Take a Ride on the Eagle

A sure sign that summer’s on its way is the start of Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad’s 2017 season. Potomac Eagle begins its 27th season on Saturday, May 13 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.

In addition to the regular Trough Trip, there are also all-day excursions to Petersburg on the last Saturday of every month, as well as some Sunday excursions. Two classes of service are available on all excursions: Coach and Club. Coach is great for families as affordable, yet still comfortable, seating on the train. These restored 1920s era passenger cars are open-window cars, giving passengers a feeling of stepping back in time.

Club Car service includes a three-course meal, 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. As always, spotting bald eagles is the highlight of the trips. According to the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources, there are at least eight documented nests in the Trough. This exciting news means their habitat is great, and they are thriving!

Potomac Eagle offers a few special trains this season. On Sunday, May 14 is a Mother’s Day Trough Trip, where mom rides free with a paid Adult or Senior in Coach. On Sunday, June 18, there is a Father’s Day Trough Trip, where dad rides free with paid Adult or Senior in Coach. A Fireworks Train departs at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 1 to watch fireworks in Moorefield. There is also the annual Green Spring excursion on Sunday, October 29 at 11 a.m.

On Father’s Day weekend, June 17-18, Potomac Eagle is hosting a Rail Fest from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to Trough Trips, there will be train rides with steam engine Lehigh Valley 126. These 45-minute express trips with travel northbound to Hanging Rock and back. Free activities include Little Tweetsie and speeder rides, Operation Lifesaver, West Virginia Railroad Museum, and Community Model Railroad Club of Frostburg. On Saturday, the Queen City Car Club will host an antique car show, in honor of member and railfan Harry “Buddy” Hartman. On Sunday, the West Virginia Raptor Rehabilitation Center will host a presentation on bald eagles with their juvenile “Specs” from Noon to 2 p.m.

To learn more about Potomac Eagle excursions, make a reservation, or inquire about group rates, call (304) 424-0736 or email potomaceaglewv@gmail.com. Additional information and reservations can also be found at potomaceagle.info. Season runs from mid-May through October. Advance reservations are recommended.