Cass Climax steams for the first time

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Cass Climax No. 9 steams on Thursday.
Cass Scenic Railroad
CASS, W.VA. — A restoration project that dates back almost 50 years has come to completion at the Cass Scenic Railroad in the heart of the Back Alleghany Mountains of West Virginia.

Moore-Keppel & Co. three-truck Climax No. 9 returned to steam Thursday. The locomotive is expected to be out for the railroad’s Heritage Weekend today through Sunday.

The locomotive is the first Climax to operate at Cass, known for its geared steam roster of Shays and a solitary Heisler, in almost a century. With the addition, Cass now fields all three types of the most popular North American logging railroad geared locomotives found in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The active restoration of Climax No. 9 has been ongoing for almost 20 years, first under the auspices of a non-profit support organization, and most recently under the private operator brought in to run the railroad. The engine was acquired in the early 1970s and was heavily damaged in a 1972 shop fire. It sat derelict for years. Until Thursday.

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