‘Durbin Rocket’ Run
Updated July 16, 2015
– Train departs Durbin Depot on Sunday at 10:00; meet on outdoor deck at 8:30 am for carpools.
Based on the positive response to previous outings on the Cass Scenic Railroad, we have added a field trip to the ‘Durbin Rocket’ as a daylight activity. AHSP will have group-rate tickets for the 2 hour round trip along the Greenbrier River, which recreates part of the rail transportation and logging tradition of the area. Definitely a family activity, for any weather. We will provide snacks for our group. Lunch will be on your own, either at the lunchroom near the Durbin station, or somewhere else of you choosing (suggestions to be provided). TMI has been asked to hold over a late lunch for those on the meal plan.
Tickets for the train ride, the historical sites, and snacks will be $26 for adults and $18 for children 5 – 12 years old. We are not limited in the group size. Reservations can be accepted through July 31. Durbin is about 50 min. south of TMI, before NRAO. Those staying overnight at NRAO should be able to join us at Durbin, if they wish.
The Durbin Rocket is pulled by a geared-drive engine, but of a different design than those at Cass. The trip is leisurely run along a river valley that passes south from Durbin to the west of NRAO. The train includes open and closed cars and a caboose.
Separately: Those who want more railroading can continue down the road to Cass on your own, at your convenience. In the past, volunteer restorers showed us and discussed their work restoring and maintaining the Cass locomotives. It was a highlight of the day. The restorers may be working with the shops this weekend. We will update here when we find out whether this will be a weekend with active train renovations in progress at the Cass maintenance shops. Right now, it is a 50:50 chance.
Bob Bunge wrote in 2010: “Cass is unique and very much a treasure of mountain history and culture (much like TMI). It has the largest operating fleet of geared locomotives in the US. One of their locomotives, Western Maryland #6 is the largest Shay type locomotive ever made.
“The trip up the mountain features steep, steep grades; at some points, there are “switch backs” where the train will stop, backup and move forward again since there either isn’t room or the grades would be too steep even for the geared locomotives. The engines work very hard up the mountain, if you are into anything industrial and enjoy sound, the combination of the different noises, the roar of the exhaust, the steam whistle and screech of the wheels is a real treat.”
Volunteer carpools will meet on the deck after early breakfast.
We will add more information here about railroading near AHSP.