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New Promotional Video for Potomac Eagle

A new promotional video debuted yesterday from Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad. The two-and-a-half-minute video highlights their regular 3-hour Trough Trip from Wappocomo Station in Romney through the Trough. Aerial views of the station are included but the main focus of the video is of the train as it travels through the steep, narrow gorge locally known as the Trough. It’s wide enough for only the river and the railroad tracks and is accessible only those two ways. The video was produced by Dream Cut Films of Hampshire County and was filmed over two days this summer.

The video is on the homepage, potomaceagle.info, as well as on Facebook and YouTube.

Spend Father’s Day Weekend at Potomac Eagle Rail Fest

Lehigh Valley 126

On Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18, 2017, Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad will host Potomac Eagle Rail Fest. The festival will run 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days with several railroad-related activities for all ages at Wappocomo Station, 1 ½ miles north of Romney, West Virginia on WV28.

In addition to the regularly-scheduled 3-hour Trough Trips at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday, there will be 45-minute express trips with Lehigh Valley 126 steam engine. These trips will be offered at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m., and 4 p.m. both days. Tickets are $20 for adults and seniors, $10 for children, and will be available for purchase during the festival.

Lehigh Valley Coal Company #126, a.k.a. “Sadie,” is an 0-6-0T saddle tank engine, built by Vulcan Iron Works for the Lehigh Valley Coal Company and put into service May 1931. It burns coal 1500-3000 degrees to heat the 1250 gallons of water stored in the saddle tank into steam. The steam flows down to the piston cylinders and turns the actuating rods which turn the wheels. The Gramling Locomotive Works travel to scenic railroads and museums across the country with their steam engines.

Handcar

Several free activities and exhibits will be offered throughout the weekend as well. There will be speeders on display. A speeder is a maintenance of way motorized vehicle formerly used on railroads by track inspectors and work crews to move quickly to and from work sites. Although it is slow compared to a train or car, it is called speeder because it is faster than a human-powered vehicle such as a handcar. Hocking Valley Scenic Railway will have a handcar on display as well.

Operation Lifesaver will have a booth about railroad safety with activity books and engineer hats for kids. Operation Lifesaver is a nonprofit public safety education and awareness organization dedicated to reducing collisions, fatalities and injuries at highway-rail crossings and trespassing on or near railroad tracks. Operation Lifesaver’s network of authorized volunteer speakers and trained instructors offer free rail safety education programs in all fifty states. They speak to school groups, driver education classes, community audiences, professional drivers, law enforcement officers, and emergency responders. Their programs are co-sponsored by federal, state and local government agencies, highway safety organizations and America’s railroads. Operation Lifesaver promotes the three E’s—education, enforcement and engineering—to keep people safe around the tracks and railway crossings within our communities.

Hobo presentation with Ed Griesel

The West Virginia Railroad Museum will be at Rail Fest to promote the essence and spirit of West Virginia’s railroad heritage. The purpose of the West Virginia Railroad Museum, Inc. is to be a cultural resource dedicated to educating visitors and the community about West Virginia’s railroad history.

Their mission is accomplished through the collection, preservation and interpretation of significant locomotives, rolling stock, artifacts, photographs and memorabilia directly related to railroads and railroading in West Virginia. In addition to static exhibits, select pieces of equipment in the collection are restored and operated throughout the year to demonstrate steam, gasoline, and diesel technology and provide visitors with a first-hand experience of our railroad history through the sights, sounds, and sensations of a train ride. WVRM is located in the historic Darden Mill on the former Western Maryland Railway yard in Elkins, West Virginia.

Accompanying the WVRM is Ed Griesel, who will present hobo history to guests. He is one of many WVRM members who possess an array of talents. Despite his never having “lived the life of the hobo”, he is a bonafide member of the hobo “society” and is keeping the history of the hobo alive as are few others. “Old Ed,” the moniker given him by a very special hobo friend, speaks to groups of all ages but his favorite audiences are young people. He keeps his audiences, whether young or old, engaged by asking questions.

Community Model Railroad of Frostburg

The Community Model Railroad Club of Frostburg, Maryland will have a 4’ x 8’ layout on display, Christmas train set raffle, and various items for sale. They will hand out free catalogs and their Christmas Open House schedule.

On Saturday, June 17, the Queen City Antique Automobile Club of America will host a car show from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dash plaques and trophies will be given out. The car show is in memory of Harry “Buddy” Hartman, who was an avid car club member and railroad fan.

On Sunday, June 18, the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center will host a bald eagle presentation from Noon to 2 p.m. The WVRRC rehabilitate and release injured and orphaned birds of prey and to provide environmental education programs to the public for the benefit of all living things. The WVRRC’s permanent residents assist their volunteer presenters in fun and informative programs about the value of raptors in the environment and the important work being done at the Center. Their presentation will include a juvenile bald eagle.

For more information or reservations, visit potomaceagle.info, follow Potomac Eagle on Facebook, or call 304-424-0736.

27th Season Begins Mother’s Day Weekend

A sure sign that summer’s on its way is the start of Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad’s 2017 season. Potomac Eagle begins its 27th season on Saturday, May 13 with their popular Trough Trip. This outstanding three-hour journey begins just north of Romney at Wappocomo Station, situated next to a charming homestead with a sprawling view of the mountains. “Enjoy the sounds of vintage diesels as they lead you through beautiful pastures and farms dating back to the 1700s. As you wind along the South Branch of the Potomac River, you’ll enter a visually-striking gorge known as The Trough. One of the most scenic spots along the South Branch, the Trough is home to American bald eagles,” according to their official Facebook page.

