Compiled by Philip V. Bagdon
(Updated in May 2007 by Richard M. Sparks)
|The majority of these data were compiled as of June, 2002. Phil Bagdon prepared and maintained this list until his untimely death in 2003. MSR&LHA would like to hear from someone interested in updating and maintaining this roster.|
Originally Compiled by Philip V.
(Updated 2007 by Richard M. Sparks)
The majority of these data were compiled as of June, 2002. Phil Bagdon prepared and maintained this list until his untimely death in 2003. MSR&LHA would like to hear from someone interested in updating and maintaining this roster.
Quick links to the Rolling Stock information:
Closed Platform No. 1
Bald Knob Coaches
Closed Platform Nos. 5-8, 11-13
Open Platform No. 10
Caboose No. 50
Caboose No. 51
Work and Special-use Equipment:
Skeleton Log Cars
American Log Loader and Skeleton Log Car
Heavy Steel Flatcars
Single Dome Chemical Tank Car
Single Dome Petroleum Tank Cars
Whittaker Camp One:
Camp Car Replica
Diesel Log Loader
Skeleton Log Car
Ex-BC&G Steel Flatcar
Four-wheel “Bobber” Caboose
High-lead Steam Skidder
Inactive Steel Log Cars:
Meadow River B-series
Meadow River E-series
Inactive Conventional Freight Cars:
Inactive Conventional Passenger Cars:
Coach (No. 960)
Coach (No. 990)
Coach (No. 10, Romney)
Wood (Steel-sheathed) Combine
Other Inactive Cars:
Closed Platform Excursion Car No. 107
Closed Platform Excursion Car No. 110
Ex-CN End-cupola Caboose
Ex-Army Drop-end Lowside
Ex-Mower Wooden Cars:
First Generation CSRR Excursion Cars
Mower Lumber Flatcar No. 110
Mower Camp Lobby Car
Mower Lumber Camp Kitchen
Mower Camp Bunk Car
Wye Camp Train Four camp car bodies
|No Longer on Premises:
First Generation Excursion Cars
Open Platform Excursion Car
Mower Lumber Flatcar
Wreck Train Water Car
Steel Baggage/Express Car
Cars Disposed to Other Locations
Ex-B&O Steel Combine
Stainless Steel Coach
Lightweight C&O Steel Coaches
Marlinton Display Cars
Western Maryland Hopper Cars
Equipment Stored at Cass, Non-CSRR:
Ex-C&O Kitchen Car
U.S. Army Hospital Train
Motorcar No. 1
International Pickup Truck
Chevrolet Panel Truck
Mountain State Construction Co. Motorcar
Current M-of-W equipment:
Ex-MSR&LHA Section Car
Hi-rail Dump Truck
U.S. Army Car Kits and Lowside
U.S. Army Boxcars
This presentation is a web adaptation of the fifth in a series of annual releases published under the auspices of Mountain State Railroad & Logging Historical Association. Some would call this an arcane pursuit, but the Cass Scenic Railroad wouldn’t be an active railroad without its locomotives and rolling stock – and each piece has a story to tell.
Through 10-67, use of original equipment on CSRR trains afforded a genuine connection to the railroad’s heritage – the cars had once hauled logs to Cass and were complete with vertical staff brake wheels turned by veteran brakemen using steel "hickeys." Those who witnessed the era are mindful that this logging railroad’s amazing rescue had legitimate financial limitations: no one can bemoan that more Mower cars were not saved.
1. Excursion cars are now equipped with roller bearing trucks; old-style brass journal bearings are still found on equipment not used in passenger service.
Platform No. 1
-- (Flatcar with roof and waist-high side panels.) A 40-foot steel
by the Norfolk & Western [class, date built and retirement
by Elk River Coal & Lumber Co., Swandale (Clay County) from
[Midwest Steel Corp. (Port Amherst, Kanawha County)], 195; conveyed
successor W.M. Ritter Lumber Co., then to Georgia-Pacific Corp.; used
end of Swandale rail-logging, -67, then donated by G-P – shipped,
Cass, the log loader was originally set on this car ; afterward
during the 1967-68 off-season for the conversion of the car into CSRR
No. 12 –
the Bald Knob trainset’s “cinder” car (side railings, no roof, tool
box) – was
completed prior to the 1969 runs; fashioned into a closed unit during
Bald Knob Coaches -- (aka "Boxcars") Nos. 2-4 Additional 40-foot steel flatcars built by the N&W and last used commercially at Swandale (see above); came to Cass in the same 5-67 movement; converted specifically for service to Bald Knob – drop down windows and toilets in two of the three cars – prior to 5-68’s inaugural run to the top; originally rostered as CSRR Nos. 13-15.
1. Elk River Coal & Lumber began rail-logging out of Swandale in 1916. The company was acquired by the Clinchfield Coal Division of Pittston Coal Co. in 1958. Soon thereafter, the lumber side of the business was sold to (Columbus-based) W.M. Ritter Lumber Co. Ritter became part of Georgia-Pacific Corp. on 1-1-61. Rail-logging ended in -67. A diesel switcher ran lumber over the BC&G to the B&O until [?]-68.
2. Common carrier Buffalo Creek & Gauley’s use of flatcars 106 and 107 is uncertain – it can be assumed they were part of the Dundon wreck train. There are photos of other such cars in the consist (boom tender, coal lowside, etc.), but none of these two. Elk River Coal & Lumber, which shared trackage with BC&G, also operated ex-Cherry River Boom & Lumber flats. Likely they would have come to Clay County at about the same time that ERC&L bought two CRB&L Shays (-58).
3. CSRR Superintendent Jim Reep ordered that the items donated by Clinchfield Coal retain their original numbers upon conversion to excursion service – thus, No. 106 was the start of a strange numbering series.
4. Either No. 106 or No. 107, without railings and with the deck finished like a fine dance floor, served as the performing stage for a segment of an American Heritage TV series concert taping (Merle Travis, Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys and others) shot in front of the Cass depot on 8-12-70. Railfans were disappointed when the show aired because shots of the railroad were extremely brief.
5. On excursion rebuild, side panels on both cars were red. One of the two received decoration for the 1976 Bicentennial (blue body, red-white-and-blue banner and white lettering "1976 * USA * 1976") and operated in that scheme between 5-76 and 10-77. Car 106 now plays the role of a log car at Whittaker Camp One while car 107 is on the dead line.
6. It is uncertain how many flatcars (used for log cars) were in the Swandale fleet; nor is the breakdown of original owners known. The four ERC&L cars that came to Cass were the only ones built by Norfolk & Western. Lettering – such as PX on the car which carried the loader may be shipment markings. No Swandale views which the compiler has seen show such markings.
7. The Cass crew went to Cressmont, where six flatcars (four ERC&L, two BC&G) had been set out by G-P, to do the journal repacking for shipment to Cass. The log loader, which ended its logging service aboard one of the four, was removed at Cressmont and trucked to Cass. The G-P diesel switcher then took the cars to Dundon where they were joined by the BC&G wood combine for movement to the B&O interchange. Cars were moved from the Dundon yard to the B&O interchange using a borrowed road/rail shifter provided by an unknown Kanawha Valley plant with railfan George Greenacre as intermediary.
8. The reason current CSRR No. 1 has no stake pocket stampings for the N&W (as do the others) is that they were transplanted for the conversion of the three remaining Swandale flats into Bald Knob all-weather cars to give added side support.
9. As it entered service in 5-68, No. 15 was equipped with a commentator’s position and the Bald Knob train’s P.A. center; today as No. 3, this car remains so equipped. Original Nos. 15 and 16 (now Nos. 3-4) have restrooms.
10. Impetus to complete a steel Bald Knob cinder car was in response to concerns that in a double-heading situation, a wood frame car might fold (telescope). This conversion may have occurred in time for the 10-68 Forest Festival.
11. Bald Knob all-weather car No. 3 received decoration for the 1976 Bicentennial (blue body, red-white-and-blue fluttering banner design and white lettering "1976 * USA * 1976") and operated in that scheme between 5-76 and 10-77.
12. The term "boxcar" is commonly used by the Cass crew for the closed Bald Knob cars.
13. Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal Co. acquired the BC&G and Elk River Coal & Lumber Co. in [?]-58. Big steam action ended with a last run of coal in 12-63; the line went out with a sputter in 2-65. Clinchfield petitioned for abandonment in 3-65; Pittston rechartered it in 8-71.
Closed Platform Nos. 5-8, 11-13, 15- -- Forty-foot steel log cars built by Meadow River Lumber Co., Rainelle (Greenbrier County) and placed into operation beginning in 3-36 – 30 car B-series fleet completed in 1942; in service until the mill’s closure, 12-70. B-series cars, 22 of them were donated by MRL's successor, Georgia-Pacific, arriving in 5-72 (the other 12 follow in various listings); at least two of the B-series cars were converted for excursion service during the 1973-74 off-season, followed soon thereafter by more; conversion commenced on the future No.  (ex-MRL B-7) in 5-98 (a third ADA lift-equipped car) – but it was removed from the main shop (where work began) and stored on the company store siding prior to the 1998-99 off-season.
