CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WBOY) — The historic Trout Run Bridge on the rail line between Cass and Durbin is officially open, letting West Virginians and tourists take a step back in time on the restored Cass Scenic Railroad route.
The West Virginia Department of Transportation (WVDOT) announced back in February that after four years of work, the bridge was finally complete, and on Friday, it celebrated the bridge’s official reopening. The Shay 5 locomotive—the oldest and longest-operating Shay at Cass—cut the ribbon to mark the event.
The hand-stacked stone Trout Run Bridge was washed out by floodwaters in 1985, and the rail line has been out of commission ever since. Now, almost 40 years later, the 15-mile stretch is reopened for as a new avenue for West Virginia tourism.
“This 15-mile section of track with this beautiful ballast deck bridge, is a star for West Virginia and should be a showpiece for our WVDOT employees and the DGVR (Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad) employees for many years to come,” WVDOT Multimodal Transportation Facilities Commissioner Cindy Butler said.
The bridge opening comes just days before the season’s first Cass Scenic Railroad trips, which are scheduled for Saturday, May 20. To book your trip on the railroad, visit the Mountain Rail WV website. Adult tickets for the Cass to Durbin Roundtrip on the Greenbrier Express start at $75 and include lunch.
During the ribbon cutting Friday, WVDOT also recognized the crews who made the restoration possible. The release said that project supervisor Greg Pennington, completing the project felt like a personal responsibility.
“I think we owe it to the state and to the nation to open this back up so people can see the beauty of the river and this valley,” Pennington said.
“These guys in these yellow shirts, they have memories they’ll be telling their great grandchildren about,” Secretary of Transportation and Commissioner of Highways Jimmy Wriston said in the release. “This was the project for them.”