October 3, 2012
Cheat Mountain Salamander
Durbin Rocket
Elkins, W. Va.


We left out at 8am for Elkins, W. Va. to ride 2 trains today. The first was known as the Cheat Mountain Salamander which took up the mountain using a diesel engine.  We went up the mountain and then had a Hobo lunch at the top of the mountain at High Falls.  We were able to hike down to the falls, and take pictures, only having one person fall, but fortunately, no injuries from the fall.  We had beautiful skies so were able to enjoy the warmer temperatures.  After lunch, we were dropped off at the Cheat siding and picked up by our buses to be taken to Durbin, W. Va. where we got on a Climax engine which as 2 cylinders, one on each side at a 45 angle pushing the wheels.  We were able to go to the top of the mountain where we dropped off a family in a caboose you can rent and have a caboose "cabin" by the day which is parked on the siding next to the river.  It was about $300 a night to stay there.  The train crew was great in stopping the engine, and then backing the train up and coming around the curve with the whistle blowing to give us great shots.  I shot video of the train so didn't get still photos.  We got back into the station, got some ice cream and then had about a 1 hour ride back to the lodge.


Cheat Mountain Salamander Engine & train.

Engineer getting on the train.

Train ticket office here.

Hobo Bob selling CDs and playing his banjo.  I bought a couple of them, and he isn't bad on the banjo.  Quite a character.

Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad sign.

The car that we had lunch in.  The back portion of the car is a kitchen.

The station was refurbished after being built in 1890. 

Salamander Engine

The rail ended, and I stood at the end, and actually forced the train to stop about 8 feet short of where he wanted to stop.

Frontal shot of the engine.

Getting my picture taken with the engine.

Engineer who didn't get upset that I stopped his train.

Both engines at the station.

Waiting to board the trains.  Only place we had cell service.

We had our own platform to wait for the train.

Inside the car - it was old but very comfortable.  Even had a modern bathroom in our car.

Passing over the river

High Falls - they were not very high, but quite nice.  The brown in the water is from the tannic acid the trees produce, but is okay to drink.

Panorama of the falls

Mountains in background showing some color.

Looking from above the falls.

Looking down the track as it disappears around the curve.

Tracks with the river down below.

Hobo lunch was eaten above the falls.

Milk weed found here.  I hadn't seen this since my childhood.

Milk weed spreading it's seed to the wind.

I was enjoying the flowers and insects in the area.

Climax engine at Durbin.

A cylinder like this on each side of the train.

Manufactures plate on the engine.

Crossing in front of the engine to get to the station.

Front view of the Durbin Rocket.

Looking down towards the station.

Other side of the engine.

Driving gear on the train.

Durbin Station.

Sign in front of the station.  Not sure where the "rocket" part comes in.

Conductor making sure we got on the train safely.

Checking tickets or so it seems.

Going around the curve (slight lean to the camera).

Bald Eagle that was along side of the river.

Remains of the telegraph line that ran along side of the tracks. 

Foot bridge to a residence along side of the tracks.  Resident there still uses train to get supplies and has to walk them across the river on foot bridge.

Panoramic picture of farm along side of the railroad.

Engine controls on the engine.

I got up in the engine and had picture taken looking out window.

Huffing and puffing while at rest.

Outhouse with a view of the river - unfortunately, ground hogs had eaten the floor out of the outhouse for the 3rd time.

Looking back down the tracks from where we came from.

Back at the station, getting ready to put the engine up for the night.