Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum Announces 2017 Dates, Ticket Availability, and Fares for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

For Second Consecutive Year, Historic Scenic Railroad Near Mount Rainier National Park To Offer Fun, Family-Oriented Holiday Excursions in November and December Based On Best-Selling Children’s Book and Academy Award®-Winning Animated Film

ELBE, Wash. — The Mt. Rainer Railroad and Logging Museum (MRRR)™, which offers distinctive year-round rail experiences and special events to passengers of all ages in the beautiful, scenic forested foothills near Mt. Rainier National Park, in partnership with Rail Events Inc. and Warner Bros. Consumer Products, today announced its 2017 dates, ticket availability, fare categories, and pricing breakdown for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride. The fun, family-oriented holiday tradition based on the best-selling children’s book and Academy Award®-winning animated film of the same name begins on Friday, Nov. 17, and runs most days through Sunday, Dec. 31.

Tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are now on sale through our website here, or by calling the railroad’s toll-free reservations hotline, seven days a week, at (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611).

“A delightful holiday tradition and outing for families around the country, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride has become a highly-popular event series for the MRRR and its sister railroads, and one which continues to garner more interest nationwide with each passing year,” said Allen C. Harper, co-owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of American Heritage Railways, Inc., the parent company of the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum and Rail Events Inc. “These charming excursions bring immense enjoyment to families visiting the Mt. Rainer area. Additionally, these special events further validate the MRRR’s deep commitment to staging fun, family-friendly excursions which are enjoyable for parents and children alike, and offer distinctive, memorable experiences for guests of all ages that last a lifetime.”

About THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

Now in its second year of operation in Elbe, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride is one of the MRRR’s premier annual events. Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride lets passengers relive the magic of the story as they are whisked away on THE POLAR EXPRESS™. Once on board, guests enjoy hot chocolate and holiday treats as they read the classic children’s book along with the characters. At the North Pole, Santa Claus and his helpers greet all passengers, and then board the train to give each child their first gift of Christmas — a silver sleigh bell. Chefs in each car lead passengers in singing Christmas carols on the ride back to Elbe. For a video experience of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride, please visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=waCuWvH7s30.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride: Full Schedule

The MRRR’s THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride begins on Friday, Nov. 17, with at least two excursions planned for each day at 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. PST. Additional excursions may be added those days based on consumer demand. Starting Wednesday, Dec. 13 and continuing through Sunday, Dec. 31, the MRRR will operate three THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride excursions each day at 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m. PST. The full schedule is as follows:

Dates Excursion Times (All Times PST)
November 17-19, 22, and 24-26 | December 1-3 and 7-10 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.
December 13-24 and 26-31 3:30, 5:30 and 7:30 p.m.

THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride: 2017 Fare Categories and Pricing Breakdown

Tickets for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are now on sale through our website here, or by calling the railroad’s toll-free reservations hotline, seven days a week, at (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611). This year, the MRRR has instituted tiered pricing by date, with many excursions available to families at substantial discounts if they choose to ride on value or off-peak dates. Ticket prices vary depending on the date and selected class. Here are the fare categories and respective standard- and first-class ticket prices for THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride:

Pricing Category Dates
Value: December 7-8 and 13-14
Off Peak: November 17-19, 22 and 24-26 December 1-3, 9-10 and 28-31
Peak: December 15-23 and 26-27
Chrismas Eve: December 24

Parking is available in the MRRR parking lot near the depot for $4.00 per vehicle.

Note to Editors: High-resolution photos of THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride are available upon request by contacting MRRR director of marketing Jess Martin at (360) 569-2688, or by email at jess@mtrainierrailroad.com.

Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum is a trademark of American Heritage Railways, Inc.

THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.
Based on THE POLAR EXPRESS book and characters. TM & © 1985 by Chris Van Allsburg. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. (s17)

All other company names, product titles, publisher names, trademarks, artwork, and associated imagery are trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or copyright material of their respective owners

About Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum

Located 70 miles south of Seattle in the beautiful, scenic forested foothills near Mt. Rainier National Park, the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum (MRRR) commemorates the rich, colorful history of the Pacific Northwest’s logging industry. Now owned and operated by American Heritage Railways, the MRRR provides distinctive year-round rail experiences and exceptional special events via its fleet of vintage coal-fired, steam-operated locomotives and coaches which have been updated with modern amenities to accommodate today’s discerning travelers. Boasting the world’s largest collection of steam-powered logging locomotives, the MRRR’s museum collection is curated and operated by the nonprofit Western Forest Industries Museum. The MRRR offers consumers a unique, enjoyable, and affordable family-friendly travel experience which combines the state’s vibrant pioneering and logging histories with the unparalleled beauty of the Washington backcountry. For more information, please visit mtrainierrailroad.com or call (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611); like the company on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/MtRainierRailroad; and follow the railroad on Instagram and Twitter at @VisitMRRR.

About THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride

Official THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides are licensed by Rail Events, Inc. on behalf of Warner Bros. Consumer Products, Inc. Since 2005, Rail Events, Inc. has held the exclusive license to operate THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Rides in the US, Canada, and the United Kingdom.

About THE POLAR EXPRESS Film

The Academy Award winning team of Tom Hanks and director Robert Zemeckis reunite for THE POLAR EXPRESS, an inspiring adventure based on the beloved children’s book by Chris Van Allsburg. When a doubting young boy takes an extraordinary train ride to the North Pole, he embarks on a journey of self-discovery that shows him that the wonder of life never fades for those who believe. Sony Pictures Imageworks and visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston, Oscar winners for their innovative work, help bring the story vividly to the screen in full CG animation through Imageworks’ next-generation motion capture process that allows live-action performances to drive the emotions and movements of the digital characters. Warner Home Video will once again offer THE POLAR EXPRESS in standard-definition, Blu-ray and 3D DVD versions this holiday season.

About THE POLAR EXPRESS Book

THE POLAR EXPRESS film is based on Chris Van Allsburg’s classic Christmas picture book, which tells the story of a boy who takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. First published by the Houghton Mifflin Company in 1985, The Polar Express became an instant family favorite and has sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. In 1986 it won the prestigious Caldecott Medal for Illustration.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products

Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP), a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, extends the Studio’s powerful portfolio of entertainment brands and franchises into the lives of fans around the world. WBCP partners with best-in-class licensees globally on an award-winning range of toys, fashion, home décor, and publishing inspired by franchises and properties such as DC, J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Looney Tunes and Hanna-Barbera. The division’s successful global themed entertainment business includes groundbreaking experiences such as The Wizarding World of Harry Potter and Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi (opening 2018). With innovative global licensing and merchandising programs, retail initiatives, promotional partnerships and themed experiences, WBCP is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

About Rail Events Inc.

Rail Events Inc. is the industry leader in rail-related special events management. In 2016, we licensed events that hosted over one million guests at 50 partner railroads in the US, Canada, and the UK. Rail Events Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Heritage Railways, which is the premier operator of heritage railroads in the United States.

Fall Events

Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum Celebrates Harvest Season With Three Distinctive Special Events in September and October For Wine, Craft Beer and Hard Cider Connoisseurs

Historic Scenic Railroad Near Mount Rainier National Park Offers Fun-Filled, Experiential Tasting Excursions Featuring Notable Washington Wineries, Breweries, and Cideries

ELBE, Wash. — August XX, 2017 — The Mt. Rainer Railroad and Logging Museum (MRRR)™, which offers distinctive year-round rail experiences and special events to passengers of all ages in the beautiful, scenic forested foothills near Mt. Rainier National Park, today announced the dates and ticket prices for its three harvest season event series featuring notable Washington wines, craft beers, and hard ciders: Washington Wine Express, Rails to Ales: Oktoberfest Express, and Hard Cider Steam Train.