Georgia-Pacific acquired MRL and subsequently closed the mill in 12-70. Rail-logging continued until 5-71. It was the last operation of log trains in West Virginia.
2. The final movement of logs via rail involved B-series cars loaded from contract-cutting land (mostly 20-foot lengths, two stacks per car). These cuttings were eventually transported by truck to G-P’s replacement mill on the outskirts of Rainelle.
3. Destinations for donated cars shipped in 5-72: 12 B-series units were shipped to Cass (1, 4, 5, 6, 10, 12, 15, 19, 21, 23, 25, 30) and 10 others placed in storage at the Howes Leather Co. tannery at Frank (2, 3, 7, 8, 11, 14, 18, 22, 26, 28) – brought in on the same C&O freight.
4. As rebuilt into second generation excursion cars, they entered service as general recovery from the shop fire allowed. For the 1974 season, there were five in service: No. 1 (Open), No. 2 (Open), No. 3 (Closed), No. 4 (Open), No. 5 (Closed).
5. Five additional ex-MRL B-series cars came on line as excursion carriers over a period of time. These were No. 10 (Open), No. 11 (Open), No. 12 [Closed], No. 13 [Closed], No. 15 [Closed].
6. Except for CSRR No. 10, all open cars created out of this series were later roofed in response to cinder-related clothing damage and inclement weather hardships for the 1992 season. Nos. 1-2 and 4 [and others?] were converted. It should be noted that the demise of open platform units equates into added train weight that has effect on locomotive wear.
7. Two – No. 13 (Whittaker trainset) and No. 8 (Bald Knob trainset) – were converted for handicap lift service during the 198 off-season. In December 1999, it was announced that an appropriation ($30,000 via projected State lottery profits) for an additional ADA-compliant car was under consideration for the 2000 State budget; this plan fizzled, but there remains a need for backup.
8. In previous roster releases, B-10 was cited as the car carrying the American log loader; a black paint job sans numbering produced confusion until B-10 was found outside the car shop on 4-15-00; B-11 – one of the two B-series cars originally cited in these roster compilations under "Work and Special Use Equipment" is thus believed to be the car that has hosted the loader since 1997.
9. On MRL B-series cars, instead of being structural steel, the side rails were built of heavy railroad rail. Interestingly, in order to make 40-foot cars, each rail, being the standard 39-foot length, had to have an addition 1 foot piece of rail welded on, a significant amount of extra welding. In addition to the rails forming a very sturdy frame, the log loader ran on them. When converting these cars to excursion use, CSRR eliminates considerable weight by replacing the rails with conventional steel channels.
10. The unaltered MRL log cars run on a mixture of old and very old, often mismatched, Andrews-type trucks.
End Units -- (aka Cabooses or Conductor Cars) Nos. 9, 14 Built by the Baltimore & Ohio as 30-foot, center cupola, wood body, steel frame cabooses and acquired by Buffalo Creek & Gauley RR, Dundon ( Clay County ), [?]-58; donated by Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal Co. – arrived -; one – either a B&O Class I1 or I1A – was lettered as BC&G C-1, while the other – B&O Class I1A C-410 (built in 1922, retired at Washington, Ind. and sold to BC&G in 11-58) – was still in B&O lettering; the first of the pair (unknown which) entered Whittaker service as CSRR No. 111 in 5-71; the Bald Knob unit, No. 119, followed in 5-72.
1. BC&G General Manager Richard Manning successfully cajoled the B&O out of this pair based on their retirement and his ties with the road as a former member of management.
2. The second caboose (never relettered) was stored windowless and in rough shape in the Dundon yard. It didn’t move once between 1958 and the shipment to Cass. Faded B&O lettering remained until the sides were removed for conversion.
3. As converted for CSRR, caboose stairs remained on two corners (opposite ends diagonally); with the other two decked (one for a conductor’s position, a side frame extension and foot step). For severe weather, plexiglass side and front panels were installed on the conductor’s corner in 198[?]. First aid items are carried on these cars.
4. There is reason to believe the Whittaker trainset end unit entered service in 5-71.
5. Both were equipped with flashing rear end devices (FRED) per FRA in 198[?].
6. At the time of the conversion of cabooses to end units, “Catty” Neighbors stated the replacement end beams were made out of the I-beam frames from the long scrapped 100-ton GC&E Shay 11.
Open Platform No. 10 -- Another converted Meadow River B-series log car – entered service -7; holds the distinction since 5-92 of being the last of the CSRR cinder cars – banished from regular service in 1993 after rider complaints about cinder-related clothing damage; fall foliage ridership prompted inclusion for Sunday afternoon Whittaker runs in 10-97 – this use also occurred in 10-00; it remains a valued unit for railfan charters and mountain biking events.
Caboose No. 50 -- Built by Standard Steel Car Co. ( Hammond , Ind. ) as Chesapeake & Ohio Railway K3-3 Class No. 90788, 11-24 – steel frame, wood-sheathed body, center cupola, archbar trucks; last used in work train service on the Hinton Division; sold to State of W.Va. for Cass ($350, scrap value), 11-66. With only repainting and lettering, placed into service for Railfan Weekend, 5-67; drastically rebuilt for the 1971 operating season – curved end corners and center end cupola windows gone; aluminum frame windows and knotty pine interior installed; for years wore CSRR No. 90788, then with repainting (again bright red, but no lettering and numbering), decorated with the CSRR pine tree medallion; repainted and lettered for Western Maryland Ry. prior to use for Railfan Weekend, 5-97.
1. For activation on the CSRR, the caboose received a coat of caboose red. Side over-and-under lettering (adopting the C&O Ry style) was as follows: curved "Cass Scenic" over horizontal "Railroad" and 90788.
2. The term “Cass Caboose" is used by CSRR railroaders to differentiate between the “Cass” vs. the “Meadow River” caboose.
3. Those interested in the C&O Ry 90700 caboose series must read the small, but compelling booklet by Dwight Jones and Phil Samuell. Write to the Kokosing Gap Trail, Inc., Gambier, OH 43022 (ISBN 0-615-11342-7).
Caboose No. 51 -- Built by Chesapeake & Ohio’s Huntington Shop as K3-2 Class No. 90658, 1924; steel frame, wood-sheathed body, center cupola, archbar trucks; retired in [?]-53; acquired by Meadow River Lumber Co., Rainelle, [?]-56; on the active roster as MRL No. 3 until rail-logging’s closure by successor Georgia-Pacific Corp., 5-71; donated by G-P, arrived 5-72; first operated during railfan events in 5-73; continued to wear MRL lettering, oxide red paint and No. 3 until [?]-8[?]. Given a bright red paint job and No. ; then, with another new coat, became No. 90789, then to oxide red and Western Maryland lettering (No. 1894) for the debut of Shay "Big Six," 5-81. Received a comprehensive rebuilding and new coat of bright red paint in 1996; caboose numbering came as the result of an FRA directive in 2000.
1. MRL placed its three castoff C&O Ry cabooses into service with a mere painting over of the former owner’s lettering. Photos show they were still sans MRL markings in early 1956; this one turned out to be the only lumber company caboose with roof backup light on one end.
2. The 1981 paint job was oxide red, with white Western Maryland emblem and numbering – color soon weathered to pink.
Ex-Virginian Caboose -- Center-cupola, steel model built for the Virginian R.R. by either St. Louis Car Co. (if No. 324 or below) or Princeton (W.Va.) Shops (if No. 325 or up) [construction date and class unknown]. With that line’s merger into the Norfolk & Western, rostered as No. 530311; retirement date [unknown]. Acquired for scrap value by Kovalchick Salvage and stored at the old Lima Locomotive Works, Lima, Ohio. Discovered by MSR&LHA members during a visit to inspect ex-Elk River Coal & Lumber Shay No. 19 for possible purchase; acquired by MSRLHA, 12-95. Three months later, it was moved by MSRLHA (using Kovalchick's small switcher), to the CSX interchange. After contracted repairs to brake system and addition of roller-bearing wheelsets, shipped to Elkins, where it was stored. In 1999, it was leased for five years to Durbin & Greenbrier Valley R.R. (operator of the State-owned West Virginia Central) for use on freight trains (Tygart Junction-to-Elkins mainline, Daily branch). Sold by MSR&LHA to the CSRR in 2005.
1. The first two log loaders used in Cass logging were American Hoist & Derrick Model Cs; later, WVP&P Co. preferred Barnhart loaders.
2. From early 1960s photos, we know that the loader was occasionally borrowed by the Buffalo Creek & Gauley for M-of-W service. This likely means there was an agreement to the effect when ERC&L was sold by Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal to W.M. Ritter Lumber Co.
3. Uses by CSRR is too numerable to cite. Examples include: wheel set replacement on Shay No. 4 at MP5 (10-85), post-flood damage cribbing (5-96), tree stump pulling (10-96) and wye extension project rail unloading (9-97).
4. The loader’s most memorable outing was a return to original use: fallen tree cleanup at Bald Knob on 10-20-80; Artie Barkley served as loaderman. Shay No. 5 powered the true log train.
