Today and Sunday Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad will be offering 30 minute train rides in support of the grand opening of the LeMay America’s Car Museum and to give people the opportunity to learn about the Mt. Rainier Scenic railroad company. The train departs from across D Street from Freighthouse Square in Tacoma. Train rides run almost every hour starting from 10 am to 4 pm Saturday and 10 am to 2 pm on Sunday. Train rides cost $10 per adult and $5 per child for children age 10 and under. Staff on board will be available to answer questions about the train engine, passenger cars, and the company.
Jennifer Johnson, Director of Sales and Marketing for Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, explained a little bit about the train rides, “We wanted to bring our train down and give the public an opportunity to see steam engine trains since they are vintage items just like the cars at the LeMay Museum, and the opportunity for them to ride one. Our steam engine train holds vintage passenger cars as well as people.”
Jennifer explained a little bit about the non-profit organization, “Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad has been in existence for 30 years. First and foremost, we are an educational based museum and have interest in preserving history and timber industry. For many years we have been educating people about the history and our passenger car steam engine trains that we provide to the public for daily excursions during the summer. People will get to experience a working steam train 100 years ago during the height of the timber industry.”
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad’s train depot is located at 54124 Mountain Hwy East Elbe, Washington 98330. Their maintenance and restoration shop is located at 349 Mineral Creek Rd. Mineral, WA 98355. Jennifer commented: “People can complete an excursion at the train depot and then visit our restoration shop and get full education about restoring vintage engines on site and several types of engines people can view and learn about on a guided tour. We are working on a full fledged museum for the year 2013.”
Jennifer shared the best thing about the two day train rides in Tacoma, “Personally, I think what we have is an amazing product. It’s such a colorful piece of Northwest history. We’re excited to show people our train and hope that everyone has an opportunity to ride the train and really get to know us.”
Jennifer discussed what many people may not know about the company, “Many people are surprised that we’ve been around 30 years. This company is the result of our owner’s passion for these engines and this industry. We have the only collection of all four major steam logging locomotives in the U.S., and it’s great people can see these engines and really understand what part these engines played in the Northwest and in the Northwest logging industry. People are surprised in general what a great collection we have and how a big part of Northwest history they are.”
When asked how Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad was unique, Jennifer replied, “We’re definitely unique with our extensive collection and that we rebuild and maintain everything on site.” Jennifer recommends anyone that has an interest in the history of transportation, including vintage and historical vehicles, to come ride the steam engine train.
For more information about upcoming events and more history about the company, please visit: mrsr.com. Jennifer concluded: “We’re really excited that the LeMay museum opening and are excited about the opportunity to provide our train rides to the Tacoma community and visitors to the LeMay museum.”
By: Carly Calabrese, staff for Tacoma.com