Facebook Page

Cass Scenic's 60th Anniversary Rail Heritage Photography Weekend Part 1 5/05/2023

by Chris Guenzler

We arose at the Inn at Snowshoe and had breakfast from the British Petroleum station here in the village. I drove us down the road to Cass, parked the rental car and we joined the others at the station. I then took a picture.

American Log Loader and Skeleton Log Car 25 former Meadow River B-1 built by American Hoist & Derrick Company in St. Paul for Elk River Coal & Lumber Company. The time for arrival was given as 7:45 AM but we did not leave until after 9:00 AM. Our train then reversed down the tracks to the station and we boarded, choosing the table car for the trip to Durbin.

My name tag for this event. We departed on time and would be the first revenue passenger train run from Cass to Durbin since 1985 because of the washed out bridge which was only restored in February. The consist of this passenger train was three truck shay 5, Western Maryland coach 835, West Virginia Central coach 3607, West Virginia Central coach 202 and West Virginia Central United States Mail Railway Post Office 706.

The Mower Lumber Company mill which burned in a fire.

We would be following the Greenbrier River to Durbin.

Also we would see plenty of forests today.

Scenes along the Greenbrier River.

Views behind and ahead of the train.

Scenes along the river.

The train took one of the curves on our route.

The Grenbrier River and a tree. We stopped for photo runbys.

Here one of our crew members started this tractor for the photo runby.

The scene of the field with wildflowers. Our passenger train then pulled forward and the freight train would perform the runbys here.

Photo runby number one with the freight train, whose consist was Cass three truck shay 11, Pennsylvania Railroad hopper car 258288, Chesapeake and Ohio flat car 31866, Pittsburgh and West Virginia box car 1348, Western Maryland hopper car 7101 and Chesapeake and Ohio caboose 90658.

Reverse move one. Our conductor, Walter Scriptunas II, took over control of the tractor.

Photo runby with the freight train.

Reverse move two.

Photo runby three with the freight consist.

Reverse move three.

Reverse move four, after which we reboarded the train and headed north.

Rolling north along the river.

We then passed the old bridge that closed the line in 1985 and across the new bridge that reopened in February then continued to the next photo runby location along the Greenbrier River on a curve.

The coach in which Elizabeth and I were riding.

West Virginia Central United States Mail Railway Post Office Car 706.

Cass Railway three truck shay 5.

Reverse move six.

Photo runby four with our passenger train.


Photo runby five with the freight train.

Reverse move seven.

Photo runby six.

Reverse move eight.

Photo runby seven.

Reverse move nine. The passenger train returned to pick us up and we went up the tracks towards Durbin.

Photo runby eight with the freight train.

Reverse move ten.

Photo runby nine.

Reverse move eleven.

Photo runby ten.

Reverse move twelve. The passenger train returned and before we reboarded, the lunches were loaded and we continued on our way.

The engine crew took on water from this stream.

Still rolling along the Greenbrier River.

The first of two Castaway cabooses that we would see today.

The river runs all the way to Durbin.

The river follows us all the way to Durbin.

The second Castaway caboose and the end of my new mileage on this trip; I had ridden on the rest of the rails to Durbin in 2018. Our train travelled upriver to our next photo runby location and once at the farm house, we were divided into two groups. The two of us went to the school house first for the next photo runbys.

I took this picture walking to the school house.

Photo runby eleven with our passenger train.

Photo runby twelve with our freight train.

Photo runby thirteen.

Reverse move thirteen. These are the last photo runbys of the trip and we would now proceed to Durbin to complete the trip to there.

We ran along the Greenbrier River.

The only crossing of the Greenbrier River is just before Durbin. We arrived and it was time for some pictures.

The train at rest at Durbin.

Middle Fork Railroad three truck Heisler 7 built by Lima Locomotive Works for stock in 1939. In 1941, it was sold to Middle Fork Railroad and later to the City of Washington. It is now owned by the West Virginia Railroad Museum in Elkins.

We then started back towards Cass, but at Milepost 89, came upon a problem. The freight train which was ahead of us on its way back to Cass, had derailed the front left truck on the first box car.

The derailed freight train.

A canoe which we had passed earlier, came by us and we never saw it again. I jokingly yelled "Help!"

After the hi-rail truck came out from Cass, the crew was successful in re-railing the box car and after three hours, we were walked across the derailment site.

The track before we ran over it.

The freight cars were set out and we now had Shay 11 pulling our train back the rest of the way to Cass, where we arrived at 8:30 PM, ending the first day of the Cass Scenic's 60th Anniversary Rail Heritage Photography Weekend.

We went to dinner at the Bear Creek Lodge opposite the railway before I drove us over the mountain back to our hotel for the night.