Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park in Cass, West Virginia, was established as a state park in 1961. Riding the trains departing from the Cass Depot to old logging camps drew 23,000 people to the park when rides opened in 1963.

IMG_1790A logging town since 1900

Cass, a logging town founded in 1900, was built by the West Virginia Pulp & Paper Company. Workers of the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Mill in Cass lived there.

During the peak of the milling operation in 1908 to 1922, 2,500 – 3,000 people worked for the company. Twelve logging camps in the mountains received as many as ten carloads of food and supplies weekly.

Logging industry in Cass dies

The business was sold in 1943 and operated until 1960. Employees feared the town would die.

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Russel Baum, a railroad fan living in Pennsylvania, believed that the Shay engines running over old logging tracks would draw tourists and convinced local businessmen. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is the result of their vision and planning.

IMG_1816Ride a logging Train

Ride a logging train pulled by a century-old Shay engine at Cass, West Virginia. Two daily trains depart from the Cass Depot up the mountain to locations of old logging camps.

The Whittaker Station Excursion is a two-hour ride. Bald Knob, the one I took, is a 4 ½ hour trip. Bald Knob Excursions include a box lunch.

Things to do at Cass

Stop for a sandwich or enjoy one of the daily specials at Last Run Restaurant.

Visit friendly folks at the Company Store for a variety of local goods and souvenirs.

IMG_1830Enjoy an ice cream at the ice cream counter.

Talk to Bud Cassell, a 50-year employee of the Cass Scenic Railroad, at the museum.

Most of all, ride the logging train, pulled by century-old Shay engines, to old logging camps.

-Sandra Merville Hart

 

Sources

“The Town of Cass,” Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, 2016/08/01 http://www.cassrailroad.com/history.html.

 

 

 

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