If you missed my first post about my ride on the Cass Scenic Railroad click here. In that post I didn't explain how the town came to be. It was founded in 1900 by the WV Pulp and Paper Company and built as a company town to meet the needs of the men who worked the nearby mountains cutting timber. Hungarian, Italian and Austrian immigrants built the railroad to bring the timber to the nearby band-saw mill . The town was named for Joseph Cass, vice president and company investor. The town is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The above image is my entry for this week's Friday's Fences. These are some of the original company houses. At one time there were 52 houses on the hill. At present 20 have been refurbished and can be rented for tourist lodgings. Don't you just love the white picket fence!
I also like the wooden sidewalks - like a mini wooden boardwalk in the mountains. :)
Continuing from my last post our first stop was Whittaker Station about four miles up the track. Here a small replicated logging camp is set up. I know it's a little smokey but I wanted a photo before all the passengers disembarked. The piece of equipment at the very back on the right hand side is a Lidgerwood tower skidder, one of only two examples left in the world. These huge railcar-mounted machines carried logs out of the woods on aerial cables high in the air and for distances up to 3,000 feet. We spent about thirty minutes enjoying our surroundings before reboarding and heading on up the mountain.Hanging out of my car I took a photo of the 'front' of the train. Remember the engines are pushing us up the hill. Looking ahead of the last car you can tell the grade of the railroad is getting steeper.Shooting behind from where we had been you can see the two engines pushing us up.As the train gets to the higher grade you can see the pusher engine pumping hard and releasing the dark black steam.Shortly thereafter we needed to stop and fill the engine tanks with water. The water comes from a natural spring. The train uses a steam injector to suction the water to fill the tanks. We stopped going up the mountain and again going down.
Not long after we reached the peak of Bald Knob. Look closely and you will notice the pusher engine has broken away at this point. All that's left to see is the puff of smoke left behind as it descends back to the station. We will only need the one engine to get back down the mountain.The platform at the top of Bald Knob. The elevation here is 4700 feet. Here we enjoyed the view and ate our lunch.
Hubby and I had chosen a picnic table underneath the platform and this is a view through some of the railings. As I said before, the photos cannot do the scene justice. It was an amazing fall view. It's hard to believe that the weekend before (October 2) they had had eight inches of snow here at the top. This Sunday the train will make its last run for the 2011 season. I wish I could be on it!