Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a State Park located in Cass, Pocahontas County, West Virginia. It consists of the Cass Scenic Railroad, an 11-mile (18 km) long heritage railroad that is owned by the state of West Virginia. The park also includes the former company town of Cass and a portion of the summit of Bald Knob, highest point on Back Allegheny Mountain.
Current Operations :
Today, visitors ride on historic converted log cars (flatcars?), pushed along by a powerful geared logging locomotive. Traveling on 11 miles (18 km) of standard gauge track laid in 1901 by immigrant workers, the line traverses the steep grades of Back Allegheny Mountain. The railroad owns eight Shay locomotives, one Heisler locomotive, and one Climax locomotive, which is being restored by volunteers of the Mountain State Railroad and Logging Historical Association. The Heisler and the Climax, both made in Pennsylvania, were competition to Shay's geared locomotive design.
Three trips are available: a two-hour round trip to Whittaker Station, a five-hour round trip to the abandoned site of the ghost town of Spruce(no current trains to Spruce for now) (once the coldest and highest town east of the Rockies), and a five-hour round trip to Bald Knob, the third highest point in the state. Former company houses have been refurbished and are available for rent through Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. A small cabin on Bald Knob is also available for rent, and cabooses can be reserved for private use as well.
Town and shop tours are available daily to visitors who would like to learn more about the town and its lumber industry, and see how the rare geared locomotives are maintained by the Cass shop crew. A tour of a recreated logging camp is available at Whittaker.