6. For many years, a routine charter event was running the loader on “log” trains for photo runbys). This ceased in 199 – based on safety and concern for engine-wear (car B-10, a skeleton log car, did not receive a hand-brake upgrade). Since then, railfans have been accommodated by prior placement at Spruce and incorporating the loader it in photo runpasts on the Spruce Connection and West Virginia Central.
7. Of all the equipment acquired via donation to the State on behalf of CSRR, this item ranks as especially noteworthy. It only receives the call on a rare basis, but the American Loader has been invaluable; the Compiler rates her as the top non-locomotive acquisition of the CSRR era.
Heavy Steel Flatcars -- Nos. 23-24 These 40-foot, 100,000 lb. capacity steel cars [builder(s) and dates unknown]; designated OB and OC by their original owner, the U.S. Coast Guard, Sparrows Point (Baltimore); five such cars were acquired as government surplus by the West Virginia Rail Maintenance Authority (RMA), later known as the West Virginia Railroad Authority, in 198; three were sent to Cass in the large equipment movement of 10-85; used in M-of-W and as ersatz logging flats during special charter events.
Heavy Steel Flatcar OD sits in the yard with a wheel lathe bed on rotting deck; similar style/background as OB and OC. OD has carried the bed of a steam-era wheel lathe (former Cherry River Boom & Lumber, Donaldson shop) since [?]-9.
Ballast Car -- No. 5268 Built by the Pennsylvania R.R. as either a 70-ton coal hopper or covered hopper, 10-58; as converted for ballast service, eventually became Conrail No. 52680, donated by Conrail to MSRLHA; trucked from Port Amherst (Kanawha Co.), 1-98, initially used for repair of the West Virginia Central (Spruce to Beaver Creek), 3-98.
One source is sure this was originally a 70-ton coal hopper. Another says body details indicate covered hopper modified for ballast service – Morrison Knudson (Boise) used to modify such cars.
Single Dome Chemical Tank Car -- An 8,000 gallon model, built for Dow Chemical Company, 8-45 – [manufacturer unknown]; rostered as No. 318 (reporting marks DOWX, then WVAX); acquired with two identical units by RMA, [?]-8; rostered as SBVRR OL (RMA 273) – used on-line for No. 2 diesel storage; came to Cass as part of the 10-85 equipment movement; reconditioned for auxiliary water service, 1997-98; taken to Spruce for engine water supply use as needed during special charter excursions.
Single Dome Petroleum Tank Cars -- Nos. 219-220 Identical 8,000 gallon cars (K brakes) built for General American Transportation Corp. (GATC), 12-28 [manufacturer and service unknown]; donated by Pennzoil United, Inc. (Pennzoil, Charleston), -72; active support cars for oil-burning Shays 2 and 3 from 4-72 through 10-92; the envisioned reloading method – cycling off-line (reporting marks CSRX 219-220) – never transpired, instead filled with trucked-in No. 4 diesel fuel (later No. 2 off-road) and rotated for fuel feed; after Shay No. 3’s last run, stored on the river dead line. Activating Shay No. 11 in 1999 before conversion to coal brought return to service – albeit stationary; pulled from the dead line in 8-99 and filled with No. 2 diesel early the next month; the cars have been inactive since the end of the 2000 season.
1. Appearance of the cars indicates likely 9-48, not 9-28, as date built, notes Rich Adam.
2. Cars were spotted on the old C&O house track when being filled from tractor-trailers. Locomotive fueling (via gravity-feed) originally involved spotting a car partially up the coal dock ramp siding. With this track’s removal, a ground pump was installed, [?]-8.
Whittaker Camp One
Camp Car Replica -- A 40-foot wood flatcar built for WVP&P Co., Cass, by American Car & Foundry, Huntington, W.Va. sometime between 1912 and 1920 (fleet number unknown) – most Huntingtons were delivered with Greenbrier Cheat & Elk R.R. lettering; continued to serve the Cass mill until Mower Lumber Co.’s closure in 6-60. Conveyed to the State by Midwest Raleigh Inc.; [believed to have been converted into the overflow open platform car – subsequently CSRR No. 6 – for excursion startup in 6-63 and retired after the 1974 season]. Eventually stored on the river dead line until fashioned into a camp unit by John Smith prior to the 1989 season – he copied the design of former Mower camp car No. 419 (which had been modified circa 1970 with a side door) under assumption the door was standard; moved to Camp One display site, 5-93.
1. Stabilized by guy wire (back anchor or back stay) rigged to roof-mounted A-frame and usually fastened to a stump.
2. Wally Johnson’s 10-53 photo documents "The Log Hog" hand-painted on the right lower part of the cab (right side).
Skeleton Log Car -- Ex-Meadow River Lumber B-12; home-built by the Rainelle shop around 1941, equipped with rare Andrews 1898 trucks; active until the end of West Virginia’s last rail-logging operation, 5-71; donated by Georgia-Pacific with 21 other ex-MRL B-series units – arrived, 5-72; became host car to the diesel log loader (see above) in 11-72.
Ex-BC&G Steel Flatcar -- 106 Standard 40-foot model [builder, construction date and original owner unknown]; bought second-hand [source unknown] by Cherry River Boom & Lumber Co. (Richwood, Nicholas County) for its logging fleet, [date unknown]; acquired by Elk River Coal & Lumber Co. and conveyed to its subsidiary Buffalo Creek & Gauley R.R., -57 – rostered as No. 106. Donated by BC&G’s successor parent, Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal Co., -; converted into CSRR platform car No. 106 for the 1972 season; retired due to frame rusting and placed on the river dead line, [?]-8[?]. Excursion top canopy removed after selection for Camp No. 1, [?]-93; moved to the site in 11-93. (See “Bald Knob Coaches” for notes on ex-Swandale steel log cars.)
Four-wheel “Bobber” Caboose -- Reportedly a former Baltimore & Ohio Class K-1 caboose built in Baltimore, Md. sometime between 1878 and 1900; believed to have been acquired by Elk River Coal & Lumber, Swandale, in the 1930s; also served at Swandale for W.M. Ritter Lumber Co. and Georgia-Pacific Corp. Active until considered excess by G-P and donated; arrived via tractor-trailer in -64, the first "alien" piece of rolling stock to be operated. Rostered as CSRR No. 8; used on railfan charter runs in 1965 and 1966, also off-line use to the Mountain State Forest Festival and Strawberry Festival during those years. The C&O caboose donation brought an end to operation; after reposing in the yard, moved to the former depot house track, [?]-85; use by Pocahontas County Tourism Bureau as its Cass information center, 1987-88. Moved to the Whittaker site, 5-93; received overhaul in the MSR&LHA Cass restoration shop during the winter of 2001-02. Now sees use on special charters.
1. Because of how they rode, 4-wheel cabooses were typically called "bobbers."
2. There have been numerous citings of Coal & Coke Railroad ancestry for this caboose. B&O caboose authority, Dwight Jones is certain it is a K-1, but adds that it’s impossible to determine exact out-shopping date – only sometime during the model’s production, 1878-1900. 3. There were two bobbers operated at Swandale – see William E. Warden’s “Buffalo Creek & Gauley” for a 6-63 view of the pair. The bobber which eventually came to Cass is cited as reportedly purchased by Ritter from Cherry River Boom & Lumber; the other bobber, claimed Warden, was the original ERC&L hack bought second-hand from the old Coal & Coke. (He added: "It’s not apparent why Ritter brought in the new caboose when the old ERC&L hack was still serviceable, albeit shopworn.") A serious flaw in Warden’s reference to the current Cass caboose being bought by Ritter from CRB&L is evident in his photo, where Ritter lettering appears over a painted circle that was obviously the ERC&L logo.
4. The bobber’s journey via tractor-trailer over the Old Cass Road included a very tight squeeze through the now long-gone Deer Creek truss bridge.
High-lead Steam Skidder -- Built by Meadow River Lumber’s Rainelle shop using older Lidgerwood skidder engines and winches – completed in 1945 – rostered as No. 1; mounted on a 55-foot car frame, the mast (tower, spar) fabrication (standing 96-feet from its base in operating condition) and cable capability (over 3,300 feet) made it one of the largest high-lead skidders ever used in the East. The purpose of the rebuild was related to handling tree-length logs; service ended sometime in 1966 (it was the last operating steam skidder in the East); brought to Rainelle in early 1968 and stored on a siding across the mill pond from MRL’s bandsaw plant). Shipped to Cass as part of the donated equipment in 5-72; the mast came on two B-series log cars (one of these also carried the boiler’s cupola housing); moved to Whittaker by Shay No. 2 and No. 5 in 11-93; the mast was brought to the site via the same power combination in -94; one of only two Lidgerwood skidders extant domestically.
1. MRL referred to the device as an overhead cableway skidder. Those acquainted with West Coast logging would be inclined to call the unit a skyline yarder. Another typical designation is aerial skidder. William Gabriel notes that such units were not built for quick-and-dirty, high-lead yarding; rather, they were sophisticated with multiple drums, skyline carriage (known as the buggy) and all the controls needed for skyline yarding. The only other surviving Lidgerwood resides in a Tacoma, Wash. city park.
