All trains depart from the Wappocomo Station (unless otherwise indicated on the trip schedule), 1 1/2 miles north of Romney on WV Route 28. Romney is located on US Route 50, west of Winchester, VA and east of Clarksburg, WV. Station/Ticket Office opens one hour prior to train departures:
Route 28 North
P.O. Box 657
Romney, WV 26757
Trains departing Moorefield, WV board downtown off US Route 220 at Jefferson St next to the stock yards.
The Petersburg, WV boarding location is on US Route 220 (South Main St at B St), just south of downtown Petersburg. Restaurants and craft stores are nearby amenities that add to Petersburg's charm.
Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling or writing the ticket agent at:
Potomac Eagle Business Office Tickets, Reservations, and
all Business Inquiries
2306 35th Street
Parkersburg, WV 26104-2242
The origin of the railroad caboose has been the subject of much speculation and more than a few country songs along the way. It's likely the first cabooses actually were freight cars temporarily used for housing the conductor and his staff of rear brakemen. Specialized cars assigned to members of the rear train crew and outfitted accordingly, cabooses began appearing in the United States in the mid-1800s.
After the Civil War, the Baltimore & Ohio built cabooses in significant numbers, most of which were four-wheel bobber cabooses, but a number of eight-wheel cars, which likely had been converted from box cars, were also in service.
By the late 1920s, Baltimore & Ohio's caboose fleet had grown to over 1,200 cars. Almost all of these cars were of the standard cupola style, some of which were four-wheel cars, while others were eight-wheel types. But that would change drastically, and forever, with the building of one new caboose in 1930.
A single new caboose was constructed in 1930 at the B&O Railroad Company shops at Mount Clare, Baltimore. This new caboose was a radically different design from other cars then in service on American railroads. The new B&O car, numbered C2500, featured bay windows instead of the more traditional cupola. From that time forward, all B&O cabooses built new or converted, were of the bay-window design. B&O pioneered the concept, and other railroads picked up the style and built or purchased their own bay-window cabooses.
Bay-window cabooses were seen as having several advantages over cupola cabooses of the era. Their single level floor plan was considered to be safer, easier to heat in the winter and visibility of the train from the side bays was believed to be superior to observation from the cupola, especially since freight cars of the time were increasing in height and would effectively block the view from the cupola windows.
In 1935, a second bay-window caboose was outshopped from the Mount Clare shops. One additional caboose was completed in 1936. Between 1939 and 1940, five more cabooses were outshopped from the B&O shops at Cumberland, Md. All seven of these cars were experimental, bay window, wagon-top cabooses numbered C2501 through C2507.
These cars featured port-hole type end windows. They were the only B&O cabooses to utilize those type windows, and each had been converted from an older cupola caboose, whereas C2500 and C2501 were built new. The interesting wagon-top design was unique to the B&O, and the railroad eventually had box cars, covered hoppers and cabooses of the wagon-top style.
B&O caboose C2507, now owned by the C&O Historical Society and currently leased by the Potomac Eagle, was built in 1940. Actually, C2507 was rebuilt from the underframe of an older class I-5 cupola caboose at the B&O shops at Cumberland, Md. It was the last ofthe seven experimental, wagon-top, bay-window cabooses. Approximately one year later, the B&O shops in Keyser began outshopping production wagon-top cabooses, number in the C2400 series and carrying caboose class I-12. Caboose C2507 continued in service on the B&O for over 40 years after its conversion in 1940. It was last painted in the red caboose scheme in the late 1960s at the B&O shops at Du Bois, Pa. Eventually, C2507 ended up in assigned service out of Cowen, W.Va.
In 1975 it was repainted an oddball Chessie System yellow scheme at the B&O shops at Grafton, W.Va. It finally was retired in the early 1980s at Cowen and sold to a private owner. The private owner did a partial renovation of the caboose before it was acquired by the Eagle Canon Passenger Car Company, which added the car as part of its depot in 1996.
Of the original eight B&O experimental bay-window cabooses, three of the cars have been preserved.
In addition to the Potomac Eagle's C2507, sister cars preserved include C2506, which is located at the B&O Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Md., and C2504, which is located at Davis and Elkins College in Elkins, W. Va.
Route 28 North
P.O. Box 657
Romney, WV 26757
Information & Reservations
Train Station train days only