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.
Wayne Rankin said, “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.”
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 as 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,” said Al (Harper).
Standard and first class tickets are on sale now at www.mtrainierrailroad.com for regular excursions and special events.