The Community Building in the town of Cass has opened its doors after several years of restoration.
The first floor is complete, and the exterior has been returned to pristine white clapboards and the front steps and entrance are restored to the original construction. The Community Center will be used for meetings and for entertainment.
"It took a lot of work," Rob Sovine, superintendent at Cass Scenic Railroad State Park said. "There are many people, from park staff to Cass residents who helped accomplish the restoration."
Funding for restoration of the Community Building came from the Mountain State Railroad and Logging Historical Association through grants and donations. The extensive undertaking occurred over the past three years.
"The Shay locomotives are the real attraction at Cass, but the town of Cass and community spirit are large parts of why Cass Scenic Railroad is unique and stands apart from other tourist trains," Sovine said. "There are the train and locomotives, but Cass is a living town."
West Virginia's state park system operates Cass Scenic Railroad. Twenty of the original homes in Cass are restored for vacation rentals in addition to the Company Store, restaurant, Cass Showcase, maintenance shops, train rides and special events. The following is a list of events happening at Cass:
- Ride the rails this fall
Cass Scenic Railroad offers train rides up Cheat Mountain to Whittaker Station and Bald Knob. Daily trips to Whittaker continue through Oct. 30 and a trip to Bald Knob occurs at noon every day except Mondays. There are eight mid-week dates in September that trains do not run. Those dates are Sept. 14, 15, 19, 20, 21 and 22. Cass opens on Memorial Weekend and stops train runs on the last Sunday in October. Company houses are open year-round.
- Mystery trains and more
Several special evening trains are scheduled in September and October. The murder mystery, "End of the Line for Brakeman Tom Hansen," is Sept. 23. Bluegrass Buffet evening is Sept. 24. The one-time-only Halloween Train is scheduled for Oct. 29. Evening trains require advance reservations. These trains include the ride, meal and entertainment.
For more information about Cass Scenic Railroad State Park visit, www.cassrailroad.com or call 304-456-4300.