The winding, 12-mile route of the Cass Scenic Railroad climbs nearly 2,400 feet through rugged hardwood forest from the town of Cass, West Virginia, to the summit of Bald Knob on Back Allegheny Mountain. The lumber industry in this section of the Allegheny Mountains reached its peak in the 1920s, though operations in Cass did not end until 1960. Russell Baum, of Pennsylvania, convinced the West Virginia Legislature in 1961 to purchase the property and include it in its park system. Baum preserved the remaining track and three Shay engines required to accommodate scenic rail tours. In its first year, more than 23,000 people visited Cass Scenic Railroad State Park and embarked on the rail excursion.
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