Steam Weekend at Cass, WV

natsb Sep 22, 2015

  1. natsb

    natsb TrainBoard Member

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    Had a great weekend. Four straight days on five different trains. Spent the nights in a 1906 railroad house on the river front in the old RR town of Cass, WV. My wife sure knows how to give a great birthday present.

    Riding the Durbin Rocket Climax #3. The rain was causing the whole engine to steam.
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    Rode the first car, so I got up close and personal with Shay #5 an Cass Whittaker Run.
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    Shay #6 pushed us up 9% grades to Bald Knob with the help of Hiesler #6 seen here at the first switchback.
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    Sorry, I don't know what kind of engine this is. The folks at the Elkins, WV depot called it Salamander because it could navigate the sharp mountain curves.
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    The two F units that pulled us up Cheat Mountain. Yeah, I know, it is not steam, but it was a fun dinner train the folks at the Elkins, WV folks called the Tyger River Express.
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    Mike VE2TRV and FriscoCharlie like this.
  2. Mike VE2TRV

    Mike VE2TRV TrainBoard Member

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    Your wife has excellent taste in birthday presents.;)

    The engine you can't identify is a GP9.

    Shays are fascinating machines. There's a lot of action going on, and one can see that the designer was a true genius in creating a locomotive that is really powerful and yet nimble to be able to go up brutal grades and negotiate sharp curves.
     
  3. fitz

    fitz Staff Member

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    Wow, thanks for those. As a rabid steam fan who has never been to the Cass, it is sure on my bucket list. I got addicted to the logging locomotives on many visits to Mt. Rainier Scenic out here in the west, and would really love to see Big 6 operate.
     
  4. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    If only I ever received such a birthday present. Wow. Nice.
     
  5. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Great photos! Cass is one of my favorite places!
     
  6. montanan

    montanan TrainBoard Member

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    Thanks for the photos. That is a great place to visit. I have been there a couple of times over the years and really enjoyed. it. We travel a lot and try to visit as many operation steam railroads as we can and Cass is one of our favorites, but unfortunately, quite far from us.
     
  7. natsb

    natsb TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, there is a lot going on. It was fascinating to watch. Luckily, I stopped staring long enough to get a short clip. Sorry, it giggles so much. A bouncing train car isn't the most stable platform for taking a video. I had a pretty good conversation with the engineer about how the mechanicals decide whether the train goes forward or reverse. Actually, it was not a conversation as I mostly listened, but now I know how a steam engine reverses direction.


    I found a better view taken with me standing on the ground. Still shaky... must be me...


    The gears on the Hiesler #6 were not as complex, but still fascinating.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2015
    FriscoCharlie likes this.
  8. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    Does that mean that now Cass Scenic RR hosts Geeps and F-Units? Are these engines able to navigate through the ultra tight curves and the 9% grades of that railroad?

    Dom
     
  9. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 HOn30 & N Scales Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

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    Those are used on a different section of track.
     
  10. TwinDad

    TwinDad TrainBoard Member

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    Operations at Cass have been taken over by another railroad, the Durbin and Grenbrier Valley. They run scenic trains at Durbin and at Cheat Mountain and maybe a couple of other places. The Diesels are for those operations and don't climb Bald Knob.
     
  11. natsb

    natsb TrainBoard Member

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    In some cases they use different sections of track. In other cases, they use the same track, but are limited to how far they can go. And in other cases, such as with the GP9, the tracks are within 50 feet, so passengers can switch trains. Except for the Durbin track, they are all connected and service is done at the Cass yards. I was told that the diesels are towed to the Cass yards by one of the Shays rather than under their own power. When I asked why the diesels don't drive themselves to Cass, my guide simply said "because they can't." Which of course leaves me to wonder why they can't. I don't understand why an F-Unit can be towed around a sharp curve, but cannot take the same curve under it's own power?
     
  12. natsb

    natsb TrainBoard Member

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    Yes, they are all one big organization now. The Durbin track is the only one not connected to the others. It's track stops at the camp grounds for the cabooses. I could see a lot of work going on at the end of the track. Our engineer said they were repairing the damage done in the 1985 flood, and should be connected to the other tracks by next year. His biggest concern was that they use different rails. I am not sure why that matters.
     
    TwinDad likes this.
  13. ddechamp71

    ddechamp71 TrainBoard Member

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    OK, copied. ;)

    Dom
     
  14. badlandnp

    badlandnp TrainBoard Member

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    Love the steam! Great bday gift, WOW!!!!

    As for the diesels not able to go around the tight corners, under their own power torque takes over and tends to make the wheel flanges crawl over the rail. The torque makes the wheels tend to want to stay going in a straight line.
     
    ddechamp71 likes this.
  15. mosslake

    mosslake TrainBoard Member

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    rails are different weights or sizes. Smaller rail cannot support heavy locos, they tend to break the rails and derail. That's why some early diesels had idler wheels in the truck - an A1A truck- to spread the weight on light branchline track.
     

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