Trains of West Virginia

History, Trains and Appalachian Culture!

  • Date

    June 6-11, 2019 | Thu / Tue – 6 days

  • Location

    New Tygart Flyer | Durbin Rocket | Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad | Blackwater Falls State Park | Blennerhasset Island Historic State Park

Overview

Toot! Toot! Calling all train fanatics, nature lovers, art enthusiasts and history buffs! Don’t miss this exciting trip to the heart of West Virginia! Three unique trains will take you winding through unspoiled wilderness, deep canyons, and over bridges — passing high falls, towering trees, and free-flowing rivers. Historic places and quaint towns with art galleries, talented performers and musicians beckon you, inviting you to explore their home and culture.

Unpack only once at a mountain resort amidst the gorgeous Allegheny Mountains, taking daily excursions to area attractions. Now, with an extended itinerary, can’t you hear that whistle blowing? It’s time to ride the rails!

Hear what past guests have to say about traveling with Ambassadair

“Trains were a great adventure and especially liked the add-on of the stop at Parkersburg and also the Trans-Alleghany Lunatic Asylum.”

“Relish the beautiful mountains and valleys of West Virginia as you revisit the past glory of the mighty locomotives!”

HIGHLIGHTS INCLUDE

  • Three unique train excursions:
    • Potomac Scenic Eagle Railroad
    • Durbin Rocket
    • New Tygart Flyer
  • Gandy Dancer Dinner Theatre
  • Blackwater Falls State Park
  • Green Bank Telescope
  • Tour the historic Blennerhassett Mansion
  • Scenic views in the Allegheny Mountains
  • Historical tour of the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
  • Optional excursion to nearby Seneca Caverns

PACKAGE INCLUDES

  • Roundtrip motorcoach transportation from Indianapolis
  • Escorted
  • 5 nights accommodations
  • Breakfast daily
  • 3 lunches, 4 dinners
  • Sightseeing and admissions per itinerary
  • Hotel baggage handling

Itinerary

Thu, Jun 6: Depart Indianapolis via motorcoach and head to Davis, West Virginia. The trip today includes a stop at Blennerhasset Island Historic State Park on a small island in the Ohio River in Parkersburg. Take a paddlewheel boat ride to the island for a boxed lunch and tour the historic Blennerhassett Mansion, a palace in the wilderness built between 1798 and 1800 by a wealthy Anglo-Irish couple who immigrated to America in 1795 from County Kerry, Ireland. The home was one of the U.S.’s largest, with 7,000 square feet of living space, and was filled with fine furniture purchased in London, Philadelphia and Baltimore. Proceed to the Canaan Valley Resort, your home for the next five nights. Check in and enjoy a Welcome Dinner with fellow passengers. (Meals: Lunch, Dinner)

Fri, June 7: Each morning at the resort a full hot buffet breakfast is included. Today following breakfast, depart for Elkins Depot to board the New Tygart Flyer! This restored vintage diesel-powered passenger train has gained a reputation as one of the most relaxing mountain wilderness excursions. The four-hour train ride features two separate mountain grades, an “S” curve tunnel, passage into a 1,500-foot deep canyon with steep, densely forested slopes and a high bridge over the meandering Shavers Fork of the Cheat River. The trip culminates at the High Falls of Cheat, an 18-foot high, 150-foot-wide waterfall located in one of the most remote and pristine settings in the region. The ride includes an all-you-can-eat cold sandwich buffet. Following the train excursion there will be time to enjoy an informative, but artistic program that showcases the beauty of West Virginia’s unique railroads, before the evening fun begins at the Gandy Dancer Dinner Theatre. The scrumptious meal of down home favorites is followed by a high-energy comedy and dynamic Branson-style music show with songs from the 50s to today, classic and contemporary Country, Motown, Gospel, and Patriotic ensembles. Return to the resort following the show. (B,L,D)

Sat, June 8: A scenic drive through the Alleghany Mountains takes you to Durbin to board the steam-powered Durbin Rocket. This 55-ton antique was built in 1910 for the Moore-Keppel Lumber Co. in nearby Randolph County. Ride in authentic 1920-era coaches and vintage wooden cabooses behind the rare, steam-powered locomotive Old #3 as she puffs and whistles along the free-flowing Greenbrier River in northern Pocahontas County. The two-hour ride offers many beautiful river and mountain views in the Monongahela National Forest. After the ride, continue to Green Bank. Here you will have a chance to tour the Green Bank Telescope, see the world’s largest telescopes, and learn about the fascinating world of radio astronomy and the world’s premier single-dish telescope. See the pioneering astronomy tools of the 1950’s alongside the current, state-of-the-art telescopes being used today. Stop for an included dinner on your way back to the resort. (B,D)

Sun, June 9: Today’s adventure begins with a trip to Blackwater Falls State Park. View the Blackwater River Falls, one of the most photographed sites in West Virginia, as amber-colored waters plunge five stories, then twist and tumble through an eight-mile-long gorge. The “black” water is a result of tannic acid from fallen hemlock and red spruce needles. After the tour, continue to Romney for a ride on board the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad! Enjoy a narrated excursion through a tranquil mountain valley, passing historic farms, lush mountain greenery, and unspoiled countryside. Experience “The Trough,” a spectacular narrow vale and sacred eastern home of our magnificent national symbol, the bald eagle. These majestic birds soar high above in their natural habitat, undisturbed by the low rumblings of the occasional train and the passengers who have come for a sighting. Don’t be surprised to see these superb flyers swooping overhead in pursuit of prey or gliding gently across the mountain skies. In the valley runs the South Branch of the Potomac River, and above, the high mountain walls and thick forest. Ride in comfort in one of the beautifully restored club cars, including lunch service, complimented with Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad china. (B,L)

Mon, June 10: Enjoy an extra day to explore the resort and beautiful surrounding area. Take an optional, but included, ride on the scenic chair lift at the resort. This afternoon, an optional excursion to nearby Seneca Caverns is sure to excite. The caverns feature unique geological formations that are visually stunning and wondrous. Or, spend the day simply relaxing and taking advantage of the many amenities provided by the resort. Tonight, enjoy a Farewell Dinner at The Smokehouse at Blackwater Falls. (B,D)

Tue, June 11: Depart for home, stopping along the way for a historical tour of the Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston. The lunatic asylum (closed in the mid-1990s) was constructed between 1858 and 1881, and is the largest hand-cut stone masonry building in North America. The tour includes the Civil War section of the hospital. A second stop is at Appalachian Glass to watch a live glass blowing demonstration. Return to Indianapolis in the evening. (B)

Hotel

Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center

Canaan Valley Resort & Conference Center.

Nestled on a plateau overlooking the Canaan Valley, the four-season mountain resort offers sweeping views of the surrounding peaks. Indulge in the peace and tranquility of its beautiful Allegheny Mountains setting. Recently named among the “50 Great Places to Stay” in Washingtonian Magazine. Highlights: in-room kitchenette with coffee maker, mini-refrigerator, and microwave • complimentary Wi-Fi Internet access • restaurant • bar/lounge • café • room service • fitness center • indoor heated pool • outdoor pool • whirlpool • sauna • spa • tennis courts • gaming arcade • gift shops • 18-hole golf course • self-serve laundry.

PRICING

  • Complete Package
  • Double P/P – $1,459
  • Triple P/P – $1,359
  • Single – $1,769
  • Child (12 and under) – $1,149

*Subject to change due to fuel surcharge

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