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Almost Heaven, West Virginia

Almost Heaven, West Virginia

Just like the John Denver song Take Me Home, Country Roads, you will realize exactly what he was singing about when you start exploring West Virginia.

Almost Heaven

West Virginia

The Trains of West Virginia

September 16-24, 2024


Almost Heaven, West Virginia

Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River...


Just like the John Denver song Take Me Home, Country Roads, you will realize exactly what he was singing about when you start exploring West Virginia. And, if you have a love of trains and beautiful scenery, well this tour has been put together with you in mind! Travel through the beautiful foliage and scenery of West Virginia in September while aboard several different vintage trains; 5 in total! Take a tour of a hidden bunker that was built for 535 members of Congress during the Eisenhower era at a golf resort and enjoy a great dinner and show at the Gandy Dancer theater.


Click here to view a brochure with a complete day-by-day itinerary


Tour includes:

• Deluxe Roundtrip Motorcoach


• Friendly On-board Host

• 8 Nights Hotel Accommodations

• 18 Meals Including

• The Greenbrier Resort & Hidden Bunker Tour

• Cass Scenic Railroad’s Bald Knob Excursion

• Cass Historical Museum

• Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad’s Greenbrier

Wilderness Train

• Green Bank Radio Astronomy Observatory

• New Tygart Flyer

• West Virginia Railroad Museum

• Dinner & Show at Gandy Dancer Theatre

• Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

• Western Maryland Scenic Railroad

• Patsy Cline Hometown & House Tour

• George Washington Hotel Dinner & Patsy Cline

Tribute Artist Performance

• Watershed Distillery Tour


Tour Pricing:

$3025 Per Person Double

$3875 Single

Non-members add $25


Deposit & Final Payment:

A $300 deposit per person is required within one week of reservation. Must be paid in full by August 6, 2024. No refunds will be issued after June 6, 2024.


Activity level 3:

Travelers may be required to walk on uneven surfaces (dirt paths, cobblestone streets or hilly terrain) and up to a distance of one mile at a time.


Travel Protection:

We recommend that you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Unforeseen events such as flight delays, baggage loss or even a sudden illness or injury could impact your travel plans. For your convenience we offer a Travel Protection plan provided by the United States Fire Insurance Company and administered by Trip Mate, Inc.; in UT and CA, DBA Trip Mate Insurance. To review full plan details online, go to for domestic tours valued up to $4,000 per person or to for all international tours or domestic tours valued over $4,000 per person.






Day 1

All Aboard!

Set out this morning from the available departure location of your choice aboard one of our luxury tour motorcoaches with a friendly Burlington Trailways Host and Driver. After a few rest and refresh breaks, and a lunch break too, we end our day in Richmond, Indiana for an overnight stay. Enjoy a group dinner this evening where you will be able to get to know your fellow travelers a bit better over a delicious meal.

Day 2

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before checking out and continuing on our journey. Have lunch today at The Greenbrier Resort taking in the beautifully landscaped area. But, did you know that carved deep into the mountainside there is an emergency Cold War Fallout Shelter? Take a tour today of this bunker housed under the West Virginia Wing of The Greenbrier Resort. It was a top-secret, super-sized bunker built for all 535 members of Congress during the Eisenhower era. Construction on the bunker began in 1958, which was built 720 feet into the hillside under The Greenbrier. Once it was completed in 1961, the facility was constantly maintained by a small group of government employees working undercover as audio and video technicians.
We depart the Greenbrier and make the way to our Lewisburg, West Virginia hotel for an overnight stay and a group dinner where you can chat about that once secret bunker we visited today.