2. Reports circulate that the skidder was retired due to a failed boiler inspection. This is debunked by several former MRL men – the company ran out of situations where it could economically utilize the device.
3. Clearance card for movement to Cass: dated 5-18-72, C.E. Edwards, NF&G inspector, Rainelle. (MSRLHA Archives)
4. The tower (mast) was removed from the MRL B-series cars after the Cass shop fire – dumped against the hillside beside the ready track extension; the cupola (boiler housing) was removed to the boneyard above the shop complex adjacent to the creek.
6. In preparation for hauling the tower to Whittaker, it was skidded sideways on timber and rail cribbing for loading on the Cass yard siding (Shay No. 5 was used with cable and block to furnish power). Two weeks later, a contractor’s 32-ton crane moved in and – with difficulty (the piece ended up weighing 27+ tons – twice what was estimated) – picked it up so three cars (two ex-Coast Guard flats and either ex-MRL No. B-11 or B-30) could be drifted under it – the load rested on the center car. Clearance was a concern, but there were no problems during the subsequent movement up the Cass Hill. The event occurred after the conclusion of an operating day – Whittaker Station was not reached until just after dark. Plans called for the tower to be set on the skidder the following day, but the crane was of insufficient size for the task; the tower was unloaded and the crane also assisted in reattaching the piping, smokebox, cupola and other accessories onto the skidder. Authentic set up was planned. Discovery of the tower’s dramatic weight difference from that estimated brought second thoughts. MSR&LHA could not get a qualified certification of the safety of the tower; it was recommended that the tower not be erected. Instead it was placed horizontally on concrete piers next to the skidder for interpretation.
Inactive Steel Log Cars
Meadow River E-series -- Log Cars Former Meadow River Lumber homebuilds (c. 1953) numbered E-31 and E-32; used until the end of rail-logging, 5-71. Donated by G-P and shipped with B-series units to the Howes Leather tannery, 5-72 – and similarly retrieved. Neither has seen CSRR train service; each is loaded with Army car kits (a total of five kits and one drop end lowside).
Prior to recent research, these log
cars were believed to
have been rebuilds of 40-foot ex-C&O Class FM cars (C&O
80400-80474, out-shopped by Bethlehem Steel in 1935). One former MRL
believes the frames and major components were built at Rainelle. There
three such units built by MRL. E-33 was photographed by the compiler
out-of-service on the Rainelle millpond dump lead in 3-71.
Inactive Conventional Freight Cars
Ex-Navy Boxcars -- Seven identical steel 40-foot cars built by Pullman-Standard for the U.S. Navy – out-shopped at various dates in 1942 and assigned to the St. Juliens Creek Bureau of Ordinance facility (Norfolk, Va.); 17 such cars were acquired as surplus by the RMA – three (61-358, 376, 377) were shipped directly from Norfolk to Cass in 2-79 – with the balance going to the SBVRR. Four more came to the CSRR as part of the large equipment movement of 10-85; primarily used for parts storage; SBVRR 40, 229 and USN 61-377 are currently in the Cass yard; USN 61-352 (built 1-42), 61-376 (built 12-42) and 61-358 (built 1-42) are on the river dead line; ex-SBVRR 100 was used in support of MSRLHA’s Whittaker Camp No. 1 project (material storage), then returned to the Cass yard in -.
1. These Pullman-Standard cars were the precursor to the manufacturer’s post-war PS-1.
2. From the time they became State property, five digits have been used for reference although there are seven total (i.e., 61-299 = 61-00229).
3. SBVRR’s 10-80 roster cites 61-377 as 60-377; matters are complicated by SBVRR’s roster citing these cars (except No. 229) as 1000 series.
4. This "official" roster also indicates that the only USN number shortened and adapted by SBVRR was 229 (side markings – USN 61-229). No. 229 was used for Shay No. 6’s move from Baltimore (for tools and supplies, went from Green Spring-to-Baltimore-to-Durbin).
Dining Car/Kitchen -- (No. 968, Fraunces Tavern). Built by The Pullman Company for the Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. as part of The George Washington consist in 1925; air-conditioned in 1933; remodeled in 1952. Acquired in Huntington by Jack Kane; moved to Cass via the C&O Ry and installed on the depot house track for use as Shay Inn, a fast food concession, -6 – painted conventional C&O passenger dark blue with yellow top stripe, silver roof. The diner closed, 7-7; donated by Odessa Kane (Jack’s widow) in [?]-8; a candidate for use on Greenbrier river runs until inspection revealed structural damage from the rear receiving entrance’s installation; subsequently has served as the park superintendent’s office; now stored on the former C&O river tracks.
Notes on Ex-C&O Dining Cars
1. Shay Inn was a successful commercial venture (not a park concession) which met a genuine need – there was no place to eat within six miles of Cass. John M. "Jack" Kane, Jr. (1924-1980), best known as the long-time proprietor of Kane’s Grocery Store on Main Street in Cass, was instrumental in the effort to establish a scenic railroad.
2. Neither of these cars turned up in the CSRR Master Plan (1997).
3. The dining car, Fraunces Tavern in use as a fast food restaurant at the Cass depot included a walk-up order window reached via an extension of the raised house track freight platform.
4. As ther Shay Inn, the car remained in C&O paint scheme with side lettering "black stripped."
5. After the 1947 conversion, Stuart House was operated in tandem with Stuart Kitchen.
Coach (No. 960) -- Built by [Pullman -Standard Car Manufacturing Co.] as a commuter unit for The Reading Company (AC Class PBr) between 1925 and ‘27 – rostered as No. ; through mergers, ended up under Chessie System ownership; windows removed and back-to-back school bus seats installed for Chessie Steam Excursions (Car No. ); acquired by RMA in trade for an ex-Army hospital train unit and rostered as No.  – aka [No. 8 – Petersburg], 10-80; shipped to Cass [?]-82 (picked up along with SBVRR No. 81 at Durbin by the 45-ton diesel; originally rostered as CSRR No. 102; used on Greenbrier River runs during 1984 and 1985; stored on the river dead line.
Coach (No. 990) -- Built by [Pullman-Standard] for The Reading Company (Class PBh), 1913; following several line mergers, finally ended up owned by Chessie System; acquired by SBVRR following use on Chessie Steam Excursions and rostered as No. 81 Moorefield, 10-80; came to Cass with the above SBVRR car; in service on Greenbrier River 1984 and 1985 runs; stored on the river dead line.
Coach (No. 10, Romney) -- Built by [Pullman-Standard] for the Central Railroad of New Jersey as a commuter unit [details unknown]; like the cars above, eventually became Chessie System property and used on steam excursions; acquired by RMA in trade for an Army hospital train unit, 10-80; swapped to CSRR for ex-Amtrak coach No. 542 and shipped as part of the 10-85 equipment movement; as the result of the 11-85 flood, never operated here – remains in SBVRR paint/lettering.
Baggage Car (No. 300, Fredon) -- Built by Bethlehem Steel for Norfolk & Western Ry. (N&W Class BEk, baggage and railway express, 60-foot), 1929 – rostered as No. 128; [service summary, retirement date unknown]; acquired by the State in [?]-73; painted blue, named Fredon and lettered for the Greenbrier R.R. in -74; used on GRR excursions through 10-75 – [subsequent storage site is unknown]; shipped to the SBVRR, [?]-79; placed into M-of-W service; also used as the Romney field office; came to Cass as part of 10-85’s equipment move; stored on the river dead line.
1. Baggage car, Fredon has reporting marks CSRX – and AAR numbering (CSRX 300) – appeared on this car when it was lettered for the Greenbrier Railroad.
2. Coach No. 10, Romney is likely an old CNJ car; beautiful wood interior; probably retired after Jersey City Terminal was closed (trains went to Hoboken and arrival of second-hand air-conditioned cars from out west).
3. Coach 10 and Nos. 960 and 990 worked on the Chessie Steam Special.
4. SBVRR’s 10-80 roster cites this Romney as No. 16, but since inspection reveals No. 10 (on the car’s side opposite the river), this information is deemed incorrect and only included here for reference.
5. Coach No. 960 was updated, including air-conditioning by Reading Company.
6. Coach No. 990 may have been assigned to longer-haul trains rather than commuter service; it would take too long to turn its seats as opposed to the walkover style generally used for commuter service notes Rich Adam.
Wood (Steel-sheathed) Combine -- A classic 60 footer built by Harlon & Hollingsworth (a division of Bethlehem Steel), Wilmington, Del., for the Philadelphia & Reading in the [1880s]; P&RRR service history is unknown; eventually acquired by the Buffalo Creek & Gauley; last rostered as X-15 – the BC&G wreck train kitchen/dining car; donated by Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal and shipped with ex-Georgia-Pacific (Swandale) equipment, 5-67; out of neglect, this elegant car lost its roof then was partially burned by vandals; today, it barely lingers on.
1. The builder, H&H, began in 1836 as Betts & Pusey; Samual Harlan became superintendent and prime mover.
2. After journal repacking by the Cass crew, picked up in the Dundon yard by Georgia-Pacific's diesel switcher for interchange with the B&O.
