The town of Durbin will be home to a new steam locomotive this year. For many years, Cass Scenic Railroad Heisler Locomotive No. 6 has been a permanent fixture on tourist trains between Cass, Whittaker and Bald Knob overlook on the Cass Scenic Railroad in Pocahontas County. Now, that locomotive will be logging miles along the Greenbrier River in Durbin for the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad’s (DGVR) 2016 season.
The 1929-built steam-powered Heisler locomotive arrived in Durbin on Wednesday, Apr. 13 by tractor-trailer from Cass. Heisler No. 6 will be pulling trains along the Durbin line on the railroad’s popular Durbin Rocket train ride beginning later this spring. The railroad’s usual locomotive, the steam-powered Moore & Keppel Climax No. 3 is going to be restored in nearby Cass.
“Rather than shutting down the Durbin Rocket while Climax No. 3 is out of service, we decided to bring Heisler No. 6 to Durbin,” said DGVR President John Smith.
Railroad mechanical forces loaded up Heisler No. 6 in Cass on early Wednesday and transported the locomotive approximately 20 miles by road to nearby Durbin. Over the next few weeks, mechanical crews will reassemble the locomotive, conduct several inspections, and ultimately return the locomotive to operating condition in time for the summer tourism season.
“Once Heisler No. 6 is running up and down the Greenbrier River on the Durbin line, we [DGVR] look forward to hosting a special photo trip that will give locals, tourists, and railroad enthusiasts a chance to see Heisler No. 6 in action,” said Chase Gunnoe, external affairs manager DGVR.
A firm date for the locomotive’s first run has not yet been announced. The Durbin Rocket will begin its 2016 season on Apr. 30. The Cass Scenic Railroad 2016 season begins the following weekend on May 7. For full schedule and trip information on all Mountain Rail Adventures operated by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, visit www.mountainrail.com.