OH-to-DC-via-WV ~ Sunday, September 08, 2013
Next our trip turned east again, back across Ohio. We stopped in the Ohio Amish country--we had a good lunch, and are still working through all the jam and apple butter we bought.
We crossed the Ohio River at Parkersburg, WV, which has an interesting criss-crossing network of railroad tracks on several levels of bridges, the kind of dense and interesting 3D network you more expect to see on a train layout than in real life! One of the former lines leaving town is now a rail-trail, with signals still in place and actually lit.
After a long and scenic trip through the mountains, we reached Cass Scenic Railroad, which is long ways from everywhere but worth the trip! We rode a shay-powered train up the mountain.
Nearby is the Green Bank Radio Observatory, which is also worth seeing. To prevent interference, this whole area is in a national radio quiet zone, meaning there is no cell-phone service anywhere near Cass.
Back when we'd first crossed into WV, we stopped at a visitor center, and picked up a flyer for a bed-and-breakfast consisting of several civil-war-era log cabins. In California, B&B generally means (a) expensive and (b) don't even think about bringing kids, but we called up the Jerico Cabins and found that neither of these were the case. Here is the accommodations we had that night:
Breakfast wad good, too. Our fellow-guests were a couple on motorcycle trip through WV, with the intent of visiting every county in the state.
Anyway, the cabins are about 20 mins from Cass, and I would certainly recommend them to fellow railfans as place to stay in the area (just be sure to arrive in daylight or you might never find them).
We pushed on to DC, where we saw family, and visited some of the usual things you go to see in the nation's capital. We also visited the National Capital Trolley Museum, where we rode a Toronto PCC through the woods.
Washington actually has a new streetcar system in the works. We saw tracks being built. The city seems to have finally allowed an exemption to its hundred-year-old ban on overhead wires--no conduit in those tracks.
We worked in one last railroad-related stop on our a trip, a visit to the Bowie, MD, Railroad Museum, which has a restored depot, interlocking tower, and caboose. It's also right next to the Northeast Corridor, so the platform of the caboose is a nice place to watch for Acelas!direct link