The 2009 Cass Railfan Weekend
2009 Cass Railfan Weekend banner
May 15-17, 2009
Cass and Elkins, West Virginia
Three Days of Historic Railroading!
The Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association, and the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, in cooperation with the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, offers two historic firsts to make a truly outstanding three-day Railfan Weekend for 2009.
Cass Railfan Weekend 2009 for the first time in history will feature the operations of vintage diesels and geared steam locomotives together at Whittaker Camp. The operation of mainline diesels on the Cass Hill is an absolute first. In addition, we will have four geared steam locomotives in service at once â€“ another first! Experience this railroad history as part of the Cass Railfan Weekend tradition.
Please click here to see updated Railfan Weekend information
Friday, May 15th Diesel Special (Elkins)
Railfan Weekend photoFriday features an excursion powered by historic Western Maryland diesels on the former Western Maryland line from Elkins, West Virginia to the famous high falls of the Cheat River. This trip includes over 46 miles of railroading and photo runbys. At 8:00 AM we will board vintage mainline passenger cars (heated and air conditioned for your comfort). The train will be pulled by Vintage Western Maryland painted diesels, in the early WM paint scheme. This combination will re-create a unique photo opportunity at the east end of Kelley Mountain Tunnel, Woodrow and the historic high trestle that crosses the river at the Greenbrier, Cheat and Elk River junctions, former site of one of the largest wye track configurations on any railroad.
An all-you-can eat buffet is included in your ticket price.
Friday Evening, May 15th (Cass)
We will return to Elkins at about 3:00 PM. This will provide ample time for a leisurely trip to the Cass Locomotive Shops (about 1.5 hours travel time).
Railfan Weekend photoYou are welcome to arrive at the shops at 6:00 PM (refreshments and food will be on sale). Enjoy this evening looking around and being a part of this wonderful historic place. There will be swap tables, vendors, exhibits, and shop tours. If you have something to display or sell, table space will be made available. This will be followed at 7:00 PM by the Annual Meeting of the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association (approximately 15 minutes) and then our feature railfan program.
Saturday, May 16th (Cass)
We will leave Cass at 8:00 AM and tackle the mountain with our geared locomotive special and separate log train. We will follow the old logging railroad line to Whittaker where we will join the Western Maryland F7 diesels for the first ever runbys and operations on Cass Hill to use geared engines in conjunction with vintage road diesels.
Railfan Weekend photoThen we travel on to the town site of Spruce, former pulp mill town from 1904-1926, which then became a sizeable railroad town servicing Western Maryland locomotives until 1954. There, you will see the joint railroad operations of steam and diesel much as they were over 50 years ago. You will have the opportunity to capture incredible sights with your cameras as we provide multiple runbys using four geared steam locomotives (another first for Railfan Weekend) along with the diesels and combinations of freight, logging equipment, and mainline cars so you can truly enjoy this rare experience. We will stop and serve a box lunch with a hot entrÃ©e while the locomotives are serviced.
Railfan Weekend photoAfter lunch we will head down the former Western Maryland line along the Cheat River for several miles; then work our way back taking photos at multiple locations with steam and diesel. The photo runs will feature the separate log train, and diesel fright for authentic action. We will return to Cass at 5 PM.
Saturday Evening, May 16th (Cass)
We are offering a great home cooked Loggers Dinner (all you can eat) at the Cass Community Center on Saturday evening (this dinner is not included in ticket price; please make your reservation separately).
Then, Saturday evening will feature many activities throughout the town of Cass:
Railfan Weekend photoWhistle Blow: If you own a whistle, or can borrow one, or simply wish to blow one, then this event is for you. Ear protection is provided and required. The whistle blow is open to any Railfan Weekend participant. The event will begin at 5:00 PM, lasting until 8:00 PM.
Town Tour: There will be a walking tour of the historic town of Cass. Your guides will point out the features of the social and economic structure of this former company town and discuss efforts to preserve and renovate some of the historic buildings.
Cass Showcase: This multimedia audio-visual display includes historic photos of Cass and the regionâ€™s logging railroads as well as an operating HO scale model of the town of Cass. Work on upgrading this excellent historical display is ongoing and it will be available for viewing at least twice during the evening.
Kyle J. â€œCattyâ€ Neighbors Memorial Lumbering Museum (formerly the Cass Historic Museum). The Museum features an eclectic collection of items from the town of Cass and logging railroads. It will be open for visitors on Saturday evening.