Day 3

Fuel up on breakfast at the hotel before we check out and continue on our way. Our first train excursion is awaiting us at the Cass Scenic Railroad’s Bald Knob Excursion with Hobo Box Lunch. Today we ride the Cass Scenic Railroad, the same line built in 1901 to haul lumber to the mill in Cass. Once we board the train, the real excitement begins; the great pistons of the carefully restored Shay locomotive will start pulsing, driven by hundreds of pounds of steam pressure. The long haul of 11 miles to Bald Knob takes about four and a half hours for the 22-mile round trip. Panoramas of the lofty Appalachians become more beautiful as the train climbs higher and higher. We will suddenly realize that we are entering a completely different world, mainly because of the change in trees, flowers, and atmosphere. By climbing the 2,390 feet from Cass (2452-feet) to Bald Knob (4842-feet) on Back Allegheny Mountain and the second highest point in West Virginia, we will have made the equivalent to an 800-mile trip to Canada in climate because of the higher altitude. The rustic overlook affords one of the most awesome, overwhelming spectacles in the east. Dwarfed by distance and almost lost in the vastness of the panorama is the giant Robert C. Byrd Green Bank Telescope, the world’s largest fully steerable radio telescope, at the Green Bank Observatory in the valley near the foot of the mountain. A remarkable contrast between the wilderness at Bald Knob and today’s space-age facilities! A “King of the Road” hobo lunch will be provided consisting of a cold sandwich, chips, cookie, and bottled water.
We take a quick stop at Cass Historical Museum, located in the Company Store Building, and founded by Kyle J. Neighbors, featuring items and artifacts of Cass. Here we can learn more about the trains, community spirit and history of Cass and the surrounding area.
We will be heading for our ‘home away from home’ for the next three nights in Elkins, West Virginia. Get settled in and freshen up before we depart for a group dinner this evening.

Day 4

Enjoy an included breakfast at the resort this morning before we head back out for another train adventure on the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad’s Greenbrier Wilderness Train with lunch – a round-trip mountain rail adventure that departs from Cass. Take a four-hour excursion into the wilderness of the Greenbrier River Valley framed by forested hills on both sides of the river. This remote wilderness excursion aboard historic steam-driven locomotives and vintage diesel-powered passenger trains explore the more remote areas of the Mountain State where even autos cannot access. While passing through this remote, rugged, unpopulated region we will find that it is home to Bald Eagles, Osprey, Black Bear and Coyotes. Keep an eye out to possibly spot these species and others as we ride round trip between Cass and Durbin with a lunch onboard the train.
As we leave Cass, we will be crossing into the next valley where we will find it filled with giant satellite dishes. Here we find the Green Bank Radio Astronomy Observatory intentionally located in one of America’s most quiet spots. Here, scientists are listening for sounds from space. We take time to tour the observatory before returning to our hotel. This evening, and dinner, is on your own.

Day 5

After breakfast at the resort this morning, we check out to continue on our way. Today’s train adventure is on the New Tygart Flyer with lunch included. From enclosed, climate-controlled cars, enjoy stunning scenery, free-flowing rivers, historic sites, and a serene waterfall only accessible by either hiking or riding the train. This four-hour, 46-mile round trip has been called one of the most relaxing mountain wilderness train rides in the United States. This wilderness excursion features mountain grades, an “S” curve tunnel, a high bridge, and miles of unspoiled mountain views. Vintage diesel-powered locomotives climb along the cascading Shavers Fork culminating at the High Falls of Cheat, an 18 high, 150 wide waterfall located in one of the most remote and pristine settings in the region.

After, we visit the West Virginia Railroad Museum in the historic Darden Mill in Elkins, West Virginia—a city that was built by the railroads. The Mill is on the corner of First Street and Railroad Avenue, two blocks south of the heart of downtown and the old railway depot. The Darden Mill was built in 1902 and was a grain mill from 1902-1943 on land purchased from the West Virginia Central and Pittsburgh Railway Company. We then make our way to our hotel to check in and have some time to freshen up before heading out to dinner and a show at the Gandy Dancer Theatre. After a wonderful plated dinner, sit back and listen to the fabulous Mountain Memories Show Band as they serve up a 2-hour Branson-style show with music from the 50’s – to today featuring Country, Pop, Motown, Gospel, and Patriotic along with family-friendly comedy and amazing dancers. The Gandy Dancer offers a show that’s guaranteed to have you dancing in your seat, laughing until you cry, touch your heart and give you memories that will last a lifetime.

