The South Branch Valley Railroad is a 52 mile line owned and operated by the West Virginia State Rail Authority. It follows the South Branch Potomac River and has provided freight service to a variety of industries since 1978 when it was acquired from the B&O. The railroad also hosts the Potomac Eagle, an excursion train that operates during the summer and fall from Romney, WV through a section known as “The Trough”, where bald eagles are commonly sighted.
Our rare mileage photo charter operated in the opposite direction from Romney on tracks that normally see only freight traffic. Vintage vehicles and people in period dress gave a 1950’s feel to match the railroad equipment. F7A #8016 in C&O colors along with GP-9 #6604 and F7A #722 in B&O livery provided the power for freight and passenger trains. The charter organizers provided lots of action during a day that ended with a night photo session.
The second charter featured two trains operating on the Durbin & Greenbriar Valley Railroad along the beautiful Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. This railroad is also owned by the West Virginia State Rail Authority, but is operated by the privately-owned Durbin & Greenbriar Valley. The railroad runs four different excursion trains over various portions of the line as well as freight service for on-line customers.
The photo charter was organized by the Mountain States Railroad & Logging Historical Association, which also supports nearby Cass Scenic Railroad State Park. Two FP7A’s, #67 and #243 in Western Maryland livery, powered our passenger train. GP9 #6641 in B&O colors powered a freight train. The charter operated between Cheat Bridge and the High Falls of Cheat. Along the way there were plenty of runbys and photo opportunities under changing weather conditions.
Our footage was captured with multiple tripod-mounted HD cameras. Running time approximately 46 minutes. The DVD is conveniently organized by chapters, with minimal narration.
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