CASS, W.Va. – The Cass Scenic Railroad has opened for the 2015 season.
The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad made the announcement this week. The 2015 opening marks the first season the Cass Scenic Railroad, an iconic state attraction, will be operated by a private sector company.
Excursion schedules will be similar to past years. The Whittaker Station run from historic downtown Cass opened Tuesday and the popular 11-mile trip to the mountaintop of Bald Knob from Cass begins Thursday.
“Each Tuesday through Sunday from mid-May to mid-September, visitors can enjoy an hour and half round trip passenger train ride from Cass to Whittaker Station with breathtaking vistas of the Appalachians en route,” a D&GVR spokesperson said. “At Whittaker, passengers can get off the train to photograph remnants of the former logging campsite at Whittaker and photograph the beautiful mountain views of eastern West Virginia. In the fall, the schedule fills out with daily departures until the end of October.”
The Bald Knob excursion opens with a Friday to Sunday departure schedule until mid-June, and increases its operations to Tuesday through Sunday throughout the summer beginning June 23. Visitors can ride the entire Cass Scenic Railroad 11-mile line that ascends the Appalachians to an elevation of 4,842 feet at Bald Knob. The four and a half hour round-trip train ride includes an “authentic railroader’s hobo lunch” in the ticket price. At Bald Knob, passengers can get off the train to photograph the view of the mountainous valley below.
The 2015 Cass Scenic Railroad season will see added event and excursion opportunities.
According to D&GVR Packaging specialist, Matt Scott, this new connection opens an array of opportunity for group sales and consumer packaging that will ultimately increase overnight stays in the regional area.
“With the ability to connect rail lines, we can now offer a brand new product to the group tour and consumer travel market,” Scott explained. “Tour operators are always looking for something new and different, and this year we have it. The action-packed multi-day trip provides breathtaking photo opportunities, entertainment at both destinations, and an opportunity to ride in restored, historic trains pulled by authentic 20th century steam-powered and diesel locomotives. The new adventure series includes customized options and allows passengers to depart from Cass, Elkins, or Cheat Bridge.”
“The new “Wild Heart of West Virginia” adventure package will kickoff this Memorial Day Weekend Saturday, May 23, with the first of a series of monthly special events at Spruce, the historic location of one of the highest elevated logging towns in the east that disappeared with the railroad logging days,” Scott said.
The three departure locations and times include: Elkins Depot at 8:15 am, Cheat Bridge at 11:25 am and a 10:30 am departure from Cass Depot. The inaugural run will be celebrated with a Mountain Music Trail Picnic at Spruce where both trains will meet and passengers can experience traditional mountain music and a Memorial Day picnic at Spruce before continuing to their destination via rail. Special event connections do not include a trip to Bald Knob upon return.
The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad assumed the railroad operations of the Cass Scenic Railroad in January. “The new operation allows for expanded tourist train opportunities, while adding new attractions and special events to create increased tourism development in the Potomac Highlands region of the state,” a D&GR spokesperson said.
For more information on excursions and special events: http://Mtn-Rail.com, or call 1-877-686-7245. You can get news on twitter at @MountainRail