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Steaming Through Cass

By Linda Tancs

Cass, West Virginia, is a charming old logging town founded in 1900 by a pulp and paper company. Its main attraction is Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, home of the railway line built in 1901 to haul lumber to the town mill. Lest you think it’s a quaint site riddled with old, rusty railroad cars, the astonishing fact is that Cass is home to the world’s largest fleet of geared Shay locomotives. Many of the passenger cars are old logging flat cars that have been refurbished for use as part of a popular train excursion, allowing visitors to relive an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of everyday life. For a taste of this bygone era, take the excursion to Whittaker Station, the location of an authentic logging camp recreated by the volunteers of the Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association. Just four miles up the track from Cass, the journey includes a stopover for breathtaking country views.

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