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To Cass Scenic Railway and the Shop Tour 5/05/2023

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I awoke and after our morning preparations, we walked over to the Huddle House where we partook in an excellent breakast. I then had an idea about going to Philippi, where there is a station and a covered bridge, so we decided to go there before Elkins.

The Philippi covered bridge over the Tygart Valley River. The City of Philippi was the site of the first land battle of the Civil War on June 3, 1861. Built in 1852, the bridge was heavily utilized by both armies during the Civil War. During the battle, Union troops took control of the bridge and used it as a barracks. Severely damaged by fire in 1989, the bridge has been restored to its original appearance. It is one of the few such covered bridges still in use as a part of the federal highway system. The structure is 285½ feet (originally 312 feet) and was originally supported by three massive sandstone piers constructed by Emmett J. O'Brien. The bridge design incorporates the "Long" Burr Arch Truss". It is one of few surviving "double-barreled" (two lane) covered bridges in the country.

The covered bridge sign.

The sign commemorating the historic event.

Another view.

Looking into the bridge.

Benjamin F. Kelley historical sign.

First Battle of A Long War information board.

The Philippi covered bridge sign.

Baltimore and Ohio Philippi station built in 1911. After passenger service to Philippi ceased in 1956, the building was used by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad as a workshop. The station was purchased by the city in 1979 and was restored as the Barbour County Historical Museum. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986.

We went into the station and I saw one of my favorite charactors.

Ted Cassidy mannequin with Cousin It. Theodore Crawford (Ted) Cassidy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and raised in Philippi, West Virginia. He was a well-respected actor who portrayed many different characters during his film and television career. His most notable role was Lurch, the faithful butler on the television series "The Addams Family" (1964). His most memorable dialogue as Lurch would be, "You rang?", whenever someone summoned him. Due to his large size, (6 feet 9 inches) he portrayed larger-than-life characters. His deep voice, was used for narrations and for dubbing certain character's voices. His acting career spanned three decades. After graduating with a degree in speech and drama, he married Margaret Helen in 1956 and they moved to Dallas. His acting career started when he worked as a mid-day disc jockey on WFAA-AM and also occasionally appeared on WFAA-TV Channel 8, playing Creech, an outer space creature on the "Dialing for Dollars" segments of Ed Hogan's afternoon movies. An accomplished musician, Cassidy moonlighted at Luby's Cafe at the Lochwood shopping center in Dallas, playing the organ to entertain patrons. In 1957, his wife Margaret gave birth to their son, Sean, and in 1960 their daughter, Cameron, was born.

A harpsichord similar to that which Lurch used to play.

Barbour County items.

Philipi Mummies were done by Graham Hamrick who mummified human cadarvers using a formula unrevealed to this day.

Graham Hamrick historical board. From here we drove south to Bellington.

Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad E8A 92, ex. West Virginia Central 92, exx. Amtrak 210, exxx. Baltimore and Ohio 4140, nee Baltimore and Ohio 92, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950.

Railroad scene.

Former Amtrak RS3 106, nee New York Central 8263, built by American Locomotive Company in 1951.

West Virginia Northern Railroad 2-8-0 8, ex. gifted to Don Leap in 1970, exx. sold to Earl Leap in 1961, exxx. Preston Railroad Company 18 Crellin, Maryland, nee West Virginia Northern built by Baldwin in 1904. From here I drove us to Elkins.

Western Maryland Elkins station built in 1909. The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad operates historic steam-driven locomotives and classic, diesel-powered vintage passenger trains that depart the historic depots of Elkins, Durbin and Cass between April through December. Trips range from daylong excursions into the Monongahela National Forest to shorter sightseeing trips along the banks of the Greenbrier, Tygarts Valley and Shaver's Fork rivers.

The Elkins depot historical board. We then drove the street to West Virginia Railroad Museum housed on the upper floor of the Darden Mill.

This was our first visit to this museum. We paid the lady and she told us, "Enjoy your visit to our museum!"

A railroad baggageman and the tools of his trade.

A baggage cart with historoic railroad items aboard it.

A display case with the Tiffany Urn.

Tiffany Urn informaton board.

A closer view of the Tiffany Urn.

Dr. Lurty Harris (1874-1953) used this four-wheeled speeder to tend to sick and injured patients in the logging camps above Mill Creek, West Virginia from 1906 to 1912.

Tools of the trade of the Donahue Brothers, who specialize in emergency railroad services.

West Virginia Railrod map. I then drove us over Cheat Minutain Summit to our next stop of Durbin.

Ride the Greenbrier Express Leaving Cass to Durbin and Return and Home of Little Le Roi sign.

Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad 45 ton switcher 45 built by General Electric built in 1943.

Cheapeake and Ohio Durbin station built in 1900.

Wabash Railroad caboose 2794 built by the railroad in 1947.

Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad 20 ton switcher 105 "Little Le Roi", ex. Coe Rail Incorporated 105, nee United States Army 2089 built by Whitcomb in 1942.

>Durbin and Greenbrier Valley open air car 204 rebuilt from a flat car.

Durbin and Greenbrier Valley comnbine 710, nee Delaware and Hudson 730 built by Pullman in 1917.

Durbin and Greenbrier Valley covered open air car 9513 built as a New York City Elevated coach.

Baltimore and Ohio caboose C1922 built by the railroad in 1925.

I once rode this equipment in 2018. I then drove us to Cass and up the mountain to the Snowshoe Inn where we checked into our room. Later we went to Subway for dinner then drove back down the mountain to Cass to pick up our lanyards and participate in the shop tour.

American log loader and skeleton log car 25 former Meadow River B-1 built by American Hoist & Derrick Company in St. Paul, Minnesota for Elk River Coal & Lumber Company, Swandale in 1914. It was converted from coal-fired steam to diesel; later served ERC&L’s successors at Swandale–W.M. Ritter Lumber and Georgia-Pacific Corporation ended rail-logging at Swandale in 1967. It was donated by Georgia-Pacific along with other rolling stock and trucked from Cressmont, placed at Cass aboard the Swandale flatcar that would eventually become the Bald Knob train's cinder car; then, as the result of the host car's conversion, the loader was moved onto former Mower Lumber No. 110 in post-shop fire cleanup service.

H.P. Hood and Sons Great American Pfluandler Corporation Milk Refrigerator car 1048 built by Great American Transportation Company in 1947. Its capacity is 6,000 gallons and after its milk hauling career ended, it was sold to the Louisville & Nashville for work train service.


Mower Lumber Company camp car 419 built by Middletown Car Works in 1908.

Chesapeake and Ohio box car 4253 nee United States Navy 352 built by Pullman in 1936.

Cass station built in 1979 which replaced the Chesapeake and Ohio depot destroyed by fire in 1975.

Cass Railroad caboose 311, nee Virginian 53031, built by St. Louis Car Company in 1947.

Chesapeake and Ohio wooden caboose 90788 built by Standard Steel in 1924.

Chesapeake and Ohio wooden caboose 90658 built by the railroad in 1924.

Pittsburgh and West Virginia box car 1348, nee United States Navy, built in 1948.

The old Mower Lumber Company mill destroyed by fire. Both the mill, railroad and its equipment were owned by the West Virginia Spruce Lumber Company or its parent, the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company until 1942. By then, much of the first growth timber had been milled out of the Cheat and Back Allegheny Mountains and that year, the Mower Lumber Company acquired the operation to take advantage of second growth timber. However, this was a short-lived reprieve. By 1950, the new operation was in decline and the sawmill was working only one shift. Following the owner, Edwin Mower's death in 1955, family members struggled to keep the concern going and on 1st July 1960, both the mill and associated rail operations abruptly ceased. Three months later, Walworth Farms acquired the company, its equipment and landholdings with a view to disposing of them.

Still, it was not long before interest grew in preserving the railroad operation and, largely through the efforts of rail fan Russel Baum of Sunbury, PA, in 1961, the track and three locomotives were brought into the state park system. Work began on restoring the equipment but it was not until 1963 that the first steam excursion ran. Since then, the railroad operation has flourished, although the mill continues to deteriorate.

The Cass Railroad shops we were about to tour after those present picked up their lanyards for the event.

Cass Railway three truck Shay truck 11 ex. moved to Campo in 1983, exx. Pacific Southwest Railway Museum at San Diego, California 1967, exxx. transferred Feather River Railway Company 3 at Feather Falls, California in 1939, exxxx. Feather River Pine Mills 3 1927, nee Hutchinson Lumber Company 3 at Oroville, California built by Lima in 1923.

Western Maryland Shay three truck shay 6, the last shay outshopped by the Lima Locomotive Works in 1945. It is also the second largest shay ever built and the largest still in existence. It was built for the Western Maryland Railway and shipped to Elkins in May 1945 to work on the railroad's coal mining Chaffee Branch, with a maximum grade in places of nine percent. 6 had a service life of only four years and was then stored at Vindex, Maryland Junction and then Hagerstown, Maryland. In 1953, it was donated to the B&O Railroad Museum, and ran under steam to Baltimore in August that year. The locomotive remained on static display in the B&O Museum roundhouse for the next twenty-six years. In 1981, an exchange was arranged with the museum for Cass Scenic 1.

The steam engine entered excursion service on 17th May 1981 on the former C&O Greenbrier Division to Durbin, but clearance restrictions and its 324,000 lb weight meant the locomotive was rarely used on the CSRR. Eventually, track upgrades permitted operation to Whittaker Station starting in June 1991. Then, rebuilding the mountain wye to circumvent the 36 degree mainline curve allowed the "Big Six" to run to Bald Knob. Subsequently, realigning the curve has permitted 6 to operate on the Bald Knob run without using the wye.

