Each spring, the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia opens its tourist season with a special event known as the Cass Railfan Weekend. Trains that aren’t regularly a part of the season’s schedule are operated then to the delight of riders and photographers. Pentrex takes you back to 1990 to experience the extra runs and excitement of that year’s Railfan Weekend and discover why Cass draws crowds back year after year.
A parade of steam opens the event with a spectacular display of vintage Shay action! Three Shay locomotives, Numbers 2, 3 and 4, run side-by-side down the triple tracks, spewing great billows of steam and thrilling the crowd with their antics. Then the Shays triple-head to Bald Knob at the top of Black Allegheny Mountain with a passenger train in tow, followed closely by a vintage log train pulled by the railroad’s Heisler locomotive.
The Shays make numerous run-bys as they struggle up the daunting eleven percent grades of the mountainside. You’ll ride in the cabs of several as the firemen work intensely to keep the hungry engines fueled with shovel after shovelful of coal. The locomotives’ intricate systems of shafts, flywheels, and gears are seen close up as they strain to pull the trains uphill. Cass Scenic has it all: unusual locomotives, vintage cars, and fabulous scenery. Here’s your chance to enjoy it at its best!