Switching moves at Cass.
Cass's Heisler shoves out of the Durbin yard with the "Durbin Rocket" on the old C&O.
Getting closer... A massive ground up rebuild of this 1919 Climax begun over 15 years ago by the Mtn State RR & Logging Historical Assoc and later taken over by the DGVR Cass shop crew is nearing ... (more)
A Mower Lumber Shay rests in the late evening at a logging camp on Cheat Mountain ready to begin loading in the morning. Actually a night shoot with the rarely featured equipment on display at Whi... (more)
With just a handful of passengers, Cass's displaced Heisler takes a leisurely jaunt down the Greenbrier on the old C&O.
It wouldn't be springtime in Cass without gratuitous use of Shays!
Cass Shay's 2 & 11 pose with vintage diesels from the D&GV at the ghost town site of Spruce.
"We meet again old friend..." For the many years I've been making the pilgrimage to Cass, this is a shot I've always wanted. Shay 2 pauses beside its old water tank, which has been here for decade... (more)
With the MSR&LHA railfan weekend just a memory, it's fun to look back on this May tradition of coming together to enjoy steam mountain railroading that lasted over half a century.
After being down for a season for a tender rebuild, Cass's Heisler warms herself by the coal stove while she waits for some finishing touches before her own fire is lit.
One can only imagine how many Shays this oil can has helped grease up over the years. Here it sits forlorn on the frame of Shay 2, torn down for a complete rebuild.
Shay 11 goes about switching the yard while the ruins of the old say mill sink slowly into nature nearby.
When coal is plentiful, there is only one way to heat the shop! This series is dedicated to the under appreciated side of railroading.
Man and his machine: veteran Cass engineer Danny Seldomridge checks over his charge prior to a trip up the mountain.
The glamorous part of the days is done, all the photo runbys are complete, and the railfans are headed for dinner, but the day is far from over. Now the paper work begins for the conductors, and t... (more)
When the last scoop of coal is thrown in the boiler and the engines are put to bed for the night, there is a few moments for a short break amongst the hulks of torn down engines. Time for a more s... (more)
When this little dude showed up to the Mountain State night photo shoot all done up in his conductor outfit for the occasion, we just couldn't help but include him in a shot. Amazingly this guy pu... (more)
Massive WM Shay 6 produces a nice thick plume arriving at Whittaker as photographers line up to capture the more interesting right side of the loco. Visit www.msrlha.org.
Almost Heaven, [Cass] West Virginia.
A typical 3 train "race" in Cass that never seems to get old...at least to me. This year's line up includes 1923 built Shay 11, 1945 built Shay 6, and Cass ... (more)
A relic on the old C&O Greenbrier Sub just north of Cass. The line was washed out in 1985.
Typical morning at Cass.
The scene many of us have grown to know and love Cass for: 3 Shays rock and roll down the old C&O "racing" side by side as they fill the Greenbrier Valley with clouds of smoke and steam.
The Cass Crew: Engineer Dirk Calocia waits for a orders to move.
Shay 4 surmounts the 9% grade into Whittaker.
Shay 4 performs runbys alongside Leatherbark Creek.
The Cass Crew: A face familiar to many visitors to the Cass Scenic RR over the past 20+ years, engineer Danny Seldomridge pilots the "big 6" through the yard at Cass.
With cylinder cocks open, Shay 11 backs past the ruins of the old WV Pulp and Paper Mill.
The Cass Crew: Firewoman Amy Beck goes about the daily rituals of readying her engine by tightening down the spark arrester.
