I don't really even remember that well what years it was that I visited Cass, but I do remember visiting their tourist railroad that climbed to the peak of the hill behind the town, as well as the trip along the river.
I even got a cab ride in one of the shay locomotives!
At the time I visited, there were three types of trips offered: one was a halfway up the hill and return trip for those that only wanted a brief train ride. The second type of trip was one all the way to the top of Bald Knob, which is one of the highest points in the region and has a view in all directions. As there is no view from the siding that is halfway up the hill, why on earth would you only want to go halfway?
At the time I visited in the 1980s, there was a third trip offered: a fairly scenic trip along the river from Cass to the interchange point with the main line railroad in the area. However, apparently much of this section of the railroad was knocked out by a hurricane and flooding in the late 1980s, and thus ceased operations. A new connection with another point on the main line was constructed closer to the main route up to the top of Bald Knob.
Today there is a trip called the "Spruce Run" which will not run this year due to habitat restoration efforts in the area. Perhaps this is the same river level route that I remember from the mid-1980s, but from the sounds of the description on the web site this is a different area.
I also got to visit the shop complex once, and that was really interesting being able to take a look around at all the parts and pieces. They were in the process of restoring a BL-2, which is a very historic and unique diesel locomotive.
The web site describes the ongoing restoration efforts of the community, and the conversion of the old structures in the town to state park guest houses. Therefore there are some radical changes in the 25 years or so since I have visited this State Park and Tourist Railroad.
I'll not add much more, because anything I remember is probably quite irrelelvant now.
The company built the town of Cass to support it's operation. Homes were built and then employees could either rent them or purchase them. For those who purchased a home, there was free lumber for expansions. Of course, all purchases could only be sold back to the company for the price that was originally paid.
Cass Presbyterian Church is still has an active congregation. Founded in the early 1900's, the company provided the land.
P.O. Box 107, Cass, West Virginia, 24927, United States
Good for: Families
The food is fast food, all frozen and heated up to order, not very good.
I would recommend bringing your own food to cook.
Luggage and bags:
Coolers are allowed. There is no where near to buy food, except the local railroad restaurant.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Remember that is is usually cooler in the mountains, dress in layers
Photo Equipment: Bring camera and lots of film
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: thhey do offer widerness camping