With two daily excursions on Sept. 9 and 10, the Washington Wine Express takes wine connoisseurs on an experiential tasting journey along the Milwaukee Road during which they enjoy award-winning Washington wines and the opportunity to meet vintners and sommeliers. Just two weeks later, on Sept. 23 and 24, MRRR guests can ride the Hard Cider Steam Train, which features delicious hard ciders made with apples grown around the state. Finally, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, craft beer aficionados can board Rails to Ales: Oktoberfest Express to sample craft beers made with Pacific Northwest hops and grains, produced by some of Washington’s best breweries.

Tickets for all three events are now on sale through our website here, or by calling the railroad’s toll-free reservations hotline, seven days a week, at (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611).

“These three distinctive fall events, at the height of the harvest season, provide MRRR guests with unique opportunities to sample delicious Washington-produced wines, craft beers, and hard ciders while riding the train through some of the state’s most beautiful scenery,” said Allen C. Harper, co-owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of American Heritage Railways, Inc., the parent company of the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum. “In addition, these special events reflect the MRRR’s continued commitment to staging fun, interactive, and affordable events for a diverse spectrum of guests.”

About the Washington Wine Express

Now in its second year, the Washington Wine Express is a wine aficionado’s dream come true. As the MRRR makes its way through the forests and foothills of Mt. Rainier, passengers enjoy tastings of various Washington-produced wines and conversations with the vintners behind these vintages. Once at the MRRR Logging Museum, guests have two hours to visit wine sampling stations, nosh on more epicurean delights, and interact directly with the winemakers and growers. For more information on the Washington Wine Express, please visit mtrainierrailroad.com/washington-wine-express.

About the Hard Cider Steam Train

The MRRR’s Hard Cider Steam Train on Saturday, Sept. 23 and Sunday, Sept. 24 is an ideal excursion for any hard cider enthusiast. On board the train, passengers sample various hard ciders, all made with Washington apples, from prominent cideries throughout the state, and get to meet the cidermakers behind these delicious beverages. After arriving at the MRRR Logging Museum, guests will enjoy live musical entertainment, a barbecue luncheon, and sampling stations featuring all of the participating cideries. For more information on the Hard Cider Steam Train, please visit mtrainierrailroad.com/hard-cider-steam-train.

About Rails to Ales: Oktoberfest Express

Scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 30 and Sunday, Oct. 1, Rails to Ales: Oktoberfest Express is the perfect experience for craft beer lovers. Featuring award-winning craft beers from throughout the Pacific Northwest, this excursion gives guests the opportunity to quaff delicious brews while learning more about each offering directly from the brew masters who make them. Once the train reaches the MRRR Logging Museum, guests can visit sampling stations manned by each brewery, and have further conversations with brewery owners about their respective products and businesses. For more information on Rails to Ales: Oktoberfest Express, please visit mtrainierrailroad.com/rails-to-ales.

Ticket Pricing and Availability

Tickets for all three events are now on sale through our website here, or by calling the railroad’s toll-free reservations hotline, seven days a week, at (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611). All guests must be at least 21 years of age.

Washington Wine Express standard-class tickets are $64.00 per person, and first-class tickets are $79.00 per person. Hard Cider Steam Train standard-class tickets are $54.00 per person, and first-class tickets are $69.00 per person. Rails to Ales: Oktoberfest Express standard-class tickets are $54.00 per person, and first-class tickets are $69.00 per person.

All-day parking is available in the MRRR parking lot near the depot for $4.00 per vehicle.

About Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum

Located 70 miles south of Seattle in the forested foothills of Mt. Rainier, the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum (MRRR) commemorates the rich industrial history of the Pacific Northwest’s late 19th and early 20th-century settlement and growth. Now owned and operated by American Heritage Railways, the MRRR provides distinctive year-round rail experiences and exceptional special events via its fleet of vintage steam-operated locomotives and coaches which have been updated with modern amenities to accommodate today’s discerning travelers. Boasting the world’s most comprehensive collection of steam-powered logging locomotives, the MRRR’s museum collection is curated and operated by the nonprofit Western Forest Industries Museum. The MRRR offers consumers a unique, enjoyable, and affordable family-friendly travel experience which combines the state’s vibrant pioneering and logging histories with the unparalleled beauty of the Cascade forests. For more information, please visit mtrainierrailroad.com or call (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611); like the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MtRainierRailroad; and follow the railroad on Instagram and Twitter at @VisitMRRR.

Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum is a trademark of American Heritage Railways, Inc.
All other company names, product titles, publisher names, trademarks, artwork, and associated imagery are trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or copyright material of their respective owners.

Rail Events Logo
Mount Rainier Logo
Peanuts Pumpkin Patch

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Keith R. Pillow, APR, MBA
Caddy Marketing and Communications
For Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum
805.217.4708
keith@caddymarketingonline.com

Ms. Jess Martin
Sales and Marketing Manager
Mt. Rainer Railroad and Logging Museum
360.569.2688
jess@mtrainierrailroad.com

Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum Announces 2017 Dates
And Ticket Prices for PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

For Second Consecutive Year, Historic Scenic Railroad Near Mount Rainier National Park
To Offer Fun, Family-Oriented Halloween-Themed Excursions Featuring World-Famous
PEANUTS™ Characters Snoopy and Charlie Brown and Tons of Activities

Snoopy Waving

ELBE, Wash. — August 23, 2017 — The Mt. Rainer Railroad and Logging Museum (MRRR)™, which offers distinctive year-round rail experiences and special events to passengers of all ages in the beautiful, scenic forested foothills near Mt. Rainier National Park, today announced its 2017 dates and ticket prices for PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express. Based on “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!,” the world-famous comic strip and animated TV special from renowned cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, the enjoyable family-friendly special event begins Saturday, Oct. 7 and runs each weekend through Sunday, Oct. 22. The event series is produced in partnership with Rail Events Inc. and PEANUTS Worldwide LLC.

Tickets for are now on sale for PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express through our website at mtrainierrailroad.com/train-excursions/peanuts, or by calling the railroad’s toll-free reservations hotline, seven days a week, at (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611).

“Featuring two of the most recognizable children’s characters in the world, PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express gives children the unique opportunity to meet Snoopy and Charlie Brown, and gets families into the Halloween spirit in a fun and interactive way,” said Allen C. Harper, co-owner, chairman, and chief executive officer of American Heritage Railways, Inc., the parent company of the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum and Rail Events Inc. “We’ve also added activities for children and their families, and made ticket prices affordable, to create a highly-attractive event series during which guests can make lifelong memories.”

About PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express

Departing from the MRRR depot in Elbe, Wash., PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express guests enjoy a 35-minute train ride to the Most Sincere Pumpkin Patch, where they are greeted by Charlie Brown and Snoopy. While at the pumpkin patch, children and their families can participate in a broad range of fun and interactive activities, include face-painting, arts and crafts projects, temporary tattoos, coloring pages, lawn games, PEANUTS™ gang photo opportunities, and trick-or-treating through a historic logging camp. Each child also gets to select his or her very own pumpkin to decorate and take home during the one-hour layover at the Most Sincere Pumpkin Patch. Finally, all guests are encouraged to wear their Halloween costumes during the trip to add to the event’s festive atmosphere.

PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express: Excursion Dates and Times

The railroad will host six PEANUTS™ The Great Pumpkin Patch Express excursions, two each day, the weekends of Oct. 7-8, 14-15, and 21-22. The excursion schedule for each day is as follows:

Train Schedule
Train #1 Departs: 10:00 a.m.
Returns: 12:30 p.m.
Train #2 Departs: 1:00 p.m.
Returns: 3:30 p.m.

Standard-class tickets are $45.00 per person for adults, and $25.00 each for children ages 3-11. First-class tickets are $55.00 per person for adults, and $35.00 each for children ages 3-11. Children two and under ride free. All-day parking is available in the MRRR parking lot near the depot for $4.00 per vehicle.

Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum is a trademark of American Heritage Railways, Inc.
PEANUTS is a trademark of PEANUTS Worldwide LLC.
All other company names, product titles, publisher names, trademarks, artwork, and associated imagery are trademarks, registered trademarks, and/or copyright material of their respective owners.

About Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum

Located 70 miles south of Seattle in the beautiful, scenic forested foothills near Mt. Rainier National Park, the Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum (MRRR) commemorates the rich, colorful history of the Pacific Northwest’s logging industry. Now owned and operated by American Heritage Railways, the MRRR provides distinctive year-round rail experiences and exceptional special events via its fleet of vintage coal-fired, steam-operated locomotives and coaches which have been updated with modern amenities to accommodate today’s discerning travelers. Boasting the world’s largest collection of steam-powered logging locomotives, the MRRR’s museum collection is curated and operated by the nonprofit Western Forest Industries Museum. The MRRR offers consumers a unique, enjoyable, and affordable family-friendly travel experience which combines the state’s vibrant pioneering and logging histories with the unparalleled beauty of the Washington backcountry. For more information, please visit mtrainierrailroad.com or call (888) STEAM-11 (783-2611); like the company on Facebook at www.facebook.com/MtRainierRailroad; and follow the railroad on Instagram and Twitter at @VisitMRRR.

About Rail Events Inc.

Rail Events Inc. is the industry leader in rail-related special events management. In 2016, the company licensed events that hosted over one million guests at 50 partner railroads in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Rail Events Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of American Heritage Railways, the premier operator of heritage railroads in the United States.

© 2017 Peanuts Worldwide LLC │ www.peanuts.com

By ANDREW FICKES

A trip on the train at Mt. Rainier Railroad takes you on a 14-mile journey starting in Elbe that meanders through thick forests and foothills, provides uncompromising views of the Paradise side of Mt. Rainier sitting at 14,416 feet, and gives you an experiential front-row seat to the Upper Nisqually River aggressively flowing beneath the tracks as the train transports passengers to the logging museum in Mineral.

Imagine more than a century ago when this land sitting at more than 1,200 feet above sea level at the base of Mt. Rainier was a booming region for logging and mining. Elbe, in Pierce County, was founded in 1890, originally known as Brown’s Junction. By 1904, the Tacoma Eastern Railroad came in and laid tracks, transforming the community into a logging boomtown. Elbe, today a town of 29, once was prosperous boasting a hotel, school, hospital and store. Elbe has a rich German heritage and is named after the Elbe River valley in Hamburg, Germany, an area from where the pioneer settler Henry C. Lutkens traveled. In 1924, the Tacoma Eastern Railroad ended passenger service to nearby Ashford and Elbe’s once vibrant economy quickly vanished.

Photo by: Allen

In addition to Mt. Rainier Railroad, Elbe is home to an iconic national landmark: Elbe Lutheran Church, the second oldest and second smallest church in the U.S. Erected in 1906, the church “signifies peace and tranquility to residents and tourists alike,” according to the church website at elbehistoricchurch.com. The church is cared for by volunteers who depend on donations.

Several miles east of Elbe the train crosses the Upper Nisqually River, which represents the Pierce-Lewis county line. It’s just past the river where a logging community called Flynn once was thought to exist during the early 1900s. Information on the community is rare to find these days, and at times, it feels like chasing a ghost when tracking down information. But a map showing Lewis County in 1909 found on the Lewis Co., WA GenWeb Project website, places Flynn just to the west of Mineral.

Flynn is most heavily documented in the 1989 book, “Nowhere to Look but Up,” authored by LaVonne M. Sparkman. In the book, chapter 30 talks about the Loden family who settled in Flynn. And chapter 31 informs readers about the Hale family and also the formation of the Flynn school. For several years starting in 1908, Flynn had its own school district (No. 125). By the 1913-1914 school year, the Flynn School District was absorbed by what is now the Morton School District but continued to maintain its own school house. In 1925, Flynn students started attending the school in Mineral.

Several logging camps were active in Flynn starting in 1915. C. Lindberg, who also owned the Mountain Road Mill Co. in Lindberg, opened a logging camp at Flynn in 1915. In 1933, the Pacific National Lumber Co. also ran two camps in the same area. When the logging boom went bust in the region, Flynn all but disappeared

Finally, Mineral, where the logging museum is located, is economically driven by tourism. Mineral Lake is home to the “10 Pound Trout.” Fishing, hunting, and outdoor recreation is abundant in the region. During peak fishing season the town population quadruples in size.

Mineral started out around the turn of the 20th century as a mining town. Those who came hoping to strike it rich were dumbfounded to find instead coal and arsenic. Despite a failed attempt at mining, logging camps soon ruled the day and during the boom years employed hundreds of people.

Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum provides guests not only a picturesque train ride, but also a visceral experience of living history. Come ride the rail and witness the history!

By ANDREW FICKES

What does it take to preserve logging history?
Former-Camp-Six-Logging-Museum-Tacoma

Brian Wise, roadmaster at Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum, reevaluates that question every day as he singlehandedly led the early efforts to continue the legacy of the Camp 6 Logging Museum, which educated guests about the history of steam logging for more than 40 years at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma.

In the winter of 2010, Camp 6, founded by the Western Forest Industries Museum in 1964 and operated by the Tacoma chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, was forced to shut down when public and private funding dried up.

Tom Murray, who served on the board of the Western Forest Industries Museum and also founded the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad in 1980 (which in early 2016 closed and the new Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum was formed), was instrumental in arranging an agreement to transfer five cabins at Camp 6 to Mineral in November 2011 in order to found the logging museum there.

“I requested that the cabins come here in order to create the museum,” Wise said.

Four of the five cabins transferred from Camp 6 to Mineral were previously used up until the early 1960s by Rayonier Logging Company at a logging camp on Lake Quinault. The fifth cabin from Camp 6 was previously used by St. Regis Paper at a logging camp on Lake Kapowsin.

“There was a time when St. Regis Paper owned practically all the logging in this area,” Wise said. To complete the logging museum at Mineral, Wise requested a sixth cabin from West Fork Timber Company, which is located adjacent to the museum. In addition to the cabins, Mt. Rainier Railroad also procured steam logging artifacts from Camp 6. These comprised a logging caboose; a Caterpillar tractor bulldozer and logging arch; and a snowmobile built from the wreckage of an airplane by a logger based in Mineral who used it in the very same woods years ago.

“We wanted to make sure that came back,” Wise said. “These cabins and artifacts were built and used here in Washington state. It needed to stay here. These logging cabins were some of the last of their kind in the entire Western United States, so they needed to be preserved. And we’ve done a good job preserving the cabins.”

Between December 2011 and July 2012, Wise worked with independent curators Chris Erlich and Paul Pickard. Erlich and Pickard helped Wise with interior exhibit work in the various cabins. The logging museum opened at Mineral in June 2012.

Pickard’s significant contribution was the three hands-on interactive steam engine gearing mechanisms located in the steam tech cabin.

Erlich’s significant contributions included design work on the mural in the logging tools cabin and her work on the flunky cabin, or women’s cabin, that included doing research, creating a storyline and text, writing label copy, and procuring artifacts. “Brian had created a really nice interpretive plan for each cabin and messages for each cabin. He did a good job of summarizing,” Erlich said. “It’s fun to be working with a museum that has such an amazing collection of steam locomotives. I hope more people learn about it and go see it because it’s really amazing.”

Wise said the preservation work is an ongoing project. This requires that individual exhibits be reevaluated and refreshed. “As we have had time, I’ve been trying to add more of these (interpretive) panels with photos and information to read,” Wise explained. “As (guests) do their self-guided tour, they have something to read to teach them about what they’re looking at.” This includes new interpretive panels in the tools cabin educating guests about the different chain saws and miscellaneous logger tools. “We’re adding more to that,” Wise said.

In the men’s bunk house, Wise said work is being done to add more physical artifacts and also decent mannequins to pose as loggers wearing period clothing. And Wise said he is also hard at work developing a logging donkey exhibit in the steam tech cabin. Wise said maintenance on the cabins is ongoing. He said some cabins received new roofs and siding. Windows were all redone and the interiors were repainted. Elevated walkways were also built around the cabins to allow patrons easy access to the exhibit areas.

“We get a number of people asking what happened to Camp 6, and they’re very happy to see that all this stuff is being preserved,” Wise said. “It’s a very satisfying experience to be part of preservation, especially on this scale. “To be involved with the preservation of an entire logging camp, it’s incredibly satisfying and at times very overwhelming, because there is so much to do.”

