In 1963, after years of operation as a logging town, Cass began a new piece of its history when a tourist train departed at 10:30 a.m. June 15. Since then, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park has continued to preserve railroad history and community.
On June 15, 2013, 50 years to the date and hour, Shay No. 4 will once again haul its "people cargo" up Cheat Mountain to Whittaker Station to commemorate the park, which has become an icon for the Mountain State's tourism industry. Tickets for this golden anniversary run are limited.
Shay No. 4 represents typical Lima Class C-70 locomotives built for West Virginia loggers during the 1920s. With its well-proportioned diamond stack and arch-windowed cab, Shay No. 4 is a very traditional locomotive.
Cass Scenic Railroad will begin daily trips on May 24 and continue through Oct. 27, except for most Mondays and a few weeks in early September. Ticket information is available at 304-456-4300 or www.cassrailroad.com.
Other special train runs at Cass Scenic Railroad in 2013 include:
Heisler/Old Spruce Run - May 25, June 20, July 20, July 27, Aug. 31 and Sept. 21. Special runs to Old Spruce depart at 10:30 a.m. with Heisler No. 6 working the rails. This locomotive was built in 1929 for the Bostonia Coal and Clay Products Co. of New Bethlehem, Pa.
Evening Dinner Train with Entertainment - June 1, June 22, July 13, July 27, Aug. 10 and Aug. 24. Evening dinner trains feature musical entertainment, a train ride to Whittaker Station and a buffet-style meal. Dinner trains depart at 5:15 p.m. from the Cass Depot and advance reservations are required.
50th Anniversary Run - June 15. Individuals with advance ticket purchases for the 10:30 a.m. departure to Whittaker Station will help mark the 50th anniversary run. Tickets are limited. A second Whittaker Run departs at 2 p.m. A Bald Knob Run departs at noon.
Double Header to Bald Knob - June 16, July 5, Aug. 11, Sept. 22. Four Sunday trips to Bald Knob, which depart at noon, will feature a double header that would have been typical of a run in logging years.
New Moon Run - Lunar Express Series - July 9, Aug. 6. A new moon means dark skies for this trip. There are two "New Moon" runs in 2013. Departing the depot at 8 p.m., the train climbs to Whittaker Station. This Lunar Express will host 100 passengers.
The Great Train Race - July 13. A special run to Old Spruce departs at 10:30 a.m. This run features a double header and part of the great train race event; music and food. This event is in conjunction with the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. Ticket sales to ride Cass Scenic Railroad with Shay No. 6 for this event can be made by calling 304-636-9477.
Full Moon Run - Lunar Express Series - Aug. 20, Sept. 19. These are two special evening "Full Moon" runs that travel to Bald Knob, departing the depot at 8 p.m. with a short stop at Whittaker and then proceeding to Bald Knob. There will be a stop at Oats Run for water and moonlight visit at West Virginia's second highest natural elevation. The will return to the depot by 12:30 a.m.
Halloween Train - Oct. 26. The "Haunted Train" ride to Whittaker Station on the last Saturday in October is filled with ghostly surprises for all. It includes a rare night descent back to Cass as part of the experience.
The train departs the depot at 6 p.m. Passengers are encouraged to wear costumes.
To learn more about Cass Scenic Railroad, anyone interested can visit www.cassrailroad.com or call 304-456-4300.