My family and few friends went to Cass for a weekend getaway on early June. It was a 4.5 hours scenic railroad trip on the mountains of West Virginia. We were told about this trip by our friend Ray.
We arrived late at night, around 11 p.m on Friday. Only less than half of the whole crew arrived before midnight. The rest arrived Saturday after midnight, some as late as 3 a.m. It was a long drive. The hardest part was driving through the long and extreme winding roads through the mountains. It was dark and there were no street lights. To make it even more difficult, there were patches of heavy fogs here and there. Some were really heavy we literally had to slow down to about 5 mph because we couldn’t see what’s ahead of us. We wanted to stay alive and not fell of the cliffs!
Anyway, we were glad that we all arrived safely.
Still waiting for the others to arrive, we chatted and played some board games. We gave up waiting for the others until about 1:30 a.m. Ray, on the other hand, waited until everyone arrived.
We all woke up in the morning and had breakfast at around 9 a.m.
Ira and her devilish gesture. 🙂
Daniel and Bjorn chatting outside.
Preparing sandwich for our lunch during the train trip.
Dhimas cooked for lunch, while Indah cooked for tomorrow.
Yum…. !The chicken tasted really great! Thanks to our chef, Dhimas. 🙂
We helped to prepare the sandwiches for everyone.
Bjorn accompanying Marcell who couldn’t get enough of Othello from the night before.
The street where we stayed.
Walking to the train station…
and someone had to ruin the candid moment. :p
Here comes the train…
The engine… Yup, it’s a steam engine. 🙂
Ye olde Cass train station… 🙂
Fortunately, we all get to sit in the same car.
Finally they announced, “All aboard!” … and off we go! 🙂
The engine pushed the cars from behind. So we were ahead of the engine on our first part of the trip. There were six cars.
We passed few engines by the station. The two black ones were still active. The one on the right were not used anymore.
Enjoying the scenery. 🙂
The train had to go up to that track on the right.
So while the train slowed down to stop, someone went down from the train …
and switch the track after the train backed away enough to clear the switch track. This was the lower switchback.
Now the engine pulled the cars. Notice the difference of the smoke trails between the image above and below.
Throughout the ride, we kept hearing “Choo… choo!” every now and then. It was loud! 🙂
We did another track switch at the Upper switchback. Then engine pushed the cars again.
Nathalia and Ira was looking at the train track below after the switch.
Here you can see the track where the train was before the switch.
We stopped at Whittaker Station for restroom break. One of the guy applied the break on the car next to ours.
A view of the engine from the other side. It looks more complicated from this side since most of the moving mechanical parts are on this side.
Karen attempted to take pictures of the girls jumping. It takes several attempts to synchronize everyone. As you can see, one was too late. :p
An attempt by me. A successful one this time. 🙂 But one was just there for “decoration”.
Adding more people… different ages… it would then be more difficult to synchronize. 🙁
Naomi and her big smile 😀
The whole crew. Minus me of course. 🙁
Wait… that guy with the hat was not one of us. He was there first, so I didn’t feel like asking him if he could step away for a while. Oh well… :p
Then they announced again, “All aboard!!”
Every car had one brake attendant. If the train stopped at a station or had to fill water (for the steam), the brake on each and every car had to be applied.
Here the attendant released the brake.
Throughout the trip, Karen took goofy pictures. Here she shared the results to the others.
Our tour guide…
Here we stopped to fill water. The water was for the steam which provided power to the engine.
Frequently, we could see two colors of exhaust from the engine. One black and the other white. The black one was from the coal burn, and the white one was steam releasing excess pressure from the engine.
Our mascot taking a nap…
A close up look of our mascot for a better view of his distinctive feature. 🙂
Apparently we had nothing better to do. 😀
OK. Enough of that… :p
Finally we reached Bald Knob, the highest point on our trip. The elevation of the overlook was about 4700 feet. The actual summit was 4842 feet and about 1/4 mile to the southwest.
One was too tired to go out and took advantage of the empty seats for a relaxing nap. 🙂
The overlook platform. 🙂
We could see the furthest mountain on the Virginia border, which was 11 miles away.
Ah, the couple finally came down … 😀
Ray, our sponsor.
Our mascot and his usual goofy act in front of a camera.
Posing by one of the caboose.
We couldn’t help but do goofy poses as well. :p
The whole gang, minus me again of course. 🙁
And we finally head back. We saw few deers coming out from the woods scavenging leftover human foods.