In a scene repeated thousands of times, and hopefully thousands more to come, a Shay backs out of the yard headed to the station with cylinder cocks open. The building in the foreground was the dr... (more)
The Cass Crew: Here we see Dirk and Amy - the engineer and firewoman of Shay 11 - going out their morning rituals. Dirk seems to be imparting a little wisdom of greasing the gears which is accompl... (more)
Another interesting location high on Cheat Mountain is the wye that was used to turn the skidder in the logging days. We are on the ridge line here in the spruce forests as the star of the day's s... (more)
One last detail shot from the MSR&LHA's restoration shop. That is one of the engines cylinders you see sitting in the background. I would encourage you to visit http://www.msrlha.org/climax/index.... (more)
In a time honored tradition, the crew connects a hose to Shay 11's siphon intake. Another crew member will turn on the steam powered siphon and the locomotive will draw water up from the trackside... (more)
A set of slide valve blueprints sits in front of one of Climax 9's trucks. I would encourage you to visit http://www.msrlha.org/climax/index.html and check out this project or consider a donation.... (more)
Shays 4 and 6 both run in reverse around either side of the water tank as the back towards town to start the day's activities.
In the Mtn State RR & Logging Historical Assoc's restoration shop, the drive shaft of a 70-ton model Climax is being turned on a lathe. I would encourage you to visit http://www.msrlha.org/climax/... (more)
Shay 4 works the light grade up the Leatherbark Creek valley about a half mile after leaving Cass in the pouring rain. The 4 is a 70-ton model Shay built in 1922 and came to Cass around 1940 where... (more)
If a switchstand could tell its story, I certainly wouldn't mind hearing the tales this one could tell. A story of one of the busiest lumber mills in WV, of countless Shays treading soft overhead ... (more)
The heart of the old logging operation at Cass was this mill built in 1922 after the original 1902 mill was destroyed by fire. The "new" mill ran until 1960, and it too burned in the early 1980s. ... (more)
In a volcanic fury of smoke and screaming high pitched 3 chime whistle, 106 year old Shay 5 does what she was built to do as she storms out of the woods on a comparatively light grade and prepares... (more)
Shay 5 passes the emergency water talk as she claws up the side of Cheat Mountain less than a mile from her destination of Bald Knob.
A scene at the Cass depot as part of the 2011 Mountain State RR & Logging Historical Assoc Railfan Weekend. Visit www.msrlha.org for info.
Two Shays meet in the valley near the old town site of Spruce. Pictured here are 90-ton model 11 built in 1923 and 80-ton model 5 built in 1905. The 5 has spent its entire life hauling logs then t... (more)
Shay 4's fireman tightens down the stack's grate before the day's operations.
A double headed log train runs side by side with a pair of classic WM EMDs around the horseshoe curve that once circled the logging town of Spruce. Similar scenes will be recreated this May...chec... (more)
In a steady downpour, a log train backs toward the upper switchback at the base of the 8.7% S-curve which daily taxes Cass crews to their max. Note the brakeman on the flatcar adjusting the handbr... (more)
Venerable Shay 5 gets oiled and water before leading Saturday's packed railfan weekend trip to Spruce.
Shay 2 taking a drink. CLIC... (more)
A smoky morning with Cass's two authentic Mower Lumber Co. Shays: on the left, class 70-3 #4; on the right, class 80-3 #5. Railroad: Cass Scenic RailroadLocomotive: 3 truck ShayLocation: Cass, West Virginia, USALocomotive #: CSRR 4Train ID: UnknownPhoto Date: May 18, 2008
Old Shay 5 and WM 67 are at it again! CLICK HERE for another "race" scene between these two locos a few days previous.
CLICK HERE for a lot m... (more)
PAN SHOT of a Shay in action. Contrary to popular belief, it is in fact possible for the naked eye to perceive movement as Cass! Photo taken at 1/13 sec. That's engineer Danny Seldomridge who loo... (more)
The crew of Shay 5 oils around during a Mountain State RR & Logging Historical Assoc. night photo shoot.
Log train? No. Classic Cass? Yes. Looking like a Cass Scenic RR train straight out of the 1960s before foreign power started arriving on the line, Shays 4 & 5 cross Leatherbark Creek in the pourin... (more)
Cass crews take great pride in their locos. Here we see Brad (Shay 2’s hogger) readying his engine for day’s work while Jerry (his fireman) polishes the bell.
