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Cass Railroad to Bald Knob 8/7/2018

by Chris Guenzler

This morning I was up as usual at 5:30 AM then went to MacDonald's. I called Enterprise to have them pick me up and the girl there said she would be there in a few minutes. Robin and I went to get the car and though the paperwork was done rather quickly, when we were walking out to car, she left to fill it up with petrol so that delayed us forty minutes. Once we got the car, a Nissan Altima, we picked up Bob and Elizabeth and headed toward Cass. This was a very interesting driving trip. It first started when I missed the turn to Highway 28 so Elizabeth got on her phone and guided me. This took us to a road that said toll bridge ahead. So, we pulled up, the lady held a stick out with a cup on it and I told her to move it closer so I could put the dollar bill in that Elizabeth gave me. We then proceeded to the bridge and drove across it very slowly since I was not sure it would hold up. We made it across, much to our glee and delight, and continued down Highway 28, passing through such places as Moorefield, Petersburg, Seneca Rocks and finally Greenbank before we arrived at Cass at 11:26. Mapquest was completely correct saying it would take two hours and twenty-eight minutes to get there, so Mapquest gets a big plus from me. We stopped by the engine since we had a few minutes to spare this morning.

Cass Scenic Railroad Pacific Coast Shay 2 built in 1928 by Lima as Mayo Lumber 4 on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.

The train is almost ready to leave for Bald Knob. We stopped at the depot immediately to pick up our tickets for the noon train. Elizabeth, Bob and Robin and I were assigned to Car G with a bathroom. At noon, the train started up the grade toward Bald Knob.

Some of the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Equipment Association logging equipment on display in Cass.

We left leaving the Cass station.

Bob, Elizabeth and Robin are making their first trip on the Cass Scenic Railroad.

The Cass Mill included the drying kilns, boiler house, power house and sawmill ruins which can be seen to the east of the tracks.

The water tank was shared with Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad, the link to the outside world. The water tank was replaced with this one in 2005.

Cass Shay 11 came from the Pacific Southwest Museum in Campo, California and was built in 1923 for the Hutchinson Lumber Company as their 3.

Cass Shay 5 is from the Greenbrier and Elk River Railroad and has been in West Virginia for over 100 years. It was built by Lima in 1905.

Brimstone Railroad (W.M. Carney Mill) 3 truck Shay 36 built by Lima in 1916.

Meadow River Lumber 3 truck Shay 7 built by Lima in 1920.

Leaving the Cass Shop behind with the average grade of 4.55 percent to the top of Cass Summit.

The train crossed Leatherbark Creek twice.

Cass Shay 2 is working hard up the grade to the Back Mountain grade crossing.

Crossing the Back Mountain grade crossing.

You can see the grade ahead of the train.

Cass Shay 2 is working hard up the grade.

Leatherbark Creek is below our train on the north side of the tracks.

I find the second growth trees really interesting.

The train is nearing the Gum Road crossing.

The train crossed the Gum Road crossing. We are now on a 5.0 precent grade.

The first views of our destination of the trip, Bald Knob.

Robin and Elizabeth were really loving this trip up to Bald Knob.

We have almost climbed two miles from the Cass water tank.

The train ran by Milepost 2.

The train is nearing the lower switchback.

The train reverses direction and now the engine pulls the train up the 6.3 grade from the lower switchback.

The train next heads for the Gum Curve on a 3.55 precent grade.

The views looking down from the Gum Curve.

The train is working hard up the 6.1 percent grade.

The train is working hard to the Limestone Cut.

The train is approaching the Limestone Cut on a 6.7 percent grade.

The train is closing in on the upper switchback.

The 11:00 AM train to Whittaker with Cass Shay 4 was waiting for our train at the upper switchback.

We pulled way down the long tail track on the upper switchback to clear the track behind us for that Whittaker train.

Pushing us up the 7.1 percent grade.

The track we came up on.

Beautiful clouds on a near perfect afternoon in my life.

Climbing towards Whittaker.

Great views are to be found on the Cass Scenic Railroad.

The railroad yard at Whittaker.

The train came into Whittaker. The old Whittaker hanging sign is gone forever.

Bald Knob again.

The train went by Milepost 4.

The tender from Cass Shay 2 is used as a water storage tank.

Climbing the 5.75 percent grade.

Climbing to Austin Meadows.

Austin Meadows overlook.

The train climbed to Gobblers Knob.

Gobblers Knob overlook.

The train ran by the yard limit sign for Old Spruce.

The train climbs to Old Spruce.

The final overlook before Old Spruce.

In less than a mile we will be at Old Spruce.

Click here for the final part of this story!