Nathalia sharing pictures on her camera.
During this part the engine pulled the cars. There was one time when the smoke was blown into the cars.
Marcell enjoying the scenery. 🙂
Avel played with his dad’s camera. Guess what, Marcell then had the idea to play with my camera too. I let him, but watched him closely and tutored him on how to use it.
Everyone was tired, but the pleasant breeze and fresh air made us feel relaxed.
We passed Whittaker Station again. We didn’t stop this time, just passed through slowly.
The picnic area.
Here’s the upper switchback.
We came down from that track on the right. 🙂
Avel didn’t take nap like most of the others. He enjoyed taking pictures here and there. 🙂
Unused old engines.
We then head back to our place. We rented two houses.
Enjoying the porch swing while listening to the river just across the road.
We had lunch and watched Nemo. 🙂
In the evening, we celebrated Pat and Ira’s birthday.
Someone toasted with bottled water. LOL! 😀
Posing at the front of one the houses we rented. This was the larger one. The other one was smaller.
Thanking our sponsor, Ray.
Thank you, Ray. It was a really pleasant and memorable trip. We probably wouldn’t ever find out about the place, let alone made the trip if it wasn’t for Ray. 🙂
Cheer for our maskot, the sleeping budha ^_^ Nice pics Le!!!
Awesome pics~! You guys really got us when we are sleeping, huh??!!! >.< very naughty!!! Definitely brings back memories. 🙂 You capture all of them really well!! Great job, Le!
Well Done Leeeooo!!
Thanks for capturing the good time we had there.
Hahahahaha….yess, really good time, especially watching you guys sleep. And the small mice. Can you believe that it was precisely ONE month ago today that we drove up there, nearly vomitted due to the long small winding road?? Thanks for the treat, Ray, we would’ve not known anything about West Virginia if we hadn’t gone there. Cheers, Old Lad.
i love trains!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My, my, my … that’s an adventure-packed week-end.
Not to say ’bout the breath-taking and wonderful scenery … and all the yummy-yummy dishes.
A week-end to remember by all …
A week-end that strengthen all …
A week-end embedded with one of Life’s Lessons – that the road to the summit is always unpaved, rough but always full with surprises … hardships to be faced, obstacles to overcome, daunting, tiresome … intermingled with fulfillment and enlightenment.
And at last … the sweet taste of victory.
My heartfelt thanks to the be-spectacled Promoter with his white beard and big tummy for having arranged a gifted week-end blessed by Heaven.
Thank U Ray.
And not to forget to the photographer, also thank U for his ‘story in pictures’ … may Heaven blessed you all.
I really envy you all for having a wonderful, meaningful week-end.
People used to say … a picture holds and tells so many stories
And I’ve found it again in all what you have captured.
Only they, with warm affection and a desire so intense, plus a mountain of patience to wait for the right moment to press the shutter are able to do it.
And afterward …
spend his/her time till the breaking of dawn in the work after to make the picture alive and become a treasure to cherish.
My congratulations to you.
Keep up the good work.
Thank you for sharing your experience of Cass Scenic Railroad.
I am planning a trip there this summer with my sons…just as my father did his children when we were small.
I don’t remember alot about the trip but do recall we ’bout froze to death….lol, so I’m preparing for this trip.
I live in Southern West Virginia and I’m excited to go back to Cass even more so after seeing your story.
Thank you, everyone 🙂
Tammy: I’m glad that my story helped. 🙂
How did you found my blog, btw?
THANK YOU for sharing your photos on line.
I went to Cass West Va as a child Maybe 5 or 6 and I had vivid memories of the place. I have always wanted to take my children there. They are grwon and gone and I happened to key word “cass West VA, & your photo’s came up. SO I can now share your memories with them and hope that I can one day go back to ride the trian, before I die!
thank you and I hope you have many long memories of the ride and the view!
My grandfather and grandma on my moms side were raised in Cass. most of my family ran the train for many many years, and ran the store. I’ve lost touch with most of them but still have the greatest memories of my life from those years and being on that train! Big props to the Cassell’s for taking such good care of it for so many years and to those to take care of it now!
Its really great…
Great pictures, what fun it must have been! My wife and I are planning to ride the Cass r.r. again after an earlier trek to W.V. back in 1982.
Zion, Illinois, 07/23/11
Thank you. 🙂
Whoa, that is a very long time ago. Probably things have change since your last visit. 🙂