3. A victim of benign neglect, this car was a favorite among many railfans. Wood-car construction depended on skills and judgement of craftsmen; this car is representative of design and architectural traditions of the 19th century. 5. As she arrived, one account of the interior condition is "only fair"; there were some clear signs of wood rot and undoubtedly more was not readily visible. Some water was already getting into the car by 6-67.
Other Inactive Cars
Closed Platform Excursion Car No. 107 -- Standard 40-foot steel flatcar [builder, construction date and original owner unknown]; operated as part of Cherry River Boom & Lumber Co.’s logging fleet (Richwood, Nicholas Co.); acquired by Elk River Coal & Lumber Co. (Swandale, Clay County) and passed on to subsidiary Buffalo Creek & Gauley R.R., -5 – rostered as No. 107; donated by Clinchfield Coal Div. of Pittston Coal Co., -; converted prior to the 197 season as CSRR No. 107; operated until rusted frame forced retirement, [?]-8; stored since that time. (See “Bald Knob Coaches” for notes on ex-Swandale steel log cars.)
Closed Platform Excursion Car No. 110 -- One of 500 50-ton flat-bottom gondolas built to USRA standards by American Car & Foundry (Huntington, W.Va.) and allocated to the Hocking Valley R.R., 1919; became C&O No. 291[??] (Class GK) when HVRR was absorbed in 1936; last cars in the GK series were retired in 1951; acquired by the Buffalo Creek & Gauley [via Raleigh Junk Co., (Riverside, Kanawha Co.)], 195 – never relettered; used in tie-replacement and other M-of-W situations; donated by the Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal, arrived in -; converted for excursion use, entered service in 5-7; similar retirement as previous listing; also stored with no future.
Ex-CN End-cupola Caboose -- A wood side, steel frame unit built by the Canadian National, 6-51 – rostered as No. 78783; retirement date [unknown] – eventually fell into the possession of a railfan; stored at Cumberland, then brought to the SBVRR and acquired by the State in [?]-79. First rostered as No. 492, then SBVRR No. 201; shipped to Cass in poor condition (partially burned) as part of the 10-85 equipment move; stored since that time on the river dead line (rotting caused wood sheathing on side to fall in 1997).
1. One story is that storage [and use?] on the SBVRR was arranged because the railfan owner had little confidence in Cass taking care of it. Fire-damage prior to it’s coming to the SBVRR is disputed by Artie Barkley. A citing that the car was brought to Cass strictly for use of its trucks is debunked by Barkley, former CSRR shop foreman.
Wrecking Derrick -- A 75-ton Model P self-propelled unit with 6-wheel trucks built by Industrial Brownhoist (C/N 1502) for the U.S. Army Transportation Corp, [?]-53 – "Railway Crane, Wrecking" aka "Crane Locomotive"; stored at an unknown Army installation; acquired as government excess and shipped partially disassembled to Cass atop two cars, -79 – picked up at Durbin by the 45-ton DES; assembled and received replacement couplers during the Summer of ’79, but plans for boiler testing, further shopping and activation were curtailed; in recent years, repair and operation has been discussed.
There was another 75-ton unit (ex-U.S. Army No. 150 – Bay City 1953) acquired under DNR’s auspices at the same time as the one now at Cass. Shipped to the SBVRR, it was rostered as SBVRR OX, but never used – stored in Moorefield. Reported in the 2000 roster version was a plan for scrapping this wrecking derrick; the state surplus office sold it to the highest bidder – a Californian named Ahizer – in 4-01; the contract required that wrecking derrick be removed from SVRR premises at Moorefield by 6-01.
Ex-Army Flatcar -- USA No. 507101; originally a drop-end lowside, 50,000 lb. capacity, K brakes [builder and date unknown]; last used on Fort Eustis’ Utility Rail System in 197; acquired as government excess and rostered as SBVRR OF (RMA 263); shipped to Cass, 10-85; stacked with three ex-Army car kits acquired by Cass in 197.
Ex-Army Drop-end Lowside -- USA No. 570102; 50,000 lb. capacity, K brakes; the only intact USA lowside on the premises (formerly SBVRR OG, RMA 264) – has same background as the above car, stored on the dead line’s upper end loaded with two car ex-Army kits (same as above) and a lowside body [brought from SBVRR in 10-85].
Ex-Mower Wooden Cars
First Generation CSRR Excursion Cars -- Three unrecoverable remnants of the Cass logging era’s Huntington 40-foot flatcar fleet; conveyed to the State by Midwest Raleigh Inc.; converted for excursion service and operated until gradually replaced by ex-Meadow River B-series cars (beginning in 1972); rotted frames linger atop rusted trucks [exact CSRR numbers will likely not be resolved].
Mower Lumber Flatcar No. 110 -- Built by American Car & Foundry, Huntington; in service until Mower Lumber’s closure, 6-60; one of two former Cass log cars not to undergo conversion (loaded with rail when the railroad was conveyed by Midwest Raleigh – remained that way [at least through [?]-6); carried the American loader between -68 and 9-72 before being set aside, then moved to the newly created river dead line, [?]-8; rails for the log loader still rest atop its rotted deck.
1. The rolling stock conveyed by Midwest Steel Corp. is the work of two car builders – Middletown and American Car & Foundry (Huntington). The earlier, less durable Middletowns (wooden bolster archbar trucks) came in the form of camp cars, the Huntingtons (iron bolster archbar trucks) as survivors of the final log car fleet. The best of the ex-Mower log cars were selected on the State’s behalf and (to avoid scrapping and getting in the way) set out on the store siding.
2. The long-accepted story of a 200+ car fleet of Huntington AC&F cars coming to Cass from the Philadelphia Naval Yard (government surplus) in 1918 is now doubtful. WVP&P Co. Cass general manager and trainmaster traveled to Atlanta in 7-19, perhaps to look at cars for sale by Georgia Car & Locomotive. Max Robin continues to undercover documentation of AC&F car orders by WVaP&P Co. – the earliest lot (6), delivered in 4-12, were lettered Greenbrier & Elk River R.R. (the entity kept for tax purposes). The others – all lettered for the Greenbrier, Cheat & Elk – are 25 (2-14), 25 (7-14) and 10 ([?]-20). This total represents 66 of the ubiquitous 40-foot wood flat cars.
3. Steam log loaders rode on rails made of 4x4s or 6x6s topped with strap steel and spiked to the flatcar decks. Brake wheels had drop-down stems to accommodate loader movement between cars. As originally operated, the Huntingtons were equipped with 12 stake pockets per side. Beginning around 1927, as cars were shopped at Cass, they were reconfigured with eight pockets per side.
4. There is apparently no surviving record of what Mower numbered flatcars were sold to the State. We only know that CSRR closed excursion cars No. 2 and No. 3 were Mower Lumber Co. No. 13 and No. 37, respectively.
5. The earliest normal-sized CSRR trainset was comprised of three cars and there was a second open platform car for use in overflow situations. One of the photos used in CSRR’s first marketing brochure shows the four cars at Whittaker in 6-63.
6. During the first two seasons, excursion car bodies were unlettered and painted tuscan red; trucks (at least on the first four conversions) were matching tuscan. Numbering did not occur until 5-65 – when the car frames were painted red (with white lettering). Thus, the unit that became No. 6 was in service prior to Nos. 4-5. The first two closed platform cars set the standard for sheet metal roofs and rather gaudy side panels (the first three were blue, red, and yellow) – with compartment side frames and roof crossbeams painted blue and red. Floors were gray (the standard through the CSRR era); handrails and step ladders were red. Steel cross-over walkways with side handrails were fabricated for safe passage between cars; two detachable chains installed on the ends of each platform prohibited movement while a train was in motion.
7. For the 1964 season, closed platform No. 3 became the commentator’s car (installation of microphone, pre-amplifier and locking storage cabinet). This P.A. system also included (marginally) effective speakers installed in the two closed cars.
8. The downhill ride in one of the original cars was always a treat – the brakeman (usually a Mower old-timer) doing his dance on the old-fashioned vertical brakeshaft with steel brake “hickey.”
9. Despite the rather ugly side panels on closed platform cars, the Huntingtons represented the essence of the Cass railroad – from timber-hauling to people-hauling. By 1974, only three of eight were still occasionally in service.
10. The term cinder car was adopted early-on for the open platform unit in service directly next to the locomotive. The use of this term was later [by 1990] broadened to all open cars.
11. Huntington flatcars were built by American Car & Foundry (Huntington, W.Va.) for the Cass rail-logging operation sometime between 1912 and 1920 – K brakes, drop-down brakewheel staffs.
As converted for excursion service:
No. 1 Open platform with tool box and benches. Entered service as the original cinder car in 6-63. A mounted set of speakers was installed on a center post prior to the 196 season. [Retirement date unknown – railings and bench seat still intact in 1974.]
No. 2 (22) Closed platform. Entered service in 6-63 – blue side panels. A wood stairway was wheeled to and from the car for loading/unloading; built with side opening that was chained while car was in motion. Rostered as No. 22 beginning in 19; [retirement date unknown – still available for service (overflow protection) in 1974]. After being placed out excursion service, entered M-of-W use for a while; now long out of service.
