ELKINS, W.Va. – The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, which operates the Cheat Mountain Salamander, has canceled the rest of those runs this year.

In a post on its website and in a telephone message, the company explained the situation.

“Due to an accident that occurred on October 11, 2013, involving an out of control logging truck, which slammed our Cheat Mountain Salamander train, while the train was moving through a lighted crossing, the Cheat Mountain Salamander will not be in operation for the remainder of the season.”

The driver of the logging truck, Danny Lee Kimble, Sr. of Frank, was killed in the crash which happened at a rail road crossing on Route 250 near the Randolph/Pocahontas County line Friday afternoon.

More than 20 people were treated for injuries and four passengers remain in the hospital.

MetroNews contacted the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad, however the company declined to comment on the accident.

However, it did say it’s calling everyone with a reservation on future Salamander excursions to tell them about the accident and how they can receive a refund or book a trip on another train.

As for those who have reservations with the company on different trains, they are still a go.

According to the message, “All of our other trains the New Tygart Flyer, the Mountain Explorer dinner train, the Durbin Rocket, Castaway Caboose and the Polar Express, were not effected by this incident and will be operating as scheduled.”

For more information, you can log on to www.mountainrailwv.com or call the company at 304-636-9477.

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  • Dante

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  • Jeff Keith

    I am a WVU engineering graduate and I passed thru the accident site about 5 minutes before accident, thankfully. In my 60 years of engineering experience, I have found that no one should make any conclusions until all facts are available. Intenstanious comments without proper facts on any accident are only made by idiots and serve no pupoose in hepling preventing future accidents

  • Mountain Visitor

    You will be sorry to hear that I own a home a half hour from the site of the accident and am not able to do you that favor.

  • Mark

    mountain visitor, please do us a favor and do not visit our mountains.

  • rob pine

    WV Central Railroad
    The West Virginia Central Railroad (WVCR) is located near the center of
    the state and passes through Barbour, Randolph, Pocahontas and Webster
    counties. It was purchased from CSX Transporation on September 26,
    1997. The railroad is comprised of the former CSXT Belington, Tygart
    and Laurel Subdivisions and Dailey Branch. It has a total of 132.13
    route miles. The WVCR connects with the Appalachian & Ohio Railroad at
    Tygart Junction. A private company under contract with the state
    operates the WVCR. The Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad (DGVR)
    performs all marketing, trains service and routine maintinance on the
    line. The state restores out-of-service sections to operation and
    performs long-term maintenance programs. The DGVR provides both freight
    and excursion services on the line.

    So state pays CSX huge amounts for garbage track that CSX let go to
    haitis in a handbasket ---pays CSX huge amounts to upgrade the
    track---pays CSX huge amounts to maintain the track---for and NO bids.
    Anything I missed on the money trail?

    SELECTION: RAILROAD - West Virginia Central RR [WVC ] / January TO
    December, 2012
    Total train miles: 18,046
    Employee hours: 9,069
    Passengers carried:31,591

  • Will

    I will agree that when I first heard it on the radio this morning, I said "whoa" to myself. It was pretty "direct" shall we say. However I have seen more than one comment on some of the various stories on this about 'how can we know the lights were working,' 'it's the RR's fault for crossing the road,' 'did the train blow its horn?' etc., etc. to the point that I can see their feeling the need to be "direct." And too, they are a relatively small family-run business I believe who may have let their emotions to the accident get in the way of perfect PR/marketing. Still not sure I agree with it being "classless," but other wording might have been better.

  • mountain visitor

    None of my comments have placed blame anywhere for the actual accident. Very few comments I have read blame the railroad. I agree with you that their business should not be impacted by an accident that was not their fault. The inclusion of a few descriptive words in their statement is what I have issue with. My inital post itself was classless wishing their business failure, however, I did not carefully craft the words prior to posting as I am sure they did with their statement. It is still classless, and I am very dissappointed that few seem to grasp this.

  • Bill

    Big Trucks should have to stop at RR crossings ,just like school buses do..

  • Will

    Pretty sure that throughout American history and laws, the RRs have the complete right-of-way and all roads crossing them are at the state's risk and responsibility to warn motorists of the danger/crossing.

  • Will

    It would not have been necessary for the RR to post this "classless" wording if it weren't for people commenting on sites like this blaming the RR. In my opinion the RR was within reason to post the words that have been deemed "classless" in order to balance the court of public opinion. They have a business to run and why should it be negatively impacted by an accident that appears to be absolutely no fault of theirs?

  • mountain visitor

    The wording "...involving an out of control logging truck, which slammed our Cheat Mountain Salamander train, while the train was moving through a lighted crossing..." has nothing to do with the status of their other lines. This is the part of the company's statement that is not needed and lacks class.

