Walk-up tickets may be purchased on a first-come, first-served basis only. As the Cass cars are open air, you may want to bring a jacket during cooler weather as the temperature can vary as you climb in to the higher elevations weblink. Also, as these are steam engine trains, if anyone in your party is sensitive to loud noise, you may want to bring ear plugs on the day of your excursion.

Cancellation Policy*: If cancellations are made within 48 hours prior to boarding, there will be no refund. If notice of cancellation is made before 48 hours before departure, a 10% cancellation will be charged to any refund. You may reschedule at any time with no charges for a trip in the current season. Gift certificates can be issued for the full amount of the reservation at any time.

As for the actual trip today; we were extremely blessed by the staff.

The nearly 4 and 1/2 hour trip is worth every penny. A box lunch is provided for you and your guests per ride ticket.

Cass Scenic crew make sure all West Virginia and CDC standards are upheld. However; if six feet away from others guests….you can be without face coverings.

This made this trip extremely pleasant and more enjoyable for the mountain air.

David Pedersen, a father with three sons and a loving wife; had been six times in recent years. He hails from North Chesterfield; a suburb of Richmond, VA.

“Our first visit was years ago. We rode behind Shay#6, the largest Shay engine built. It was quite a treat,” he stated while riding today.

He spoke of the iconic Shay locomotives.  They were originally built for logging and mining operations in steep grades up rough mountains. Cass has the largest collection of Shay locomotives operating in the world.

Although, Cass is down to one operation a day currently; it does not disappoint.

The sights, the sounds, and the smells of American railroading are alive in this mountain hamlet in Pocahontas County.

Even if not a train fan; the natural beauty and joy of climbing through the mountains is a great journey.

Few other odds and ends..

Pocahontas County is mainly cell phone free. This is due to the Green Bank Radio Observatory nearby. Cass and other resort area/destinations do have wifi and select spots for pay phones if outside contact is needed.

Several area museums are available for folks. This also includes Cass with a small museum dedicated to the rails, logging and mining in the area.

POCAHONTAS COUNTY ARTISANS CO-OP has a small shop next to the Cass Depot as well its main shop in the small town of Marlinton.

The Shops at Leatherbark Ford
@ Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Cass, WV 24927

4th Avenue Gallery
@ the Marlinton Railroad Depot
720 4th Avenue
Marlinton, WV 24954

Pocahontas County Artisans Co-op

 

Again, with reduced schedules; book through the website or call the office for availability and updates.

(Cass Bald Knob and D&GV Durbin Rocket only two excursion services running currently)

A more detailed photo tour is available on our Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/pg/ColumbusWired/photos/?tab=album&album_id=3387034321361207

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