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West Virginia Train


The special West Virginia exhibits train which toured the state during the summer of 1963 reached more people than any other part of the Centennial celebration. The nine-car train represented a collaboration of the Centennial Commission and the Chesapeake & Ohio, Baltimore & Ohio, Norfolk & Western, New York Central, and Pennsylvania railroads. These were the major railroads operating in West Virginia at the time, and they all contributed equipment to make up the train.

Once refurbished, the former baggage cars making up the Centennial train were outfitted with exhibits depicting West Virginia history, tourism, agriculture, resources, industry, arts and crafts, folklore, and education. The train was operated by a special train crew and staffed by rotating teams of male college students.

Starting at Washington on Memorial Day weekend, the train visited every region of West Virginia by Labor Day. More than 300,000 visitors boarded the train at its many stops, including a record 5,840 on a single day in Huntington. The exhibits were removed at the end of the summer tour, and the train cars were sold to the Montana Territorial Centennial Commission.