Elkins, located in Randolph County, West Virginia, has a long history with railroads and transportation due to its surrounding coal and lumber industry. Between 1930 and 1950, the city expanded enough to have regular passenger train service but by 1980, all rail service had ended. With the recently renovated train depot, tourists are returning to ride a number of trains that offer tours of the surrounding areas, while providing amenities such as lunch or themed dinners. These tours are based in Elkins, one of West Virginia's Small Town Gems, according to the Department of Commerce.
New Tygart Flyer
The New Tygart Flyer, based at the Elkins Depot, offers a four-hour, 46-mile journey through two mountain grades, forests, S-curve tunnels, and passage near a1,500-foot deep canyon and an 18-foot waterfall. It provides both Parlor Car and Buffet Car service with operation from May to November. As of August 2010, adult prices are $40 for the Buffet Service (which includes a full lunch buffet) and $54 for the Parlor Car Service (which includes a cold lunch menu and dessert).
New Tygart Flyer 315 Railroad Ave. Elkins, WV 26241 877-686-7245 mountainrailwv.com
The Mountain Explorer, based at the Elkins Depot, offers a four-hour dinner excursion. It provides four-course meals taken from actual train menus from the 1930s to 1960s. Prices include: the excursion, a four-course meal with two alcoholic beverages including water, iced tea, and coffee. Themed dinners such as the Murder Mystery and Christmas Special are also available. As of August 2010, prices ranges from $70 per person to $87 for the Murder Mystery dinner.
Mountain Explorer 315 Railroad Ave. Elkins, WV 26241 877-686-7245 mountainrailwv.com
Cheat Mountain Salamander
The Cheat Mountain Salamander, based at Elkins Deport offers excursions to the logging town of Spruce, Cheat Mountain and Cheat Bridge. It provides three types based on length: Cheat Bridge to Spruce (three-hour round trip to the logging town of Spruce), Elkins to Cheat Bridge (six-and-a-half-hour round trip to Cheat Bridge), and the Elkins to Spruce (a nine-hour 128-mile round trip to Cheat Mountain and the town of Spruce). As of August 2010, adult prices range from $34 for the three-hour trip to $85 for the nine-hour journey. Prices include meals and beverages.
Cheat Mountain Salamander 315 Railroad Ave. Elkins, WV 26241 877-686-7245 mountainrailwv.com
The Durbin Rocket, pulled by a 55-ton antique locomotive built in 1910, offers a two-hour 10.5-mile excursion through Pocahontas County. A former engine for Moore-Keppel Lumber Co., it pulls authentic 1920s coaches and a wooden caboose. As of August 2010, it provides two trips per day and prices are $22 for adults and $12 for children under 12 years of age.
Durbin Rocket 315 Railroad Ave. Elkins, WV 26241 877-686-7245 mountainrailwv.com