Cass Railway three truck shay 4, ex. Cass, Greenbrier, Cheat & Bald Knob Railroad 4 1961, exx. Midwest Raleigh Railroad 4 1960, exxx. sold to Mower Lumber Company 4 at Cass in 1943, exxxxx. Strouds Creek & Muddlety Railway 5 at Tioga, West Virginia in 1928, nee Birch Valley Lumber 5 built by Lima in 1928. It hauled its first excursion in June 1963 and powered the first off-line excursion to the Mountain State Forest Festival in Elkins in October 1964. It also hauled the Bald Knob Inaugural, when the extension to Bald Knob re-opened in May 1968.

A wheel lathe.

Cass Railway three truck Climax 9, ex. Cass Scenic Railroad 8, exx. transferred to Whistles in the Woods, Incorporated in 1967, exxx. sold to Dry Gulch Railroad 6 1967, exxxxx. transfered to Middle Fork Railroad 6, nee Moore, Keppel & Company Incorporated 6 at Ellamore, West Virginia built by the company in 1919.

Needed machines abound in this shop.

Cass Railway three truck shay 2 ex. Cass Scenic Railroad 2 in 1970, exx. Railway Appliance Research Limited 114 at North Vancouver, British Columbia in 1964, exxx. Western Forest Industries 5 at Honeymoon Bay, British Columbia in 1946, exxxx. Lake Logging Company 5 at Cowichan Lake, British Columbia in 1943, exxxxx. Mayo Lumber Company 4 at Paldi, British Columbia, nee built for stock built by Lima Locomotive Works in 1928.

Built as a wood burner, this 3-truck Pacific Coast Shay was converted to burn oil before going to Mayo Lumber and then rebuilt to burn coal at Cass. It is the only known Shay to have used all three types of fuel. 2 ended its career switching cars on the Vancouver docks in 1970, making it one of the last commercially operated Shays in the world.

A Durbin and Greenbrier Railway drumhead was in the shop.

This is for tomorrow's steam trip. Now Elizabeth and I went outside to photograph our train for tomorrow.

Western Maryland coach 835 built by Pullman in 1917. It remained in revenue service until passenger service was discontinued in 1959 and is the last fully operational original Western Maryland steel coach in existence. This car is owned by the Western Maryland Historical Society and is leased to the West Virginia Railroad Museum in Elkins.

West Virginia Central cooach 3607, ex. Durbin and Greenbrier 3607 2010 to present, exx. Everett Railroad 3607 2005 to 2010, exxx. Knox and Kane Railroad 3607 1985 to 2005, exxxx. New Jersey Transit 3607 1983 to 1985, exxxxx. Conrail 3607 1967 to 1983, exxxxxx. Erie-Lackawanna 3607 1961 to 1976, nee Delaware Lackawanna and Western 2607 1930 to 1961, built by Pullman General Electric in 1930.

West Virginia Central coach 202, nee Delaware, Lackawanna & Western 3xx built by Pullman in 1925.

West Virginia Central United States Mail Railway Post Office 706, nee Norfolk and Western 128, built by Bethlehem Steel in 1929. It was acquired by the State in 1973, painted blue and named "Freedom" and lettered for the Greenbrier Railroad. In 1974, it was used on Greenbrier excursions through 1975 then shipped to the South Branch Valley Railroad where it became 1079. It was then placed into maintenence-of-way service and was also used as the Romney field office. It finally came to Cass as part of 1985's equipment move.

Chesapeake and Ohio water tower rebuilt in 1933.

The tender from Buffalo Creek and Gauley 2-8-0 4 acquired by Cass Scenic in 2015 from the North Carolina Transportation Museum. They restored it in 1986 and numbered it as a replica of Southern Railway 2-8-0 604.

Baltimore and Ohio four-wheel "bobber" caboose reportedly a former K-1 caboose built sometime between 1878 and 1900, believed to have been acquired by Elk River Coal & Lumber in Swandale, in the 1930's. It also served at Swandale for W.M. Ritter Lumber Company and Georgia-Pacific Corporation. It remained active until considered excess by Georgia-Pacific and was donated to the Cass Scenic Railway, the first "alien" piece of rolling stock to be operated. Rostered as Cass Scenic Railway 8, it was used on railfan charter runs in 1965 and 1966.

Meadow River Lumber Skeleton Log Car B-12 home-built by the Rainelle shop around 1941 and equipped with rare Andrews 1898 trucks. It was active until the end of West Virginia’s last rail-logging operation in 1971 then donated by Georgia-Pacific with 21 other such units and arrived in 1972, becoming a host car to the diesel log load.

The old lumber mill layout. This ends our coverage of Cass for today and Elizabeth and I returned to the Snowshoe Inn for the night.