No. 3 (37) one of the 10 Mower log cars acquired to create the CSRR in 8-62.Closed platform. Entered service in 6-63 – red side panels. The first excursion unit to be equipped with a drop-down steps (via pulley/rope system). Still in stand-by use in 1974; retired after 1975 season. In poor condition by 1988. Selected by MSRLHA for renovation and inclusion into the Whittaker Camp No. 1 display. In late 1995, replacement frame timbers (40-feet long and up to 10"x14") were acquired. They were stored in Stuart House until February 1996, then moved to the former Cass grade school where they were destroyed in an unfortunate accident. Car is now stored awaiting an increasingly unlikely restoration; WVaP&P Co. lettering visible is not entirely original, but the result of a cosmetic repaint by railfans in the 1970’s. As of 2007, car was in extreme deterioration.
No. 4 Closed platform. Entered service in -6 – yellow side panels; [retirement date unknown – a 4-72 photo shows sides, roof and deck removed]. Used in M-of-W service, then dismantled by 1976.
No. 5 Open platform with benches. Entered service in 5-65 – no raising steps; outfitted with center-mounted post with P.A. speaker [between 1969 and 1970]. Retirement date unknown – railings and platforms removed by 1974. In very poor condition by 1988.
No. 6 Open platform with tool box, no bench, extended shelf outside railing for optional end (front) use; visibly sway backed. Entered service in -6. It saw service as expanded train front car and as weekend cinder car. With the opening of service to Bald Knob, it was used as the cinder car until conversion of the fourth Swandale flatcar was completed. Subsequently, it was regularly operated in Bald Knob double-heading situations as the front car. This continued until sufficient ex-Meadow River B-series cars were converted. Retirement date unknown – one report is immediate use for storage of parts/tools collected from the shop fire. Still completely intact in 1974; only the carbody on trucks remained in 4-75.
No. 7 Open platform with tool box, no benches. Entered service in -6. May have been later equipped with benches. Retirement date unknown. Railing removed for storage of parts/tools from the shop fire; in very poor condition by 1988. Believed to be the Huntington dismantled on the river dead line in 5-99.
No. 9 There may have been no No. 9; but then again, we know there were 10 flatcars conveyed by Midwest Steel, with two never converted for train service and (the 4-wheel bobber caboose was rostered as No. 8).
Mower Camp Lobby Car -- No. 418 A wood, truss rod flatcar built by Middletown Car Works (Middletown, Pa.), for W.Va. Spruce Lumber Co., Cass, sometime between 190 and 1909 and rostered as Greenbrier & Elk River R.R. No. [?]; converted into a woods camp car by Mower Lumber Co. by 2-45 – became No. 418; part of Mower Lumber Co.’s last active camp train in 1960; one of four camp cars acquired by the State from Midwest Steel; restored (side benches and stove) for the 1966 season – the only former camp train unit to operate on charter specials and at least two Forest Festival and Elkins-to-Spruce specials – in 1969 and 1970); benign neglect (tarpaper roof not maintained) rendered its carbody beyond recovery; sat a year or two until full-out dismantlement [date is disputed]; set-out on the dead line, [?]-84; remains can be identified by first-generation CSRR red underframe.
Mower Lumber Camp Kitchen -- Car No. 417 Middletown wood, truss rod flat car built between 1906 and 1909 and converted by Mower Lumber as part of its second mobile woods camp facility in early 1945; conveyed in good condition by Midwest Steel, but never operated; one report is that the car was considered CSRR No. 101 – never lettered as such; interior was repaired and painted (196); remained in fair condition into the 1970s; rotted beyond repair due to neglected roof; after years on the dead line, dismantled in -97 – the set of wood bolster trucks survives.
Mower Camp Bunk Car -- No. 419 Another wood truss rod flatcar built by Middletown Car Works (Middletown, Pa.), for West Virginia Spruce Lumber Co., Cass, sometime between 1906 and 1909. Operated as part of the West Virginia Pulp & Paper and Mower Lumber Co. log car fleet. Converted by Mower into a woods camp bunk car, completed by 2-45. Part of the company’s last active camp train (at Old Spruce when the job closed on 6-30-60); one of four camp cars acquired by the State from Midwest Steel Corp., 8-62; stored without service until moved to the engine ready track area for sand storage, 5-68 (side door was added prior to the 1970 season); retired from this function in [?]-7. Subsequently languished until made available to John Smith for his "Cass Camp Car Exhibit," which he operated as an interpretive concession, 1989-91, Designated for Whittaker Camp No. One in 1-92; incorporated into the Park’s "Cass Town Walk" program, 5-92; moved to the Whittaker display site, 5-93. Received high-tech membrane roof 1994. Removed to shop area for repairs due to window leaks in 11-04; found to have significant deterioration of main frame timbers. As of 2006, stored on the company store siding pending an unlikely rescue, the last of the Mower camp cars to be relatively intact.
Wye Camp Train Four camp car bodies -- Mower Lumber Co. camp bunk cars Nos. 409-410, lobby car No. 411 and kitchen car No. 412 (all originally Middletown flatcars for logging) – were left on the old roadbed beyond the wye tail track; lunch was served here for members of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Government and Finance when they inspected the property for possible acquisition in 10-60. Initial plans by the State called for conversion into a rest stop and restaurant facility at Bald Knob; by 1972, park management determined they had deteriorated beyond salvage for historical purposes; a description of one source’s visit to the wye (1990) – "a jumble of wood shapes and pieces, collapsed into the ground"; remnants were bulldozed when the wye rebuilding project commenced, 3-97.
Jack’s Cabin -- Camp Car No. 406 Middletown wood, truss rod flat car built between 1906 and 1909 and converted by Mower Lumber as part of its second mobile woods camp facility in early 1945 was furnished by Midwest Raleigh to Cass grocery store owner, Jack Kane, after he gained permission from Mower to locate a car at Old Spruce for use as a hunting/fishing retreat; moved to the site from storage at the upper switchback in -60 – crew cribbed each end with ties and removed trucks; later fell into neglect and repeatedly vandalized; park management ordered it burned in 6-72.
1. Middletown Car Works (Middletown, Pa.) produced rolling stock during the periods 1869-1874 and 1879-1909. At one point, there were 175 employees; the plant consisted of eight buildings on four acres. Except for vague mentions in 1907 and 1908 of a fleet built for a West Virginia pulp operation, no material about Middletown’s flatcar production has come to light. The company’s existence was rather rocky: business was in receivership from 1896 to 1901, backed by a local bank through the Banker’s Panic of 1907-08, then liquidated after the plant was sold by the bank to Standard Car Co. of Pittsburgh.
2. Ten Middletown flatcars were ordered on 1-23-06; this is the only known surviving documentation of the fleet. It is believed that the first Middletown car purchase occurred as early as 1903. One citing is that there were eventually 100 Middletown cars used in rail-logging at Cass – whatever the actual number, they would all have been originally lettered for the Greenbrier & Elk River R.R. Age and wear dwindled their number. Except that latter-era Camp bunk car No.  was originally No. 10, no numbering info exists. Besides the 17 Middletowns converted for use in the woods camps, about 10 became lowside gondolas for skidder, loader and camp coal; also there were two supply cars built from Middletown flats.
3. If not for General Manager Fred Weber, who brought the transportable woods camp concept to Cass (he was hired away from Meadow River Lumber), perhaps the only Middletown to survive into the CSRR era would have been Supply Car No. 404 – as disposed at Back Mountain Crossing. Selection of Middletowns for conversion into camp train units was based on their age and condition. A total of 17 camp train units were constructed; work began in -44 and completed by the end of 2-45. The first camp installations were on the head of Shavers Fork; Ed Howell (skidder man) claimed they offered improved quality of living, but bunks were a little narrower, "…man who slept on top didn’t like it."
4. Tom Hayes, the Midwest Raleigh salvage foreman, offered all camp cars free-of-charge, sans trucks (FOB Back Mountain Crossing) in -60. Jack Kane was the only taker. His car was set in off its trucks at Old Spruce after rail was pulled on the final skidder spur, 6-60.
5. Odessa Kane’s certainty of only four (original) bunk beds begs for interpretation. Was No. 406 equipped with a lobby (wash area)?
6. Wye camp cars in order from the mainline switch were 411, 412, 409, 410. The lobby and kitchen cars were placed forward to more conveniently serve the luncheon requirements for the visiting legislative committee in 10-60. Another source in 1970 cited 410 (kitchen); 411 (bunk), 412 (bunk), 413 (foreman’s office and bunk).
7. About the unit converted into a CSRR open platform: Removal of the carbody revealed that this Middletown had previously been Mower Lumber Co. log car No. 10. Built plain-jane with nothing except new deck and railings with end openings.
8. Repainting of No. 419’s exterior – bright red, matching No. 418 – began in the Spring of 1968 (halted with just a few of the siding strips finished); after side door installation, the paint job was completed (lettered "419," "Sand Car") prior to or during the 1970 season. The side door allowed easier access to stored sand.