In addition to the regular Trough Trip, there are also all-day excursions to Petersburg on the last Saturday of every month, as well as some Sunday excursions. Two classes of service are available on all excursions: Coach and Club. Coach is great for families as affordable, yet still comfortable, seating on the train. These restored 1920s era passenger cars are open-window cars, giving passengers a feeling of stepping back in time.

Club Car service includes a three-course meal, complemented with Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad china. These restored lounge cars offer seating of loveseats with tables and are climate-controlled. Additional features onboard the train include the open-air car, gondola car, and a concession car. As always, spotting bald eagles is the highlight of the trips. According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, there are at least eight documented nests in the Trough. This exciting news means their habitat is great, and they are thriving!

Potomac Eagle offers a few special trains this season. On Sunday, May 14 is a Mother’s Day Trough Trip, where mom rides free with a paid Adult or Senior in Coach. On Sunday, June 18, there is a Father’s Day Trough Trip, where dad rides free with paid Adult or Senior in Coach. A Fireworks Train departs at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 1 to watch fireworks in Moorefield. There is also the annual Green Spring excursion on Sunday, October 29 at 11 a.m.

On Father’s Day weekend, June 17-18, Potomac Eagle is hosting a Rail Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to Trough Trips, there will be train rides with steam engine Lehigh Valley 126. These 45-minute express trips with travel northbound to Hanging Rock and back. Free activities include Little Tweetsie and speeder rides, Operation Lifesaver, West Virginia Railroad Museum, and Community Model Railroad Club of Frostburg. On Saturday, the Queen City Car Club will host an antique car show, in honor of member and railfan Harry “Buddy” Hartman. On Sunday, the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center will host a presentation on bald eagles with their juvenile “Specs” from Noon to 2 p.m.

To learn more about Potomac Eagle excursions, make a reservation, or inquire about group rates, call (304) 424-0736 or email potomaceaglewv@gmail.com. Additional information and reservations can also be found at potomaceagle.info. Season runs from mid-May through October. Advance reservations are recommended.

Online Ticket Sales Now Available

Potomac Eagle now has online ticket sales available. Guests may purchase through the Calendar or Schedule pages on our website; tickets can also be purchased on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/potomaceagle) using the Buy Tickets tab underneath the cover photo. As always, tickets may be purchased by telephone as well.

Whistletix is the online ticketing system and processing fees will apply in addition to advertised rates.

Gift Certificates Available!

Gift Certificate

Gift Certificate

Need a gift but don’t know what to buy? Have a birthday or anniversary coming up? Perhaps something special for the railfan in your life?

Buy them a gift certificate for Potomac Eagle! Gift certificates can be made in any amount and are good toward the purchase of tickets. Some restrictions apply.

Click the Gift Certificate to purchase online or call 304-424-0736.

New Season of Adventure!

As if the unseasonably warm temperatures, budding trees, and blooming flowers weren’t enough, a sure sign that summer’s on its way is the start of Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad’s 2016 season.

Potomac Eagle begins its 26th season on Saturday, May 21 with their popular ‘Trough Trip.’ This outstanding three-hour journey begins just north of Romney at Wappocomo Station, situated next to a charming homestead with a sprawling view of the mountains. “Enjoy the sounds of vintage diesels as they lead you through beautiful pastures and farms dating back to the 1700s. As you wind along the South Branch of the Potomac River, you’ll enter a visually-striking gorge known as The Trough. One of the most scenic spots along the South Branch, the Trough is home to American bald eagles,” according to their official Facebook page.

2016 also brings changes to the operations of Potomac Eagle. The reservation office recently moved on-site to Wappocomo Station from Parkersburg, West Virginia, where it has been for the past 25 years. “Having all parts of the operation together only makes sense,” says Dan Snyder, newly-appointed board president. Snyder, along with fellow board members Wayne Badger and Dick Noble, see this year as a new era for the railroad. “It not only makes operations more efficient but also continues improving the experiences of our passengers.”

Operations Manager Rodney Matheny will continue handling train operations as he has for the past 16 years. Office management is now led by Jodi Burnsworth, formerly with Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. “In the short time the office has been here, we have had a tremendous amount of support from the community. Ticket sales are already ahead of last season too,” says Matheny. Other changes include website updates, a social media presence, online ticket sales, increased marketing and bus group recruitment. One of the biggest changes is their schedule. Returning guests will find it more consistent than in years past.

In addition to the usual ‘Trough Trip,’ there are also all-day excursions to Petersburg on the last Saturday of every month as well as the addition of some Sunday excursions. Two classes of service are available: Coach and Club. Coach is great for families as the most affordable, yet still comfortable, seating on the train. Seating here is cushioned, high-back, bench-style reversible seats where passengers can move the seat-back to face in either direction. Windows may be opened as well.

Club includes meal service (lunch and/or dinner depending on your excursion), complemented with Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad china. These restored lounge cars offer seating of loveseats with tables and are climate-controlled. Additional features onboard the train include the open-air car, gondola car, and a concession car.

Potomac Eagle is also offering a few special events this season. On Sunday, June 19, there is a Father’s Day ‘Trough Trip’ where dad rides free with paid adult ticket in Coach. A Fireworks Train is departing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 to watch fireworks in Moorefield. There is also the annual Green Spring excursion on Sunday, October 30 at 11 a.m.

To learn more about Potomac Eagle excursions, make a reservation, or inquire about group rates, call (304) 424-0736 or email potomaceaglewv@gmail.com. Additional information is also available on their website at www.potomaceagle.info. Season runs from mid-May through October. Advance reservations are recommended.

(Press release: May 4, 2016)