Series-- Exploring Railroad History: Cass Scenic Railroad, WV

Posted by John Brady on

The Brady's Crew took a trip this summer to Cass, WV for a scenic ride through "the Wild Heart of West Virginia".

Our excursion run was pulled by the #11 Shay!


Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is about 4 hours from Pittsburgh, in the scenic Monongahela National Forest.

It offers plenty of opportunities to immerse yourself in railroad history: there are several options for excursion rides pulled by a historic steam engine, the departure site for the excursions features an authentic lumber company town, and there is a museum with information and artifacts. 

We took the Bald Knob excursion, which takes passengers on a several hour trip on a former logging company's railroad, with a stop at one of the tallest points in the state. 

During the ride, we heard the iconic Shay whistle, took in the scenery, and learned about the history of the region.

One of the most interesting parts of the journey was watching the Shay go through several switchbacks to make it up the steep grade.  The engine would go past the switch, then continue up the hill onto a different set of tracks after the switch was changed.

Another interesting sight was watching the Shay take on water and let off steam:

Once at the top, the views were absolutely incredible!

After the stop, we enjoyed the trip back down the mountain. On the way down, the smoke at times billowed into the open cars-- but it's all part of the experience. 

What a trip! Interested in seeing it yourself? Learn more:


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