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Unique train trip highlights restoration in the Upper Shavers Fork River

Restoration Train photo 2 After
The new culvert on Lamothe Run near Spruce. includes internal baffles to help fish and other aquatic animals move from the mainstem of the Shavers Fork River up Lamothe Run. CVI photos.
Restoration Train photo 1 Before
The condition of the culvert on Lamothe Run near Spruce before the restoration work. The new culvert runs from the mainstem of the Shavers Fork River up Lamothe Run.
Restoration Train photo 3
Part of the effort includes planting Spruce trees in the Upper Shavers Fork watershed.

CHEAT BRIDGE, W.Va. — Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) and the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad have partnered to offer a River Restoration Excursion Train Trip on Friday, June 3.

This unique trip will allow passengers to see Shavers Fork as never before, with special stops to look at restoration sites on remote sections of the river. Riding the Cheat Mountain Salamander Train will connect passengers with the past while experts talk about a brighter future for the Shavers Fork.

The journey harkens back to the days when the river was buzzing with activity from logging and mining. Recently, trains played an important role in restoring the area’s habitat by transporting the needed material and equipment on hard to reach sections of the river.

CVI’s restoration specialists and partners from state and federal agencies will serve as guides for an in-depth look at the impacts of project activities. They will explain current restoration efforts to reduce those impacts.

Passengers will be able to see projects which reconnected small, cool water tributaries with the mainstem of the Shavers Fork River to provide spawning habitat and spots for fish to escape from the heat on hot summer days. They will also see projects in the Shavers Fork mainstem that increased the variety of habitats, especially deeper pools and faster moving water. The train will chug its way through remnants of high elevation spruce forests while guides talk about efforts to restore this vital habitat across the upper reaches of the watershed.

For many the Shavers Fork River holds memories of fishing and hunting trips, camping, hiking, boating and relaxing to the sounds of the mountain stream. The Shavers Fork also runs through the heart of the Alleghany Mountains, sheltering rare animal and plant species and tumbling through the highest terrain in the region.

CVI and Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad invite you to learn more about this amazing resource, make new memories, pick out a spot for your next backcountry adventure and enjoy stepping back in time on the Cheat Mountain Salamander Train!

Passengers have the choice of a half-day option from Cheat Bridge or a whole day from Elkins. For reservations call Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad at 877.686.7245, extension 5. The cost is $44 from Cheat Bridge and $81 from Elkins which includes a cold cut sandwich buffet onboard. Don’t miss this incredible experience!


— Canaan Valley Institute (CVI) is a non-profit organization that has been working for more than 20 years in the Central Appalachian Mountains to ensure our region has healthy streams — a critical economic development element for rural communities. CVI’s focus on ensuring residents have clean water is particularly important because it creates positive results environmentally and economically. For more information visit

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