The Durbin Rocket, Durbin, West Virginia

by Ken Humphreys

The Durbin Rocket is operated by the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, Inc. which also operates three tourist trains out of Elkins, WV. The Durbin Rocket travels along the bank of the Greenbrier River and is powered by a 1910 Climax geared logging locomotive, the only such locomotive currently in regular operation in the country. It almost seems to be a waste to operate a geared logging locomotive designed for use on steep grades on a water-level route but it does provide the opportunity to see the locomotive and its gearing mechanisms close up. Unlike its sister trains at Elkins, the Durbin Rocket unfortunately appears to be the poor sister of the company. While the locomotive is in excellent condition, track and car maintenance is lacking with much evident needed maintenance. Nevertheless, the trip is unique and proved to be an enjoyable experience. The photos below are of a trip on the Durbin Rocket in June 2011.

For those who wish to camp nearby, a nice campground is located directly across the tracks from the Durbin Depot.

Click on each image below to see its full sized version and related photos. Hit your back button to return and view the next group of photos. All images are copyrighted by Ken Humphreys.

The Durbin, West Virginia depot
Some very tired equipment awaiting restoration
Other Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad equipment
Climax Locomotive #3
The Climax cylinders and gearing mechanisms
The cars used on the Durbin Rocket
The trip along the Greenbrier River

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