The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad has announced the 2015 season opening of the Cass Scenic Railroad. The 2015 opening marks the first season this iconic state attraction will be operated by a private sector company.
Excursion schedules will be similar to past years. The Whittaker Station run from historic downtown Cass opened Tuesday, May 19, and the popular 11-mile trip to the mountaintop of Bald Knob from Cass began Thursday, May 22.
Each Tuesday through Sunday from mid-May to mid-September, visitors can enjoy an hour and half round trip passenger train ride from Cass to Whittaker Station with breathtaking vistas of the Appalachians en route. At Whittaker, passengers can get off the train to photograph remnants of the former logging campsite at Whittaker and photograph the beautiful mountain views of eastern West Virginia. In the fall, the schedule fills out with daily departures until the end of October.
The Bald Knob excursion opens with a Friday to Sunday departure schedule until mid-June, and increases its operations to Tuesday through Sunday throughout the summer beginning June 23. Visitors can ride the entire Cass Scenic Railroad 11-mile line that ascends the Appalachians to an elevation of 4,842 feet at Bald Knob. The four and a half hour round-trip train ride includes an authentic railroader’s “hobo” lunch included in the ticket price. At Bald Knob, passengers get off the train to photograph a gorgeous view of the mountainous valley below.
The “Wild Heart of West Virginia” Adventure package is a multiple-day excursion option that connects the Cass Scenic and Cheat Mountain Salamander trains with an overnight stay in either historic downtown Cass or Elkins. The “Wild Heart” excursion follows the Shavers Fork of the Cheat River, ascending the mountains to the town-site of Old Spruce, before connecting with the Cass Scenic Railroad for a scenic journey up to Bald Knob before descending into the timber-mining town of Cass for an overnight stay.
The action-packed multi-day trip provides breathtaking photo opportunities, entertainment at both destinations, and an opportunity to ride in restored, historic trains pulled by authentic 20th century steam-powered and diesel locomotives. The new adventure series includes customized options and allows passengers to depart from Cass, Elkins, or Cheat Bridge.
The three departure locations and times include: Elkins Depot at 8:15 a.m., Cheat Bridge at 11:25 a.m. and a 10:30 a.m. departure from Cass Depot. The inaugural run will be celebrated with a Mountain Music Trail Picnic at Spruce where both trains will meet and passengers can enjoy traditional mountain music and a Memorial Day picnic at Spruce before continuing to their destination via rail. Special event connections do not include a trip to Bald Knob upon return.