Restoration Shop Tours: See the progress that MSR&LHA volunteers are making in restoring the Climax locomotive at the Restoration Shop.
Railfan Weekend photoNight Photo Session: Night photos have been a part of the Cass Railfan Weekend for many years. We will use 25,000 watts of quartz light to provide spectacular photo opportunities. The session will start at about 8:30 PM at the depot. We will do night runbys for the videographers, as well as stationary poses. Bring your camera, tripod, and a cable release if appropriate. We will supply the lights and suggestions for exposure settings. The use of quartz lights allows great photos by videographers and digital, as well as the traditional 35mm cameras.
Sunday, May 17th (Cass)
We will start the day with multiple run-bys in Cass starting at 8:00 AM. The Triple runby including a double-header, Railfan Weekend photoWater Tank and Depot will be offered this year. We will make our departure from Cass about 9:00 AM and there will be several photo stops as our passenger and log trains make their way up the lower half of the Cheat Mountain to Whittaker Camp One, where lunch will be served. We will return to Cass by about 2 PM to permit those who need to leave early to depart for a safe trip home.
Breakfast: The 8th grade class at the Green Bank Middle School will serve breakfast on Saturday and Sunday morning at the Cass Fire House, about 1/2 mile west of the Cass depot on Route 66. The cost is $6 each day; the menus are shown on the ticket order form. Advance reservations are required and tickets may be ordered along with your Railfan Weekend tickets.
Photo Contest: The annual Greenacre Photo Contest has a $100 cash prize for the best photograph taken at the previous Railfan Weekend or other MSR&LHA sponsored 2008 event. A maximum of three photos must be submitted by mail and be received by the contest coordinator not later than 10 calendar days prior to Railfan Weekend. Check our Web site, www.msrlha.org/greenacre.html or contact the contest coordinator, Walter Scriptunas II (2913 Kanawha Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304, e-mail email@example.com, phone 304-342-4180) for full information and rules.
Tickets & Information: Tickets and Reservations are for: â€œRailfan Weekend 2009.â€ Contact Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, PO Box 107, Cass WV, 24927. Or, call TOLL FREE 1-800-225-5982; ask for Cass Scenic Railroad. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and debit cards are accepted. Office hours: Monday to Saturday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Sunday 8:30 to 12:30 PM.
Ticket Options (single fare prices shown):
Full package: Friday (Elkins) and Saturday & Sunday (Cass) train trips $225
Cass only package: Saturday & Sunday $200
Elkins only package: Friday $90
Saturday breakfast $6
Sunday breakfast $6
Saturday Loggers Dinner $12
If you wish to order tickets by mail you can click here for a printable ticket order form. If the form doesn't print correctly you can click here for an order form in PDF format.
Elkins Lodging Information: The following is a partial list of Elkins hotels if you wish to stay before the Friday trip. Additional information is available from the Randolph County Convention & Visitors Bureau 1-800-422-3304 or www.randolphcountywv.com.
Days Inn 304-637-4667 www.elkinsdaysinn.com/
Econo Lodge 304-636-5311 www.wvweb.com/www/elkins_econolodge/web.html
Elkins Motor Lodge 1-877-636-1863 wvweb.com/elkinsmotorlodge/
Hampton Inn 304-630-7500
Holiday Inn Express 1-888-465-4329 www.hiexpress.com/elkinswv
Super 8 Motel 304-636-6500
Cass Lodging Information: There are three primary motels within 15 miles of Cass:
Boyer Motel (10 miles from Cass) 304-456-4667
Hermitage Motel (12 miles from Cass) 1-888-456-4808
Inn at Snowshoe (9 miles from Cass) 1-877-441-4386
The Inn at Snowshoe is offering a discounted rate of $69 per night (plus tax). Ask for the â€œGroup Code 50I7UY Railfan weekend May 16-17" rate. There are other accomodations available near Cass, including several bed and breakfast places. Additional lodging information will be sent with your tickets, or you can contact the Pocahontas County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 1-800-336-7009 or www.pocahontascountywv.com.
Railfan Weekend photoPolicies: Trains run rain or shine. Schedules, equipment, and photo runbys are subject to change due to availability, conditions of the railroad, safety, and weather. Please allow two weeks for ticket delivery. No refunds after May 14, 2009.
MSR&LHA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. All proceeds go toward historic rail and logging preservation and interpretation projects. Group discounts are available; please call for information. No portion of ticket price is considered tax-deductible by the IRS.
Photos: Walter Scriptunas II, Richard Sparks
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