In a time honored Cass tradition, firewoman Amy fastens the spark arrestor on Shay 5. The grate is so thick that, if left in place at night, the lack of draft would cause smoke to exit through the... (more)
Mower Lumber Co. Shays 4 & 5 rest near the Cass depot.
Mower Lumber Shays 4 & 5 round the curve on the ex-WM trackage at Spruce.
A Trains Unlimited charter lead by 103 year old Shay 5 siphons water from a below ground tank under the watchful eyes of the Cass crew.
A Carl Franz photo special passes the rarely used upper water tank (a rusty old boiler) approaching Bald Knob.
Walter's recent switchback shot made me think of this different angle. One can easily see how much elevation these things help a ... (more)
The conductor watches the track ahead as Shay 11 shoves a flat though the junction at Old Spruce.
Oh Deer! ...sorry, couldn't avoid the pun. On a damp, hazy morning several light footed creatures dash across the tracks in front of a descending passenger train. Fortunately the furry guys wer... (more)
A top-and-tailed log train drifts around Gum Curve.
A bit of an overhead detail shot of 1928 Pacific Coast #2.
With 1929 Heisler #6 on the point, a doubleheaded log train stomps up the 8% grade at Oats Run passing the rusty old boiler and tender tank after Railroad: Cass Scenic RailroadLocomotive: 3 truck HeislerLocation: West Virginia, USALocomotive #: CSRR 6Train ID: UnknownPhoto Date: May 12, 2007
Conductor Bob Starke uses hand signals to direct the engineer of Shay 11 in coupling to a flat car. Two other crewmen keep an eye on the knuckles to make sure they're alligned properly.
Taking a walk away from the photo line, I decided to grab a broadside of Shay 11 dropping down the 6% grade between the switchbacks.
The Shavers Fork of the Cheat River is the constant companion of this portion of the West Virginia Central.
A log train thunders by the Cass shops and past the deadline which includes a little GE 45 ton center cab, an old lathe on a flatcar, and a few derelict Shays.
Although the boiler house and drying kilns are still standing, this collection of foundation footings, pulleys, drive shafts, flywheels, and other metal junk are all that remains of the once huge ... (more)
Two former South Branch Valley ALCOs, one still in B&O paint, sit in the weeds near Cass without a single intact pane of glass to their name.
Engineer Brad Hoover seems to be posing but the grin is no doubt because he’s chuckling and thinking, “hmmm, look at all the foamers.”
A log train trundles down the old Greenbrier, Cheat, and Elk mainline.
Here’s a look inside the smokebox at the superheater header of an abandoned 1943 consolidation on the Cass dead line. It seems that a few plants decided to call this rather inhospitable env... (more)
An interesting study of the nozzle structure and front flue sheet inside the open smoke box of 102 year old Shay 5 residing in the Cass Shop. Even without the spark arrestor, that stack is rather... (more)
In a time honored tradition, all 5 crew members of this Mower Lumber log train take a rest as their Shay siphons water out of an old stationary boiler at Oats Run.
Loaded logs wait to make the descent from West Virginia’s second highest peak.
Nothing says logging railroad like geared locomotives and spruce trees.
Ah, the tedium of steam restoration. Chalk markings show the cylinder mount bore of a 1919 Climax being restored by the Mtn. State RR & Logging Hist. Assoc. The clock on the wall seems fitting as ... (more)
Both engineer Danny Seldomridge and his fireman look quite obviously perplexed. They’re probably trying to figure out what Carl Franz is dreaming up for them to do next.
Cass acquired this 1920 class 80-3 Shay from Washington in 2002. Initial plans, which called for restoring this engine in short order because of the sound boiler, never happened. One can see that... (more)
A log train crosses the second Shavers Fork bridge north of Spruce.
Cass’s two popular west coast Shays (2 from British Columbia and 11 from California) arrive at the junction of the CSRR and the West Virginia Central at Spruce.
I caught a shot of the Heisler on the tail track of the wye as the passenger train rolled through on the main.