Traveling on the Train
We hope you'll join us to relax and enjoy the rugged West Virginia landscape along the South Branch of the Potomac. The Potomac Eagle features many amenities and special features for your comfort and traveling pleasure. In this section, we'll give you a little bit of information about the train itself.
The Potomac Eagle is generally hauled by some combination of four General Motors locomotives, built by their Electro Motive Division.
- Baltimore & Ohio GP-9 number 6604, built in April 1955. The 6604 spent time on the Central Railroad of New Jersey, and later the Chessie System who took ownership of the B&O in 1969
- Chessie System GP-9 number 6240, bulit in August 1957 as Chesapeake & Ohio 6240, later Chessie 6240 when Chessie was formed from the merger of the B&O and C&O
- Potomac Eagle F7A #722, originally Bessemer & Lake Erie 722 built in 1952
- Chesapeake & Ohio F3Au #8016, originally Clinchfield 800 and later CSX Transportation 116. Built in February 1949
The two 8016, 6604, and 6240 spent the early parts of their career in passenger train service; after the decline of passenger service they were relegated to freight duties. The Bessemer 722 spent its life hauling iron ore pellets from the Conneaut, OH ore docks to hungry steel mills in Pittsburgh, PA.
On most of the Potomac Eagle's trips, you'll find an open-air car or two just behind the locomotives on the south end of the train. One of them is an open-top gondola car that had been used to carry freight like pipes or railroad ties. That car has been outfitted with benches, so passengers can step outside to partake in the view of the Trough.
The open-air car is always a great way to take in the view.
The second open-air car is covered, but has large wide-open windows where you can lean out a little bit to get a better look. This car is one of several where restrooms are located.
Regular passenger coaches are coupled to the north of the open-air cars. Most of these cars came from commuter rail service on the Canadian National, however several are of B&O heritage. Typical seating in these cars are cushioned, reversible seats where passengers can move the seat-back in order to face in either direction. In the photo on the right, the seats are adjusted to face one another.
On select trips, regular ticket holders may opt for table seating as shown.
We have three cars that feature table-style seating (as shown) which is convenient for those bringing picnic lunches or passengers enjoying a bit from our on-board snack car. These cars are also regularly used by charter groups. For charter group trips, catered meals are available, contact us for details.
In the middle of the train, you'll find the ever-important snack bar car. Here you'll find a selection of candy, donuts, chips, pretzels, and other snacks. We also have chili dogs, nachos, and occasionally homemade soups. And of course, hot coffee, soda pop, and water are available.
Jean Shoemaker is the announcer and historian aboard the Eagle.
Restored Chesapeake & Ohio engine 8016 regularly pulls the Potomac Eagle
Two restored GP-9 locomotives cross the Potomac at Moorefield
Guests looking at the Sycamore Bridge from the open-top gondola car
A standard passenger car on the Eagle
Regular ticket holders will find comfortable, reversible seats such as these.
Reversible seating is available on much of the train.
On the north end of the train are the First-class cars Gadsby's Tavern, Eagle Cañon, and Chessie Club. First-class seating features climate-controlled lounge and dining cars, and a complimentary snack, beverage, and dinner service. First-class seating is available on all trains.
The Eagle Cañon and Chessie Club have a classic, stylish look invoking memories of long-gone days of luxury rail travel. This look is complemented by Chesapeake & Ohio railroad china and tableware, just as was done years ago.
So, we invite you and your family to join us for a relaxing, yet exciting rail journey into West Virginia's wilderness!
The luxurious restored club and dining cars provide the perfect atmosphere for a relaxing, enjoyable trip.
Rodney doing the paperwork
Rodney aboard First Class
First Class Club Car