The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum (CCRM) announces the beloved Historic Scenic Train excursions are back in action just in time for the holiday season.
The two-year hiatus, prompted by unforeseen circumstances, including the January 2022 flood, left devoted passengers and history enthusiasts eagerly awaiting the return of these iconic excursions. Now, the wait is over, and the Historic Scenic Train is back on track to offer an unforgettable experience and promise passengers a journey through time and picturesque landscapes. Here is what you can expect:
- A Trip Through History: Passengers will step back in time as they board restored vintage train cars, each with its own unique history. The excursions showcase the rich heritage of the region and the local railroads.
- Spectacular Scenery: From rolling hills to river views, the route follows the former Milwaukee Railroad. Picturesque views of the rural countryside show off the natural beauty of the valley.
THE POLAR EXPRESS™ tickets are now available for purchase online at SteamTrainRide.com. Due to the anticipated high demand, early booking is advised. The rides begin on November 11 and continue through December 23. In 2024, the Valentine’s Sweetheart Dinner Train rides will start on February 3. A full year of events, activities, and excursions are planned.
Resuming operations was made possible by local experts who repaired the track after the January 2022 flood. The cost of repairs was covered by a Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) grant and a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan. Concurrently, an insurance challenge stemming from a car-train collision in 2019 kept the train from operating. A solution to the problem was found by contracting with a third-party operator, Goose Lake Railways LLC, from Southern Oregon. They have assumed responsibility for the crew and running excursions, while CCRM retains responsibility for the maintenance of the track and equipment. Events, activities, and ticketing will remain with the Chehalis Centralia Railroad as we look to a strong future for our scenic tourist excursions.
According to President Mary Kay Nelson, the CCRM Board of Directors and community members have worked tirelessly to bring these rides back to the community. She stated, “This could not have happened without the dedication and determination of many individuals. This is a labor of love, and we are thrilled to be able to return to operation.” The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad has been a favorite in the world of heritage travel since 1989. We are dedicated to preserving and sharing the beauty and history of our region through unique and memorable train journeys.