The Durbin Rocket, built in 1910
All aboard for an exciting rail journey through West Virginia’s breathtaking mountain scenery. Led by a local railroad historian, this multi-day tour features three rail excursions, including a climb behind the geared steam locomotive of the Cass Scenic Railroad to the top of the second-highest point in the state.
Friday’s route descends into the scenic Shenandoah Valley before turning west into the region known as “Virginia's Switzerland.” Continue west to the town of Durbin, West Virginia, and have lunch before boarding the train for a chartered trip on the last remaining 10-miles of the track along the upper Greenbrier River which once connected Durbin with Cass. Accommodations are at The Inn at Snowshoe; dinner at a local restaurant and daily breakfast at the hotel are provided.
On Saturday, begin with a tour of the historic lumber town buildings and remnants of the great mills that once filled the valley. The town, built as a company town for loggers, remains relatively unchanged since its founding in 1901. In Cass, board your train for an afternoon excursion to Bald Knob overlook where a large platform offers panoramic views into two states and the Allegheny Mountains. Lunch is served onboard. At the conclusion of the ride, return to Elkins and check into the Isaac Jackson Hotel, Elkins before dinner at a local restaurant.
On Sunday, a visit to the West Virginia Railroad Museum kicks off the day where you have the opportunity to learn about West Virginia’s railroad heritage through their specialized collection of memorabilia and railroad equipment. In the afternoon, take your seat on the New Tygert Flyer for a four-hour round trip with lunch onboard before returning to the station for your journey home.
Know Before You Go
- Cost includes bus transportation, lodging, all activities, and all meals.
- Overnight accommodations are at The Inn at Snowshoe on Friday and the Isaac Jackson Hotel, Elkins on Saturday.
- Tour departs by bus from the Mayflower Hotel, Connecticut Ave. and DeSales St., NW, with a stop at the Vienna Metro south-side Kiss and Ride at about 7:55 a.m.
- Single-room supplement $150 (factored into the Single Room Member and Single Room Non-Member pricing).
- Singles registering at the double-room rate are paired (on a nonsmoking basis) if possible, but must pay the single-room supplement otherwise.
- Detailed information is emailed to registrants about four weeks prior to departure.
- Participants are advised to purchase travel insurance for overnight and multi-day tours from a provider of your choice. Travel insurance provides additional coverage against unforeseen incidents that require last-minute cancellations.
- Registration for this tour will end by 2 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 1, 2023.
- The tour departs by motorcoach from downtown Washington, DC with a designated secondary pick-up outside the city. Content delivered by the study leader on the way to the destination, after the secondary pick-up, is an integral part of the study tour experience. Meeting the group once the tour is en route is discouraged.
- Smithsonian is a mask-friendly environment. Masks are strongly recommended to be worn on buses at all times and may also be required at various indoor sites.
- For additional tour information: