Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Western Forest Industries Museum, a local nonprofit organization assumed ownership of Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad in August of 2022, after its closure by its former for profit operator, American Heritage Railway. Since 1980, the railroad has carried over 1.6 million passengers and has played a critical role in the economic vitality of southern Pierce County, and in the preservation of local history. Our organization has an even bigger vision for the railroad – one that is dependent on many stakeholders, as well as the collective knowledge and expertise of our communities.
By making a concerted effort to preserve our heritage, we create vital links to our cultural, educational, environmental, inspirational and economic legacies – all of the things that make us who we are and characterize our communities. An expanded railroad, a new regional museum, and a significant tourist attraction can provide smart, sustainable economic opportunities that enhance our communities in meaningful ways. In order to accomplish our goals, WFIM will need a wide range of grand funding, political support, and local buy-in to execute our aggressive capital project list; however, our organization remains dedicated to self sufficiency and sustainably funding our ongoing initiatives and projects.
To cultivate an understanding of the history and culture of the Railroad and logging operations while promoting environmentally respectful tourism and economic opportunity.
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, (WFIM) through its various enterprises, will serve as a physical and cultural link between the urban and rural communities surrounding Mt. Rainier.
With the world’s largest comprehensive collection of logging locomotives, we will promote and provide historical steam age experiences telling the stories of those that lived, worked and were impacted by the railroads.
By utilizing our travel corridor, MRSR offers inclusive recreational opportunities for people of all ages, backgrounds, interests and abilities.
We will provide sustainable and responsible tourism opportunities to benefit the local communities surrounding Mt. Rainier and our travel corridor.
To learn more about the history of the railroad, our nonprofit, and our plans for the future – visit Western Forest Industries Museum.
As fortunes were made and lost by railroad tycoons and lumber mill owners, working conditions in the logging camps and on the railroad were hard and hazardous. Workers and oftentimes, their families, lived in transient logging camps that were transported by rail and picked up and moved frequently as logging operations continued further into the forested area. The camp life was hard and a true “wild west” oftentimes full of accidents, alcohol, and the related hazards of each.
The stories of logging camps and railroads are intimately woven into the fabric of the United States; the good, the bad, and the ugly. Logging camps were phased out towards the middle of the century as technology and transportation advanced.
Western Forest Industries Museum aims to tell the stories of the varied people that lived along and worked on the railroad and to become a more inclusive museum that uses historic equipment, artifacts, living history, and tourism to tell these stories.
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Departing from Elbe, WA
Tickets on sale for 2023!