Does the sight of a steam locomotive underway excite you? Do you enjoy being part of the adventure visitors experience on board historic trains? Do you get satisfaction out of illustrating or telling an exciting story for children, or adults? Then you'll want to explore the Railway Heritage Tourism Management minor developed by the Center for Railway Tourism in cooperation with the Division of Business and Entrepreneurship. While most students pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in management, the minor is open to all students, including those majoring in history, English, hospitality and tourism management.
Click here for an account of this unique program provided to its members by the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society in its Summer 2020 Quarterly Newsletter.
Our program's link to the Center enables unique opportunities not found at any other institution in the United States. Classroom and field experiences encourage and enable a career in railway heritage preservation and tourism management. Work experiences through internships include steam locomotive restoration and operation, exhibit and educational programming, accounting for rail heritage non-profits, and marketing strategies for the railway heritage and tourism industry. Occasional one-day externships at heritage sites offer multi-disciplinary exposure to railway heritage preservation. And there is assistance in securing employment in the railway tourism industry upon graduation.
Students also benefit from our location. Elkins, West Virginia is home of the Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad. This highly regarded excursion operation draws approximately 45,000 visitors each year. The West Virginia Railroad Museum is devoted to exploring the industry's impact on the community, the region and the state.
The Allegheny Highlands Trail, a 26-mile hiking and biking route through the surrounding mountains along what was once the Western Maryland Railway's coal and timber hauling route through the surrounding mountains. Davis & Elkins College is home to the West Virginia & Atlantic (Model) Railroad.
Other significant nearby railway heritage operations include Cass Scenic Railroad, the Durbin Rocket, the Potomac Eagle, the Western Maryland Scenic Railroad, the B&O Railroad Museum in Oakland, Maryland, and the 77-mile Greenbrier and 72-mile North Bend rail trails. In all, West Virginia is home to a growing network of 63 rail trails.