Thursday, October 27, 2011

Friday's Fences and Cass Railroad Part Two

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!

23 comments:

Roan said...

Wow! This looks like a fun way to spend a few hours. I know what you mean about the pictures not showing the real beauty. I took several on my trip though PA & NY and none of them match the breathtaking views. These are all amazing shots.

Ebie said...

What a beautiful scenic tour! The white picket fence is very well composed, looks like it covered the whole block!

Carole Meisenhelter said...

incredible views up there; the platform has a fence too! Lovely photographs.

Donna said...

What a great trip - I can't imagine that it had snow that recently. And the fence - solid white pickets - very fun!

Magical Mystical Teacher said...

A boardwalk? With a white picket fence? Charming!

Old Fence

Jan n Jer said...

Oh my...this is simply stunning! Love the little houses with picket fences and the ride on the train looks awesome. The view!!!...to die for!!!! Thanks for the history of this place, very interesting. Also thanks for playing today

diane b said...

What an exciting trip. The houses are cute with the picket fence. The view of the coloured mountains is stunning.

Rose said...

I do love the picket fences, and really just love all of these. I would love to visit that place1

Jeannelle said...

Excellent photos and info. Gorgeous scenery! I like your captures of the engine smoke.

TexWisGirl said...

that is some serious white picket fencing! :)

Pam said...

I would dearly love to take that rail trip. Old trains are such fun especially with Autumn scenes like these.

Buttons said...

Wow this is more then a fence post (pardon the pun) it is a history lesson and your fabulous photos are awesome.
I love the steam one the best. I would love to have taken this ride. Thanks great post. B

Sandy said...

Gorgeous view. Everyone was have a wonderful time.

Craver Vii said...

Whew! Even though it's just a photo, I felt it in my stomach to look down from those heights!

Faye said...

What a wonderful outing! I just love trips where you learn something that you didn't know before. And what photo opportunities you had at this time of the year. I'm familiar with company towns--for KY it would be coal. Not nearly as picturesque as this one. I do remember the habit of enclosing underneath the porch. My cousins and I played there to stay cool. Thanks for taking us along on this trip!

Inger-M said...

It's always nice to see well kept picket fences!

Bruce Clark said...

Fantastic white picket fence and with the wooden sidewalk it makes a perfect shot.

Stephany said...

The train ride, the picket fences, the fall colors and the mountains...I'm so envious right now! I love the second photo with the watch tower in the back. :)

MyMaracas said...

This time of year, especially, I miss living in West Virginia. It really is "almost Heaven".

Thanks for sharing your adventure and giving my a little glimpse of home.

Genie said...

After I told my husband about your series about the train ride, I issued the ultimatum for next year: "WE ARE GOING TO RIDE THAT TRAIN NO MATTER WHAT!” I am really enjoying your blog. genie

Bridget Larsen said...

Love your gorgeous pictures
Bridget #36

Ms. Burrito said...

Beautiful shots.

Labradors

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