Al Harper and Wayne Rankin, co-owners of Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum, have said that the museum’s sole mission is the preservation of history and to deliver it in a fun, entertaining manner. “With history being the road map to the future, we need to know our past, both the good and the bad,” Harper said in a video presentation. “Because it is history that teaches us the great lessons and it is history that lets us preserve that culture and that spirit that made America great.”

Wayne Rankin, a former Disney employee, is putting his entertainment background to use. “When you come to see us, you’re going to have a great experience, you’re going to learn a lot, you’re going to be entertained, and you’re going to have fun,” Rankin said.

The best way to experience the museum is to ride the train there from Elbe. Museum admission is included in the train ticket price May through October.

June 7, 2016

First Class Service in Elbe, Washington

The new Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum now offers first class passenger car service! This is yet another improvement to the guest experience and part of the rebranding efforts taking place by new owners Al and Carol Harper and Wayne and Kristine Rankin.

“We’re no longer content with being the best kept secret in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to investing in our passenger cars, we’ve made improvements to the tracks, the parking area, concessions, gift shop and museum exhibits. If you’ve visited in the past we encourage you to come back out and see the changes taking place. You’ll notice a difference. We’re looking at every little thing from name tags and uniforms to better signage, more interactive exhibits and more restrooms. We’re focused on providing a first class visitor experience at a historic railroad and museum that is fun and educational. We’ve already more than doubled our payroll to accommodate the increase in visitor attendance at the museum and ridership on the train.” ~ Wayne Rankin

The two first class passenger cars, originally built for the Milwaukee Road Railway in 1947, seat 138 people. These cars offer reserved seats at tables with chairs, air conditioning, and a dedicated guest service attendant that serves guests a complimentary snack and small soda. These attendants can also take additional refreshment orders and deliver items to the table.

The two standard class cars used year round were originally built for the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1924. These cars seat a combined total of 160 people. The cars offer open bench seating, windows that open, a lower ticket fare and access to the concessions counter. Seasonally, when the weather cooperates, the railroad will add an extra car for private charters and extra seating at a standard class fare. Car #541, also known the “Clopen”, was built in the late 1940’s for the Canadian Pacific Railway. The car is covered but has no windows, and is a popular car that adds a total of 60 additional seats in the summer and early fall excursions. There were less than 100 of these closed/open cars built.

“It’s important to keep these historic engines running for future generations to appreciate the history involved and the contributions railroads and timber had in the early days of the Pacific Northwest.” ~ Al Harper

Standard and first class tickets are on sale now at www.mtrainierailroad.com for regular excursions and special events.

About Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum
The Mt. Rainier Railroad is a steam-powered railway operating in Washington State. The museum is a nonprofit organization operating under the direction of Western Forest Industries Museum. Approximately 60,000 visitors are expected to ride the train to visit the museum. Weekly scheduled departures run May through October with the Polar Express™ excursions scheduled to start in late November and run through the month of December. Passengers take two hour excursions to travel through the forest and foothills south of Mt. Rainier, over the Upper Nisqually River to the museum. For more information visit MtRainierRailroad.com or call 888-STEAM-11.

Contact Person: Meilee Anderson
Director of Sales and Marketing
(253) 495-7164 Direct meilee@MtRainierRailroad.com

Visitors to the railroad this weekend have the option of booking standard class or new first class tickets. First class passenger cars (pictured above) feature reserved seat assignments, air conditioning and a dedicated car attendant to serve a complimentary small snack and soda. It’s only a $10.00 upgrade from standard class passenger cars to first class passenger cars. Standard class passenger cars (pictured below) feature open seating. New seating options, new events, new scheduled departures, new museum exhibits…..more reasons than ever to climb aboard living history. Hope to see you at the railroad this weekend! Friday departure times at 12:45 PM and 3:30 PM. Saturday and Sunday departure times at 10:00 AM, 12:45 PM and 3:30 PM. Reserve tickets by calling 888-STEAM-11 or book your steam powered adventure online at www.mtrainierrailroad.com.