9. By 5-84, Camp Bunk No. 418 was heavily rotted and the roof and sides had fallen off; during [July], the roof and sides were torn down – leaving the flatcar intact; for several months, the remains of the roof and sides were piled on the flatcar. Plans briefly called for building another carbody so car could be used by Park Superintendent Richard Dale – a moveable hunting cabin (dubbed "Red Hawk" by members of the Cass crew).
10. After John Smith withdrew from his camp car concession, the original camp unit and its replica sister, still spotted near the depot, were used for at least one season in park interpretive programming before the cars were refurbished and moved to Whittaker Camp One in 5-93.
No Longer on Premises
Open Platform Excursion Car -- No. 10 Originally a 40-foot flatcar built by Middletown Car Works for Cass between 1906 and 1909; converted by Mower Lumber into Camp Bunk No. 4 by 2-45; conveyed to the State by Midwest Steel. To address the need for an additional excursion car, carbody removed and converted into an open car for the 196 season – rostered as No. 10; still available for service in 1974, retirement date [unknown]; after years of rotting away at the end of the yard siding (with one truck off the end of the rail), dismantled during the 1998-99 off-season to accommodate an FRA compliant end-of-track bumper.
Mower Lumber Flatcar -- No. 27 Another of the Huntington flatcars conveyed by Midwest Steel Corp., 8-62 – one of two (the other was Mower 100, see under “Ex-Mower Wooden Cars”) never to undergo conversion, loaded with rail when the State took over and remained that way [at least through [?]-6]; the first CSRR car dismantled – [?]-70.
Wreck Train Water Car -- Built as a 40-foot steel flatcar for the Baltimore & Ohio [manufacturer, date, number unknown]; after retirement from revenue service, outfitted with tender water tank from 2-8-0 locomotive – rostered as X-102, last used by the Gassaway wreck train (Gassaway, Braxton County), retired [?]-6; donated, used for watering Shay No. 7 at the Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon then brought to Cass in 6-67; intended for long-term service in support of off-line festival runs, but inspection revealed severe rusting of the tender walls – thus the tender was removed during the 1969-70 off-season; conversion into a passenger unit was planned but the frame was discovered to be rusted-out; scrapped 1-73.
Steel Combine -- Clerestory roof, closed vestibule (on passenger end) baggage/coach unit [believed to be built by the Pennsylvania R.R. – dates unknown]; later remodeled and served on the Pennsylvania & Reading Seashore Lines; acquired by Buffalo Creek & Gauley, [?]-3[?], in weekday morning and evening passenger service until 194; subsequently assigned to the Dundon wreck train – rostered as X-16; operated on several charter excursions (final use in 6-63); donated by the Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal Co., arrived in -; scrapped in 1-73. (See photo under “End Units.”)
Notes on Steel Passenger Cars
1. One source refers to this design as P-70 – a class out-shopped by Pennsylvania Railroad’s Altoona Shop beginning in 1907 (the first steel passenger car). A more detailed pre-BC&G background for these two cars would be interesting.
2. The combine as reconditioned had four round windows and five regular windows per side while the baggage car had nine round windows and two standard windows per side.
3. Passenger runs on the BC&G typically consisted of hauling coal company employees one in direction, school kids in the other. Ted Burdette claims that passenger consists were limited to a car on the end of the coal train.
4. The pair were victims of limited
storage track and the
opportunity for disposal by the contractor junking shop remains. As
other cars scrapped in 1-73, they were pushed up into the old shop area
Steel Hopper -- Self-clearing, USRA-design divided 55-ton hopper built by [unknown] for the Buffalo Creek & Gauley, 192 – rostered as No. [?]; interchange service until 194, then hauled company coal and used in M-of-W – stored at Dundon in the final years; donated in poor condition by the Clinchfield Coal Co. Division of Pittston Coal Co. – arrived in -; scrapped, 1-73.
Notes on Steel Hopper
1. This unit belonged to BC&G’s interchange fleet – a 300-series car. After 194, six of these cars were retained for on-line use between Widen and Dundon.
2. So rusty when it arrived at Cass, this car is the only addition to the Cass roster whose former number is impossible to determine.
Steel Gondola -- A 50-ton standard gondola built by American Car & Foundry [Huntington] and allocated by the USRA to the Hocking Valley R.R., 1919; became C&O No. 29264 (Class GK) when HVRR was absorbed in 1936; retired in 1951. Acquired by Buffalo Creek & Gauley from [Midwest Steel Corp. (Riverside, Kanawha County)]; used in M-of-W service without relettering or number change; donated in badly rusted condition by the Clinchfield Coal Division of Pittston Coal Co., arrived -; scrapped 1-73.
Ex-B&O Steel Combine -- Baggage/coach with 6-wheel trucks and clerestory roof built by American Car & Foundry ( St. Louis ) for the Cincinnati , Indianapolis & Western, [?]-16 – rostered as No. 91; upon CI&W’s merger, became B&O No. 1497 (D-C class), [?]-23; revenue service retirement date is unknown; rostered as X-4072, last used on the Gassaway (Braxton County) wreck train; acquired in 6-67 (brought back from the Strawberry Festival in Buckhannon); declared excess and reportedly conveyed via State Surplus to an Ohio model railroad group [possibly the original non-profit shelter for Hocking Valley Scenic R.R.], -72; became HVRR property (Nelsonville, Ohio), -72 – rostered as No. 4072; entered service in 6-73; commonly used as an overflow car; a comprehensive body overhaul was completed in 1995; now the "City of Athens."
1. One source claims it was a BC&G car after B&O ownership, but the account of it coming to Cass directly from the B&O (following the Strawberry Festival) stands for now.
2. The original intent was to use it on off-road festival runs. Planned use as a snack and souvenir car on Greenbrier R.R. excursions was cited in a printed fan release prior to "Cass Scenic Railroad Appreciation Weekend – 1970 – May"; this also failed to transpire.
3. A 12-72 railfan news item cites direct donation by CSRR to the Hocking Valley Scenic Railroad.
Stainless Steel Coach -- A 54-seat model built for the AT&SF (Santa Fe ) [manufacturer unknown], [?]-5[?]; became Amtrak No. 542[?], 5-71; retirement date and subsequent ownership unknown. Plan was to use this car on Greenbrier River excursion run – acquired in [?]-8, but never shipped to Cass because of a tunnel clearance problem east of Elkins – instead, sent to the SBVRR; traded for SBVRR No. 10 (Romney), 10-85; leased by Potomac Eagle Excursions beginning in 9-91 – used for cold weather service (due to steam heating/cooling) through 10-97; disposition as surplus was discussed in 1998, but there has been no action; stored at Durgon (Hardy County).
Lightweight C&O Steel Coaches -- Three four-wheel truck, closed vestibule, clerestory roof commuter units (76 passenger) built by Standard Steel Car Car Co. for the Erie R.R., 1921; originally used in commuter service out of Jersey City, N.J.; acquired by the Norfolk & Western (Class Pp), 1942 – used as part of the train for factory workers between Radford, Va. and the ordnance facility near Pepper; a total of six. Were bought by the Chesapeake & Ohio in 1945 – these were rostered as Nos. 543-545 [original service on the C&O unknown]; renumbered E-13 to E-15 and classified "Employees Car," 6-50 – used as part of the Huntington (W.Va.) shop train consist (an employee shuttle between the downtown depot and shop complex); retired [?]-6[?]; donated by the C&O – arrived [?]-6; stored on the upper end of the Cass yard siding; sold as state property surplus to an Ohio excursion train operator; shipped out during the 1965 season.
1. One source claims these were Stillwell cars.
2. Cars are reported as being in excellent shape as conveyed. They were in the old-style C&O Pullman Green with gold leaf lettering.
3. Donation came via C&O Vice-president M.I. Dunn who was accosted by Cass agent P.F. "Bus" Long (also mayor and member of the Cass Planning Commission), at the C&O’s annual stockholder’s meeting in White Sulphur Springs. An account of this exchange is found in Warden’s "West Virginia Logging Railroads." "The State’s appropriation of $190,000 didn’t go far even back in 1961 and the Cass Planning Commission was determined to get a few necessities for free. Before the two men parted, the persuasive Long had conned his boss out of two thirds of the Cass depot, trackage rights from the depot to the start of the ex-logging road trackage, the water tank and three vintage C&O coaches."
4. One source believes their length would have allowed service to Whittaker, "but no further."
5. Disposition of these cars, in retrospect, seems hasty in light of the BC&G and B&O combines being acquired soon thereafter with intent to operate them in off-line situations (Forest Festival, etc.).
Marlinton Display Cars -- Three cars, eventually trucked to Marlinton were a boxcar, flatcar and caboose also donated by Chessie System; these arrived at Cass in [?]-8 and received some service in charter photo trains at Cass.
Western Maryland Hopper Cars -- Chessie System loaned four 55-ton standard (self-clearing, divided) units (Nos. 17941, 17993, 18772 and [?] to help celebrate Shay No. 6’s debut at Cass (running on the Greenbrier line to Durbin) in 5-81; remained in CSRR’s possession for [unknown period]; returned as they had come – via Durbin.
