Spirit of Washington Dinner Train closes up shop

Spirit of Washington Dinner Train closes up shop
Photo: Spirit of Washington Dinner Train
TACOMA -- The Spirit of Washington Dinner Train is no more.

The owners of the longtime fixture of the Puget Sound area announced Monday they have canceled all service. The train's last run was the brunch train on Sunday.

Eric Temple with the Dinner Train says the combination of higher operating expenses and lower ticket sales since their move to Tacoma wasn't a sustainable business model.

They have been calling customers Monday offering full refunds. Those who still have outstanding tickets can call 1-800-876-7245 for a refund.

All employees of the dinner train have been laid off, with the exception of a few handling ticket refunds.

The train had run between Renton and Woodinville for 15 years before being forced to abandon that route on July 31 to make way for I-405 expansion construction, which was to sever the tracks near Bellevue.

The train then moved to Tacoma in August and began a 10-month test of service between that city's Freighthouse Square Station to Lake Kapowsin and back, with visions of eventually extending service to Mt. Rainier.

But low revenue and high expenses took their toll. Temple said the family had been considering ending the service for a while, and made their final decision on Friday.

The train will now head to a storage facility in Clark County. Temple said they are still keeping an eye on perhaps some resolution to resuming service to Woodinville some day, but added they have been waiting for that for years with no solution in sight.

The train had served over 1.4 million people over the past 15 years.