It's the "End of the Line for Brakeman Tom Hanson" at Cass Scenic Railroad. The murder mystery evening event set in the 1920s in Pocahontas County was written by Cass Trainmaster Fred Bartels and is the second in his series of Sheriff Lincoln Cochran Murder Mysteries.
Bartels' first mystery, "The Murder of Lumberjack Johnny Parker," which was based on a murder in the early 1900s, ran for two seasons. Passengers on Cass murder mystery evening trains become the special deputies for Sheriff Cochran and the cast presents the story. This year passengers are asked to find who murdered Tom Hanson, brakeman on the C&O passenger train that ran from Ronceverte to Cass for 13 years and who has made some enemies along the way.
There are four murder mystery trains remaining on the 2011 schedule: Friday, Aug. 12, Sept. 2 and Sept. 23. The special train departs the depot at 5:15 p.m. and includes a train ride to Whittaker Station, the murder mystery, a self-serve buffet dinner at Whittaker Station, optional locomotive shop tour or Cass Showcase presentation and an optional self-guided tour of Camp Whittaker, a re-created logging camp. There is a cost for the package.
Daily trips to Whittaker Station, the half-way point on the climb up Cheat Mountain, are scheduled three times each day from Memorial Weekend through Oct. 30. The train schedule is posted at www.cassrailroad.com.