By April 1, 2015 Read More →

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad opens season Saturday with Cottontail Express

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Peter Cottontail and a cast of characters orchestrated by Elkins’ Old Brick Playhouse theater company make merry with games, face painting, and storytelling on The Cottontail Express this Saturday on The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad.

ELKINS, W.Va. – The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad announces the opening of the 2015 Mountain Rail Adventure season with two departures from the Elkins Depot of the Cottontail Express on Saturday, April 4.

“Families, dressed in their Easter finery, will travel to Elkins for a hour and half hop down the rails with Peter Cottontail,” a DGVR spokesperson said. “On board, a cast of characters orchestrated by the local theater company, the Old Brick Playhouse, make merry with games, face painting, and storytelling. The Cottontail Express departs 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.”

The Cottontail Express starts a season of special event trains, dinner trains, Murder Mystery trains and standard mountain excursions. This rail excursion company, located in east-central West Virginia, operates historic steam-driven locomotives and vintage diesel-powered passenger trains that depart the three historic depots of Elkins, Durbin and Cass – April through December.

“There is no better way to begin a Mountain Rail Adventure season than from a warm, climate controlled seat on the New Tygart Flyer, one of several excursions that explore the more remote regions of the mountains where even automobiles cannot access. Trips range from day-long trips into the Monongahela National Forest to shorter sight-seeing journeys along the banks of the Tygarts Valley and Shaver’s Fork rivers. Many Mountain Rail excursions include on-board food service options,” the spokesperson said.

The New Tygart Flyer departs the Elkins Depot on Saturdays through April on a Mountain Cascades excursion to the High Falls of Cheat as part of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad 2015 Mountain Rail Adventure season.

The New Tygart Flyer departs the Elkins Depot on Saturdays through April on a Mountain Cascades excursion to the High Falls of Cheat as part of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad 2015 Mountain Rail Adventure season.

Included in this year’s schedule are the following:

Durbin Rocket — The Durbin Rocket in Durbin is the signature steam-driven locomotive just perfect for kids. It departs the Durbin Depot beginning the weekend of April 25-26 and chugs alongside the Greenbrier River on a two-hour round trip.

Cass Scenic Railroad — The Cass Scenic Railroad – new for 2015 – will be operated by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, (DGVR), this coming season. According to officials at the railroad, operations at Cass will remain very much the same as in past years, offering the Whittaker and Bald Knob excursions, plus several of the well-attended special events. Home to the world’s largest fleet of geared logging Shay locomotives, the Cass Scenic Railroad opens to the public on Tuesday, May 19 offering trips to Whittaker Station. The popular Bald Knob trip that carries passengers to the top of the state’s third highest mountain opens May 22.

New for the 2015 Cass Scenic Railroad season, a “King of the Road” hobo lunch will be part of the Bald Knob ticket price. Passengers on all Bald Knob excursions will receive their lunch just after the Old Spruce juncture en route to Bald Knob. A new reservations system will allow the opportunity for reserved seating on all trains to prevent overcrowding.

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Trips on the Cass Scenic Railroad start May 15 as part of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad 2015 Mountain Rail Adventure season.

Wild Heart of West Virginia Adventure Package — The new DGVR/CASS partnership opens added opportunity to connect the rail line from Elkins to Cass, not only opening a brand new excursion for 2015, but creating the opportunity to feature new special events and new overnight options.

According to DGVR Group 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 areas of both Elkins and Cass. “With the ability to connect rail lines, we can now offer a brand new product to the group tour market,” Scott explained. “Tour operators are always looking for something new and different, and this year, we have it. We’re calling it the Wild Heart of West Virginia Adventure Package.”

The new package concept offers a combined ride on two trains – the Cass Scenic Railroad and the Cheat Mountain Salamander – with overnight options in Elkins or in Cass. Both groups and individual visitors have the opportunity to ride the steam-driven early 1900s Cass Shays to Old Spruce, change over to the 1940s vintage diesel-powered Cheat Mountain Salamander, be served lunch onboard, ride into Elkins to enjoy a theatre show, then return by the same route to Cass.

On the other side of the coin, passengers can board in Elkins or Cheat Bridge, ride to Old Spruce, board the Cass Scenic Railroad, ride to Bald Knob and back down to Cass to stay in the historic company houses at the Park, or, as a group, stay at Snowshoe Resort.

“The options to this package is as diverse as the trains and attractions within Randolph and Pocahontas counties,” Scott added. “It can be a mix and match of choices, custom-tailored to the needs of the traveler.”

For more information on the DGVR, call 877-686-7245 for train information and reservations. The public can also look online at  Mtn-Rail.com or on twitter at @mountainrail and #MountainRail or http://Facebook.com/mountainrail.

2015 Mountain Rail Adventures Opening Schedule

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, West Virginia, April through December. These Mountain Rail Adventures open for the 2015 season with the Cottontail Express departing the Elkins, West Virginia Depot on Easter Saturday, April 4.

New Tygart Flyer — The New Tygart Flyer departs the Elkins Depot on Saturdays through April on a Mountain Cascades excursion to the High Falls of Cheat at 11 am. Early spring excursions offer high mountain stream cascades and wildflowers. In May the schedule expands to Saturday and Sunday until Memorial Day weekend when Fridays are added to month end. Full season schedule begins June 11, with Thursday-Sunday departures.

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The Durbin Rocket begins its riverside wilderness excursions on Saturdays and Sundays beginning April 25 as part of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad 2015 Mountain Rail Adventure season.

Durbin Rocket  — Departing the Durbin Depot twice daily at 10 am and 3:15 pm, the Durbin Rocket begins its riverside wilderness excursions on Saturdays and Sundays beginning April 25. This weekend schedule will apply until Memorial Day weekend Friday, May 22. After that date, an expanded summer schedule will be available.

Cass Scenic Railroad — Cass Scenic Railroad open for the 2015 season with Rail Fan Weekend, May 15-17. Excursions open to the public Tuesday, May 19 with scheduled trips to Whittaker Station Tuesday through Sunday, plus Memorial Day Monday. The Bald Knob excursion (to the top of the state’s third highest mountain) begins Friday, May 22, departing Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until June 7. A summer schedule begins after this date.

Cheat Mountain Salamander — The “Wild Heart of West Virginia” Cass Scenic Railroad / Cheat Mountain Salamander connection will begin Memorial Day Weekend Saturday with a special Spruce event, the Mountain Music Trail Picnic. Departure times will differ with these special events. The “Wild Heart of West Virginia” Cass Scenic Railroad / Cheat Mountain Salamander connection will follow a Saturday/Sunday schedule until June 5, when it will expand into longer multiple-day options.

For more information on the DGVR – located in Elkins, Durbin and Cass – call 877-686-7245 for train information and reservations, or visit Mtn-Rail.com or on twitter at @mountainrail and #MountainRail or http://Facebook.com/mountainrail.

Another options is http://issuu.com/dgvr/docs/highlandadventuresmagazinemarch2015?e=10894945/11936485

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