  • John

    To Robert: In answer to why the truck impacted the cars instead of the engine, well the engine had already crossed the highway and would have been approximately 150 feet clear of the roadway, as there was two engines and another passenger car behind the engines that was not impacted. If the driver, for whatever reason that he could not stop, had hit either of those cars that were hit in the middle instead of between the two cars, God only knows how many would have been killed. The trucks (wheel sets) under the two cars took most of the impact. It appeared that he actually steered the runaway truck to the right so that the impact would not be mid-car. There are many unanswered questions about this tragedy that perhaps will never be answered.

  • WVU86

    robert - read the other story on this site. It says the train was going 10 mph when the engineer noticed the truck coming at a high rate of speed as the train was already in the intersection. The engineer then sped up in hopes the train would clear the intersection before the speeding truck would enter the intersection. The truck ran into the train, not the other way around.

  • Bob Sesco

    My wife and I were on the train ride and sitting very close to the impact area. The train crew and all the responders are to be saluted! There was no fog, no warning just the crash. The train was moving slowly, the engineer had blown two long and loud blast from his air horn and the ringing bell on the engine started before the roadway and was still ringing during the impact.
    My wife and I would like to thank all the EMT's, police and hospital personnel for their help and attention.

  • robert kaufman

    I am at a loss to understand how the logging truck impacted the middle of the train and not the engine ? Can anyone explain this ? Also, everyone knows you never try to outrun an oncoming train @ a crossing but people still try with these tragic results !

  • WVU86

    Based on your late-night (incoherent) posts here and in the other related train-truck accident story on this site, it is obvious that 1. You are clueless about the crucial details of this particular crash, which I am sure there are plenty more still to be revealed, and 2. You need to shut down your computer and get some sleep.

  • WVU86

    Disagree with you mountain. It is reasonable to believe that those familiar with the company would rightfully be wondering the status of the company's other offerings. The statement that the other lines are still operationg was short and to the point. If the company would have gone beyond that and threw in some promotional wording, then yes, that would have been inappropriate.

  • Tom

    Rob Pine,

    Please just go away.

  • Shadow


  • rob pine

    Please remove this jury tampering out of control truck BS. They're the ones that put a train across a state highway in the fog. Oh, look folks at the pretty FOG.

  • Jonus Grumby

    Classless? Please explain.

  • mountain visitor

    "Due to the accident that occurred on October 11 2013, the Cheat Mountain Salamander will not be in operation for the remainder of the season" would have been sufficient. The other words lacked class. Your inability to recognize this speaks volumes.

  • Janice and Dave

    We were just on this same train ride that Wednesday....I am in shock.......Praying for all who were involved and their families.....It was a awesome time and met a lot of wonderful people and some were also from Pennsylvania which was pretty cool....Sad that this had to happen.....God bless you all....

  • Frequent WV Traveler

    Mountain Visitor: In separate news reports WV State officials are said to have determined the logging truck was traveling as a relatively high speed, the crossing had recently been upgraded, and the signal lights were working. There is nothing "classless" about stating facts.

    I have ridden several Durbin & Greenbrier trains, found the staff very safety conscious, enjoyed the trips, and enjoyed conversing with the RR staff.

    What happened is tragic for all concerned! Snarky comments are not helpful.

  • WasThereOnThursday

    You may be biased against the train company or simply unaware of the facts surrounding the incident. My wife and I rode that exact same train one day earlier (on Thursday) and found the entire crew and operation to be handled very professionally. All of the facts and details will eventually emerge although the reporter here has seemingly done a good job of reporting what is available or known up to now. Our prayers go to the crew, the injured passengers and to the surviving family of the truck driver who lost his life.

  • Robin

    I have been on this train, and i loved the ride. My two boys love going to West Virginia to ride the trains with the Durbin and Greenbrier Valley Railroad! I hope that this accident does not scare anybody away! Please keep ridding the trains and enjoy the views. The people that run these trips are so nice, kind and sweet. Please keep ridding!

  • Nobama

    What is classless about the statement. If the truck was under control it would not have hit the train.

  • mountain visitor

    Extremely classless statement by the train company. I hope future trips are cancelled due to lack of business.

  • tw eagle

    repairing and recertifying the rail equipment must be a prolonged process ... did the truck
    that crashed into the train, have a brake failure? I can't imagine a driver operating a
    heavily laden truck allowing his vehicle to attain so much momentum that he was unable to bring it to a safe stop, when he knew that coming to a complete stop was a possibility at the bottom of the grade.