We return back to the hotel for the evening to rest up for another big day tomorrow.

Day 6

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel this morning before we check out and move on for another great train ride! We are off for Romney, West Virginia and the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad where we take a three-hour narrated excursion through a tranquil and pristine mountain valley. View historic farms and lush mountain greenery where around every curve you are rewarded with the splendor of native wildflowers, evergreens, and mixed hardwoods in an unspoiled countryside environment. Lunch is included in the Table Car on the train. Don’t be surprised to see bald eagles swooping overhead in pursuit of prey or gliding gently across the blue mountain skies as if to flaunt their supremacy of the air.
Once we disembark we make our way to Winchester, Virginia to check into our hotel for a two-night stay. The rest of the day/evening is free for you to explore as you wish with dinner on your own. Perhaps visit the Loudoun Street Pedestrian Mall with its brick-clad street full of restaurants and shops, plus a Civil War Museum, and other historic buildings.

Day 7

Breakfast is included at the hotel this morning before we head out for another day of railroad fun. After a rest & refresh break and lunch today, we should arrive in time to see the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad pull into the station. Once the train stops, watch the locomotive uncouple, drive onto a turntable, rotate and then re-hook at the back for its return trip down the mountain. We then board and descend 1410 feet in elevation to the town of Cumberland, Maryland. The train follows the Great Allegheny Passage taking us around iconic points of interest and through the famous Brush Tunnel where the track opens to breathtaking views of the Maryland mountains.
We depart and begin our return trip back to Winchester, Virginia with a stop for a Patsy Cline Hometown and House Tour. Patsy resided in Winchester from the ages of 16 to 21, when she married Gerald Cline. She lived here from 1948-1953, longer than at any other house associated with her in the Winchester and Nashville areas, and she returned to it intermittently until her singing career began in 1957. The house serves as a proud testament to Patsy’s love of family. Her devoted and influential relationship with her mother and their drive and determination launched Patsy’s career. More than 40 years after Cline’s tragic death in 1963, her country music legacy endures. Cline was the first solo female singer to become a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1960, and the first woman to be inducted in the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1973. Cline’s albums and CDs continue to sell “platinum” every year and she has been on Billboard Magazine’s Top Country Album List for the last ten years. “Crazy,” one of Patsy’s best-known songs written by Willie Nelson, continues to be the number one jukebox hit of all time.
This evening, we enjoy dinner at the historical George Washington Hotel in Winchester, Virginia where we dine in the hotel’s private banquet room. After dinner, you will be entertained by a Patsy Cline tribute artist performing many of Patsy’s hits for us this evening. We return back to the hotel for a great night of rest before we begin our journey back home in the morning.

Day 8

Have breakfast at the hotel this morning before checking out and we begin our journey back home. We will take some rest and refresh breaks along the way and a stop for lunch before we take a break at the Watershed Distillery Tour in Columbus, Ohio this afternoon. We take part in a behind the scenes journey through the Watershed Distillery as you learn about the history, the diverse family of products and get a first-hand look at the distilling and barrel aging spaces.
We end our day in Richmond, Indiana where we began our journey. The remainder of the evening, and dinner, is on your own.

Day 9

All aboard - we depart Richmond after our included breakfast at the hotel this morning and arrive back home after a few Rest & Refresh breaks and meals along the way. We are sure you will have some wonderful train stories and memories to share with others at home.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Below is a list of pick-up points available on this tour.

Name Address
Davenport, Iowa 8735 Northwest Blvd - Burlington Trailways Bldg.
1st right past Blain's Farm & Fleet; on the left
Ft. Madison, IA Lee County Historical Society
814 10th Street
Mediapolis, IA Mediapolis, IA - Mepo. Foods
111 N. Wapello Rd.
Muscatine, IA Muscatine - Wal*Mart 3003 US-61
Wapello, IA Family Dollar/Dollar Tree
503 US 61, Wapello, IA
West Burlington Depot Burlington Trailways Depot, 906 Broadway
West Burlington Garage West Burlington Garage - Host/Driver
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