When Barbara Wagner moved away from Elkins in the 1980s, the tourist trains in the city had yet to become an attraction. But after hearing about the rides, she and her husband decided to make a trip back to the city.
"We decided to make some reservations, and we were very glad we got reservations on the Tygart Flyer rather than the Salamander, as we did find out about the train wreck," Wagner said
After a log truck crashed into the Cheat Mountain Salamander on Friday and put it out of commission for the season, the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad has been working to move passengers to other train trips.
"We're trying to get all the folks on the Salamander that we can on that train. We've added an extra car to it so we can accommodate for about fifty more passengers on that train," said Reservations Manager Shane Yeager.
While the loss of a train could be a blow to the railroad, potential effects can reach much farther. Randolph County Commissioner Mike Taylor said the tourists that ride on the trains do a lot for the county's economy.
"When you have people in town, number one, they're buying gas, number two, they're eating in our local restaurants, number three, they're staying in our hotels and motels," Taylor said.
Despite the accident, they New Tygart Flyer was still full Tuesday morning, and Wagner said her only concern is looking forward to a pleasant trip on the train.
"I have enough faith in the people that are managing this to know that we are going to be as safe as possible, and looking at the area coming in we knew it was going to be a beautiful ride," said Wagner.
Most seats on the train are full for the remainder of the season, although Yeager said some weekday trips have a few seats available.
For more information, contact the railroad at (877) 686-7245.