Take a trip back in time and see what life was like when timber and trains were the center of Pacific Northwest industry. The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad offers a glimpse of the past with nine logging steam locomotives, some more than one hundred years old. There are examples of every major logging locomotive manufacturer and the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad is the only place in the world where you can see them all in one place. Five of the locomotives are in operation, ready for you to climb aboard the longest running steam train railroad in the Pacific Northwest.
The trains depart from the Depot in Elbe, Washington, about 12 miles from the Nisqually entrance into Mt. Rainier National Park. From there you’ll travel through forest and meadows toward the small town of Mineral, home of a new logging museum well on it’s way to becoming the comprehensive museum of its kind in North America. See what daily life was like for a Pacific Northwest logger by checking out old bunkhouses and clothing from that time period. One-of-a-kind logging equipment is on display and the reconstruction of a steam-powered sawmill will take place this year. Future displays include demonstrations of log yarding and loading on to railroad cars.
With a more than 30-year history, a crew of mostly volunteers runs the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. Their enthusiasm for locomotives and historical knowledge help make the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad one of the busiest restoration shops in the U.S., often providing contract services to help other groups with steam locomotive conservation efforts. Take a ride on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad and see why locomotives were an integral part of the building of our nation.
The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad offers weekly excursions during the summer and fall months, with special event runs scheduled year round. The Bunny Express is coming up Saturday, April 19th and the Mother’s Day Train runs Sunday, May 11th. Check out the full train schedule here.