2008 Cass Railfan Weekend

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2008 Cass Railfan Weekend

Postby psrujak » Fri Dec 28, 2007 10:56 am

The 2008 Cass Railfan Weekend

Three Days of Great Historic Railroading with Steam and Diesel

May 16-18, 2008

Cass and Elkins, West Virginia

The Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association, and the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, in cooperation with the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad is offering a three-day railroading weekend for May, 2008.

Cass Railfan Weekend 2008 will feature the re-creation of historic operations of vintage diesels and geared steam locomotives together at Spruce, W. Va. The combination of these Titans in operation on the same tracks has not occurred at this location in over 50 years. Experience this railroad history as part of the Cass Railfan Weekend tradition.

Friday, May 16th “Diesel Day” (Elkins)

Friday features an excursion powered by historic Western Maryland diesels on the former Western Maryland line from Elkins, W. Va. to the famous high falls of the Cheat River. This trip includes over 46 miles of railroading and photo runbys. At 8:30 AM we will board vintage mainline passenger cars (heated and air conditioned for your comfort). The train will be pulled by F7-A and B units, as well as an extremely rare BL-2, all in the early Western Maryland 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.

Your ticket includes an all-you-can-eat lunch buffet on the train. It includes cold cuts, veggies, and drinks. Additional food items may be purchased in the train’s concession car.

Friday Evening, May 16th (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). For the evening events: Swap tables, vendors, exhibits, and shop tours, followed by the Annual Meeting of the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association (approximately 15 minutes) and then our feature program. The program will include a tribute to the Western Maryland, and logging railroad operations at Spruce, W. Va.

You are welcome to arrive at the shops at 6:00 PM (refreshments and food will be on sale). The meeting will start at 7:00 PM. Enjoy this evening looking around and being a part of this wonderful historic place.

Saturday, May 17th (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 the townsite of Spruce, former pulp mill town from 1904-1926 which then became a sizeable railroad town servicing Western Maryland locomotives until 1954. We will join with the vintage Western Maryland Diesels to recreate the historic joint railroad operations of Steam and Diesel as it was over 50 years ago.You will have the opportunity to capture incredible runbys on your cameras and recorders. We will provide multiple runbys and combinations of freight, and logging equipment, so you can truly enjoy this rare experience. Then we will stop and serve a box lunch with a hot entrée while the locomotives are serviced.

After lunch we will head down the former Western Maryland line along the Cheat River for several miles toward Beaver Creek. We will 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 17th (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:

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.

Whistle 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. This year’s event has been extended, and will begin at 5:00 PM, lasting until 8:00 PM.

Cass Showcase: This multimedia audio-visual display includes historic photos of Cass and the region’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. “Catty” 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 geared locomotive at the Restoration Shop.

Night Photo Session: The night photo session has been a part of the Cass Railfan Weekend for many years. 2004 saw the first use of quartz electric lights and the results were excellent. In 2007 we used over 20,000 watts of light to provide spectacular photo opportunities and a similar setup will be used in 2008. The photo session will start at about 8:30 PM around the Cass depot. We will be doing a couple of 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 will allow great photos by videographers and digital cameras as well as the traditional 35mm cameras.

Sunday, May 18th (Cass)

We will start the day with multiple run-bys in Cass starting at 8:00 AM. The Triple runby, Water 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.


Premium Service: The Cass passenger trains will have one premium service caboose. Tickets to ride in the caboose are sold for the morning and afternoon segments on Saturday and for the entire day on Sunday. Tickets cost $30 per segment (in addition to the regular fare) and are sold on a first come basis.

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 $5 each day and the menus are shown on the ticket order form. Advance reservations are required and tickets may be ordered along with your Railfan Weekend tickets.

Elkins Lodging Information: There are several motels in Elkins if you wish to stay there before the Friday trip. The following is a list of the major motels. Additional information is available from the Randolph County Convention & Visitors Bureau at 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 304-636-1400 wvweb.com/elkinsmotorlodge/
Holiday Inn Express 1-888-465-4329 www.hiexpress.com/elkinswv
Red Carpet Inn 304-636-1990
Super 8 Motel 304-636-6500

Cass Lodging Information: There are three primary motels close to Cass:
The Inn at Snowshoe (9 miles from Cass) 1-877-441-4386
Boyer Motel (10 miles from Cass) 304-456-4667
Hermitage Motel (12 miles from Cass) 1-888-456-4808

The Inn at Snowshoe is offering a discounted rate of $68 per night (plus tax). Ask for the “Railfan Weekend May 16-18 Rate.”

The Hermitage motel (Boyer, W. Va.) was closed in 2007, but they are now open under new management.

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.

Most people drive to Cass, but the closest airport is Lewisburg, West Virginia, about 2 hours away. It has scheduled airline service and several major car rental companies.

Photo Contest: The Greenacre Photo Contest is an annual event with a $100 cash prize given for the best photograph taken at the previous Railfan Weekend. If you were at the Railfan Weekend (or other MSR&LHA sponsored event) in 2007 and took an exceptional photo, you are invited to submit it for judging at this year’s event.

Photos must be submitted by mail. A photographer may enter a maximum of three photos. Entries must be received by the contest coordinator not later than 10 calendar days prior to the start of Railfan Weekend. Check the Association’s Web site (www.msrlha.org/greenacre.html) or contact the contest coordinator, Chad Thompson (4571 Marlwood Way, Virginia Beach VA 23462, shaynut@cox.net, 757-961-9781) for full information and rules. If you take any great photos at this year’s event please submit them for judging next year. You do not have to be present to win.

Railfan Weekend tickets go on sale at 8:30 AM on Monday, January 14.

Any orders received before that time will be held until then.

The cost of a 3-day ticket (Elkins and two days in Cass) is $200. Elkins-only tickets cost $75. Two-day Cass-only tickets cost $175. Click one of the links below for an order form with additional ticket and food options.

Tickets & Information: All Tickets and Reservations are to: “Railfan Weekend 08,” Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, PO Box 107, Cass WV, 24927. Or, call (toll-free) 1-800-225-5982; ask for Cass Scenic Railroad. All major credit cards are accepted: Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and debit cards. Office hours: Monday to Saturday 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, Sunday 8:30 to 12:30 PM.

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.

Policies: Please allow two weeks for ticket delivery. No refunds after May 15, 2008. Trains run rain or shine. Schedules and equipment are subject to change due to availability and weather conditions. Premium service caboose fare is in addition to Railfan Weekend fare.

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.

The Cass Railfan Weekend is sponsored by the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association and the Cass Scenic Railroad State Park in cooperation with the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad.

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