Durbin, WV: Yes, the trains still stop here. Meadow River Heisler Locomotive #6 heads south, out of the quaint little West Virginia town of Durbin at about MP 95.2, headed for Cass on the old C&O main line with some loads in tow.
If you've ever driven through Durbin, West Virginia, you know it takes all of 5 minutes to pass through it. There are no traffic lights and no stop signs on the main drag through town. The downtown business district looks like something out of the 1930s. Once a way station on the Chesapeake & Ohio's Greenbrier Division, the railroad was its prime connection with the outside world. A lot of coal and timber passed through here and there was a connection with the Western Maryland just to the east. Alas, traffic on the Durbin line died off after World War II and the only passenger service that came through here were occasional railfan excursions. When the Chessie System abandoned this line in the late 1970s, it looked like Durbin might never see a train again. When the line washed out south of Durbin in a 1985 storm, that seemed a certainty.
In the early 2000s, the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad came here and started a small steam tourist operation known as the "Durbin Rocket" on the only usable rails left of the old Greenbrier Division, that being about a 5 mile stretch from Durbin south to the first of the washouts. The owner had a vision however, and that vision included rebuilding the connection between Cass and Durbin. It's taken about 15 years to get all of the stars aligned and the washouts rebuilt, but in 2021, excursion service between the two towns is schedule to resume. When they do, they'll probably utilize the former Meadow River Heisler #6, pictured here, as the primary power. Of all of the engines currently in service with the Durbin & Greenbrier, she's the most well-suited for the role. At some point, the plan is to restore another West Virginia native, the former Buffalo Creek & Gauley Consolidation #4 for this role, but that is likely several years away.