TRAIN: Cass Scenic RR Family 4 Pack of Train Tickets/CC
Nestled in the mountains of West Virginia, Cass Scenic Railroad State Park offers excursions that transport you back in time to relive an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of everyday life. Trips to Cass are filled with rich histories of the past, unparalleled views of a vast wilderness area, and close-up encounters with the sights and sounds of original steam-driven locomotives.
Once you board the train, the real excitement begins! The great pistons of the carefully restored Shay locomotive will start pulsing, driven by hundreds of pounds of steam pressure. The shaft begins turning, the wheels find traction, and the locomotive begins to move. With thick, black smoke belching from its stack, the train pulls away from the station, passing the water tower from which the locomotive tanks are filled. As the train rounds the curve up Leatherbark Creek, you'll pass the Cass Shop, where the locomotives are serviced and repaired, and a graveyard of antiquated but fascinating equipment on sidetracks.
As the pressure builds, the locomotive is driven at full steam, and the laborious journey up the mountain toward the two switchbacks begin. The loud huff of the stack, the clanking of gears and pistons, the furious scream of the whistle at the crossings, and the ever present clackety-clack of the rails will indeed make you feel as if you have been transported back in time. The train soon passes through the first switchback, reverses up a steep grade, and ascends to the second switchback where the process is repeated, and then finally into open fields and Whittaker Station. The switchback process allows the train to gain quick altitude, and in this instance, the train is traversing a grade of up to 11 percent, or 11 feet in altitude for each 100 feet of track. A 2 percent grade on conventional railroads is considered steep!Dress warmly for high elevations!
If you take the full 4 ½ hour trip to Bald Knob, you will leave Whittaker Station and proceed to Oats Run for the engines to take on additional water at a spring. The train then climbs up the mountain, finally reaching Bald Knob, the third highest point in West Virginia. The overlook at Bald Knob provides a spectacular view at an altitude of 4,700 feet. The Bald Knob area has a climate similar to Canada and is abundant in plants typical to the Canadian wilderness!
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is an unforgettable adventure...a journey back in time to the days of company towns, geared locomotives and log trains. You're invited to visit and for a ride in history.Train tips for a more enjoyable Cass visit
* Check the train schedule and reserve your tickets in advance. * Choose the seating option that best fits your needs. * Arrive a couple hours early to take advantage of the free interpretive tours of the locomotive shops (when available), and the Cass Showcase orientation film and diorama. * Bring more clothes than you expect you'll need – mountain air is much cooler. * Wear dark clothing, since steam locomotives tend to produce soot.