Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad Celebrates a Resounding Reopening; Adds New Holiday Excursions
ELBE, WA – [10/25/2022] – The iconic Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad is thrilled to announce a remarkable success as it resumed train operations this September and October. Furthermore, we are excited to extend this year's schedule by introducing the all-new Holiday Timber Trains.
The excursions in September and October signified the first under WFIM's stewardship, a local nonprofit organization that took the reins of the railroad in August 2022 after its previous for-profit operator, American Heritage Railways, ceased operations. Earlier this year, in June, WFIM unveiled RailCycle Mt. Rainier, a novel rail-biking attraction. Although the initial plan was to reopen the railroad for service in 2025, with the invaluable assistance of volunteers and the local community, we managed to kick off a limited excursion schedule on September 1st.
The railroad has had an unexpectedly triumphant season, experiencing record-breaking ridership. By the end of October, we will have transported nearly 11,000 passengers. Each of our excursions this season has been met with overwhelming demand, resulting in sold-out trips. We're proud to have hosted passengers from 11 countries and 47 states who eagerly hopped aboard our trains.
Operations Manager Rowdy Pierce, who began his journey with the railroad as a young volunteer in 2000, expressed his amazement: "In my 23 years here, I have never seen such enthusiasm and interest from the public. Many excursions have been fully booked weeks in advance, with waiting lists and walk-up passengers filling our standing-only open car."
The tremendous success of this season has not only expedited our operational recovery but also enables us to commence track repair and other vital capital projects in 2024. It also grants us the privilege to extend our operating season.
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad is delighted to announce the release of tickets for our newest addition, the Holiday Timber Train, set to run in November and December. The MRSR’s Holiday Timber Train offers a 1 hour and 15-minute, 12-mile round trip journey aboard beautifully decorated historic Pullman coaches, led by the century-old steam engine, Polson 70. At the depot, the Elbe Market awaits with delightful warm beverages, and onboard, passengers will receive a special holiday treat, ensuring that this express trip from Elbe to Mineral becomes a cherished yuletide adventure for all.
Executive Director, Bethan Maher said, "I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to our dedicated volunteers, patrons, and the entire community for their unwavering support. This season's success serves as a testament to the enduring appeal of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad and its special place in the hearts of those who cherish its history and the natural beauty of the area."
For further details about railroad operations, ticket information, and updates, please visit www.mtrainierrailroad.com.