Equipment Stored at Cass, Non-CSRR
Ex-C&O Kitchen Car -- No. X-999678 (X678), work train kitchen unit with sleeping quarters; donated with fire-damaged interior by Chessie System to Marlinton Railroad Depot , Inc., [?]-80 and shipped to Cass via Durbin [?]-8; stored since that time – rusting away on the Greenbrier dead line.
U.S. Army Hospital Train -- In need of storage track for 13 cars acquired as surplus in early 1974 (leased during the period 1974-75 to the Greenbrier R.R. excursion operation), DNR received permission to use the northern end of the C&O Cass passing siding; in their final service for the U.S. Army as 89000 series cars, all had been used by the Transportation Corps’ 714th Operating Battalion – Rail Ops on the Fort Eustis (Va.) Utility Rail System; 10 rail car ambulance units (89515, 89531, 89532, 89533, 89534, 894545, 89568, 895[??]) and a companion kitchen troop hospital (89642) – all 11 built by St. Louis Car Co. – and two standard baggage cars (89612, 89623) [builders unknown], arrived from storage at Ronceverte (Greenbrier County); all were transferred to the RMA and shipped out to the SBVRR (using Shay No. 5 to Durbin) in [?]-79. Subsequently stored on the SBVRR; various dispositions.
Motorcar No. 1 -- A standard track motorcar (section car) [builder, motor specifics and date unknown] – wood compartment, yellow with black lettering; Mower Lumber No. 1 [believed to be built for the Cass logging operation]; used by Midwest Raleigh during its scrap operation; involved in pre-CSRR track rehabilitation – remained rostered as No. 1, retired in 197; frame survives in the boneyard above the shop complex.
International Pickup Truck -- A 1948 model bought new by Mower and used conventionally by truck logging superintendent Louis Camisa; subsequently converted to rail operation (cargo compartment and turntable device) for woods section crew, [?]-5[?]; used at least sparingly by Midwest Raleigh; reportedly retired by CSRR after minimal use in 1963; wheels were traded to Graham County R.R. [Bear Creek Junction] (Robbinsville, N.C.) for Shay parts in 196 – a deal arranged by Shop Foreman Leonard Long; otherwise disposition is unknown.
Chevrolet Panel Truck -- A 1941 model bought surplus in the late 1940’s from U.S. Forest Service in Elkins by Mower and believed to have been immediately outfitted with rail wheels for use by the woods foreman (Clark Phillips, then Rocky Fisher), turntable-equipped like the International; never run by CSRR; wheels also traded for parts (see previous listing) – body was visible in the junk pile behind the shop into the scenic railroad era.
Old Motorcar -- A [1930s-era] wood frame unit [motor specifics and date unknown] with with 20"-wheels [believed to have been built from automobile components by the Cass shop]; retirement date unknown – dumped between the shop and sandhouse prior to Mower’s closure.
Mountain State Construction Co. Motorcar -- A standard track motorcar (section car) [builder, motor specifics and date unknown] – metal compartment with open sides brought to Cass by Mountain State Construction Co. for track system rebuilding project, -67 – reportedly acquired for this contract from Richwood [ex-Cherry River Boom & Lumber]; left behind when new track was completed, 10-67; based on Leonard Long’s direction, a conversion to 4WD was attempted in -68 – also a larger riding compartment (crude plywood sides, light blue body) was fashioned (after the Bald Knob All-weather cars were finished); operation was totally unsuccessful – it incessantly jumped switches and was never used on the mountain; dumped in the boneyard, [?]-7[?].
Kalamazoo Railbus -- Built by Kalamazoo Rail Equipment Co. (Kalamazoo, Mich.) based on a 1935 Ford truck with short bus body – believed to originally owned by C&O Ry; acquired by Meadow River Lumber in the early 1950s – rostered as DM-4, then M-4. Donated by Georgia-Pacific; came atop ex-log car B-1, 5-72; dumped off the log car with damage to personnel compartment by the 1973-74 off-season; sent to the SBVRR with vague plans by RMA to budget rehabilitation and operation, [?]-79 – stored at Moorefield, soon dubbed the "Ruptured Rooster"; never repaired, scrapped in [?]-8.
Hand Cars -- (Various) There were [three] hand cars brought in by Mountain State Construction Co. for the track rebuild and left in 10-67 – all reportedly second-hand from Richwood; it is uncertain how long the ex-Mower units remained in service; one unidentified car was lost in the shop fire).
Section Cars -- (Motor Cars) Nos. 1-3; gasoline units, plywood sides (No. 1 and No. 2 have acetylene tanks, No. 1 is tool box-equipped); No. 1 has a 6-cylinder 300 Ford engine; No. 2, a 6-cylinder 240 Ford and was built out of two hand units acquired from [Chessie System at Hagerstown]; No. 3, a 4-cylinder 140 Ford [may have been renumbered as a second No. 2 and now nicknamed "Mr. Drifter"].
Ex-MSR&LHA Section Car -- An open canopy (metal) compartment Fairmont Model [?] [C/N unknown] built in [?]-6; Ford industrial 2.3L 4-cylinder engine. Acquired new by the B&O; used in M-of-W service around Fairmont through the Chessie System years, and eventually replaced by a hi-rail pickup truck; [retirement date unknown]; acquired by D&H Welding Co., Fairmont. Bought with two trailers by MSR&LHA in [?]-91; first used as a locomotive in transporting rail from the old C&O Greenbrier S.D. below Deer Creek, and moving work crews to and from the site; then regularly served the weekend volunteers at Whittaker Camp One during construction. Subsequent use included use again as locomotive transporting materials during work on the mountain wye and West Virginia Central between Spruce and Beaver Creek. MSR&LHA added doors and tool box; painted the unit red with white MSR&LHA lettering; this unit was used as needed by Cass and finally purchased by CSRR in 2005.
Motorcar Trailers -- There are seven; No. 1 is in use by the shop as a parts push car; all of the following are active in maintenance-of-way service: Nos. 2-3 (hand cars with lowside compartments for tools); generator trailer; man carrier [as of 4-00, one trailer (the shop’s loaner?) had no deck].
U.S. Army Car Kits and Lowside -- There are six cars on the upper end of the river dead line that serve as long-term hosts for these flatcar/boxcar platforms which came from Ft. Eustis, Va. via declared excess in [?]-7; 17 remained after some were sent to SBVRR for assembly in [?]-7]8]; US Army numbers of those remaining are unknown except the lowside – ex-USA No. 570103.
U.S. Army Boxcars -- Two European-style goods wagon (van) carbodies were assembled from kits acquired as government surplus, [?]-7 – last in service at Fort Eustis. One was placed adjacent to the coal dock for sand storage, -7, but is now elsewhere; the other (still in olive drab, numbers illegible) is now a long-time fixture of the boneyard located above the car shop.
Notes on U.S. Army Car Kits
1. According to SBVRR’s undated (circa 1980) roster, there were three kits on the books – set up as lowsides (SBVRR M-of-W cars OF, OG, and OH). These would have come from Cass via tractor-trailer.
2. Wheels, truck parts and full truck assemblies can be found in the boneyard adjacent to the upper shop.
Mower Caboose(s) -- Pictures from the 1950’s show ex-Mower Lumber caboose No. 12, formerly WVP&P Co. No. 12, a very small 8-wheel wooden caboose with center cupola [likely Western Maryland origin, but may have been built by the Cass shop] sitting in the Cass yard. There were three such units in service during the period 1928-33 – each numbered according to the road engine it accompanied (Nos. 12-14); last used by Mower Lumber Co. on Sunday evening "man trips" in the late 1940s then stored at Cass; slated by Midwest Raleigh, Inc. for conveyance to the state, but heavily damaged when rammed by a skidder’s spar pole when that device was shoved into the siding; thus, burned for recovery pf scrap steel – probably no later than -61.
Boxcar/Supply Car -- No. 404 Originally a 40-foot Middletown flatcar converted at Cass into a two-door supply car, ca. 1920; became the last active supply car (phased out with completion of cutting on Cabin Fork, 195). Left (no trucks) by Midwest Raleigh just above Back Mountain Crossing, -61; used for M-of-W material storage until 197; burned by CSRR, with scrap metal taken by the company that dismantled the old shop.
Phil Bagdon, a long-time Cass Scenic R.R. enthusiast, began publishing this roster in 1998 with subsequent annual revisions. His interest in Cass extended back to a first visit in 1964. He formed early associations with long-time Cass residents W.E. Blackhurst and Ivan Clarkson and the dean of Cass history, Kyle J. "Catty" Neighbors. Newspaper summer jobs at the West Virginia Hillbilly and Webster Echo provided opportunities to uncover more information. While a student at West Virginia Tech, an in-depth Cass rail-logging book was begun with Neighbors. Following Kyle Neighbors’ death in 1975, Cass native, Dr. Roy Clarkson came into the project. Phil worked at Cass as a train commentator in 1976, then dropped out of the project to pursue his career. (Dr. Clarkson saw “On Beyond Leatherbark – The Cass Saga,” the definitive Cass history through to publication in 1990).
Sources of information