As if the unseasonably warm temperatures, budding trees, and blooming flowers weren’t enough, a sure sign that summer’s on its way is the start of Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad’s 2016 season.
Potomac Eagle begins its 26th season on Saturday, May 21 with their popular ‘Trough Trip.’ This outstanding three-hour journey begins just north of Romney at Wappocomo Station, situated next to a charming homestead with a sprawling view of the mountains. “Enjoy the sounds of vintage diesels as they lead you through beautiful pastures and farms dating back to the 1700s. As you wind along the South Branch of the Potomac River, you’ll enter a visually-striking gorge known as The Trough. One of the most scenic spots along the South Branch, the Trough is home to American bald eagles,” according to their official Facebook page.
2016 also brings changes to the operations of Potomac Eagle. The reservation office recently moved on-site to Wappocomo Station from Parkersburg, West Virginia, where it has been for the past 25 years. “Having all parts of the operation together only makes sense,” says Dan Snyder, newly-appointed board president. Snyder, along with fellow board members Wayne Badger and Dick Noble, see this year as a new era for the railroad. “It not only makes operations more efficient but also continues improving the experiences of our passengers.”
Operations Manager Rodney Matheny will continue handling train operations as he has for the past 16 years. Office management is now led by Jodi Burnsworth, formerly with Western Maryland Scenic Railroad. “In the short time the office has been here, we have had a tremendous amount of support from the community. Ticket sales are already ahead of last season too,” says Matheny. Other changes include website updates, a social media presence, online ticket sales, increased marketing and bus group recruitment. One of the biggest changes is their schedule. Returning guests will find it more consistent than in years past.
In addition to the usual ‘Trough Trip,’ there are also all-day excursions to Petersburg on the last Saturday of every month as well as the addition of some Sunday excursions. Two classes of service are available: Coach and Club. Coach is great for families as the most affordable, yet still comfortable, seating on the train. Seating here is cushioned, high-back, bench-style reversible seats where passengers can move the seat-back to face in either direction. Windows may be opened as well.
Club includes meal service (lunch and/or dinner depending on your excursion), complemented with Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad china. These restored lounge cars offer seating of loveseats with tables and are climate-controlled. Additional features onboard the train include the open-air car, gondola car, and a concession car.
Potomac Eagle is also offering a few special events this season. On Sunday, June 19, there is a Father’s Day ‘Trough Trip’ where dad rides free with paid adult ticket in Coach. A Fireworks Train is departing at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 2 to watch fireworks in Moorefield. There is also the annual Green Spring excursion on Sunday, October 30 at 11 a.m.
To learn more about Potomac Eagle excursions, make a reservation, or inquire about group rates, call (304) 424-0736 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information is also available on their website at www.potomaceagle.info. Season runs from mid-May through October. Advance reservations are recommended.
(Press release: May 4, 2016)