Last Updated on April 29, 2021
The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad (MRSR) is one of the first things that caught our attention when considering Mount Rainier as a destination. We love a unique opportunity to experience a piece of history and taking a ride on the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad would allow us to do just that. Today, it is the only and longest Northwest tourist railroad experience that operates just like it did in the 1940’s. It sure is impressive walking along the train and viewing it in its entirety; it was exciting to be right by such an impressive piece of history. The train was stunning. And, what is even better, is that we were able to actually ride inside.
MRSR has more steam locomotives in operation than any other railroad in North America.
The train ride takes you along the foothills and forest of Mount Rainier. Unfortunately we had a downpour of rain during our ride, so we didn’t get to see that million-dollar view of Mount Rainier that would be seen on a clear-sky day. As disappointing as that was at the time, there was still plenty of beautiful scenery to satisfy our thirst for adventure. We loved that the train car we rode in did not have glass in the windows, making it a constant wonderful opportunity to take photos.
When we first saw the small gift shop and depot in Elbe, WA, we were amazed at how tiny it was and it left us wondering if that is where we actually were supposed to board the train, until we saw a train out front. The depot is also located right beside, only feet away, from the Hobo Inn and Historic Mount Rainier Dining Co., bringing the whole train experience really to life. Any train enthusiast would be thrilled to be surrounded by such historic beauty.
Riding the steam train was just as exciting for the kids as it was for the adults. Every time the train whistle would sound, Madison would get so excited. It was so much fun to see her eyes light up and to watch the other kids around her get excited as well.
After taking off from Elbe, the train transports you to MRSR’s extensive shop and museum in the town of Mineral. It is here that the historic cars are restored as new. Take a walk around and you are able to view historic locomotives and authentic logging camp buildings that show you exactly what it was like back then. The buildings cover everything imaginable from “Tools Of The Trade”, to “Life In A Logging Camp” and “The Flunkies Camp” (single women camp). It was interesting to see all the artifacts and gain a small understanding of what life may have been like for those people.
We also loved that everyone was given an opportunity to get photos around the train after we arrived at the museum and the staff was so patient as everyone walked around in awe as we all happily snapped away. This train was a real beauty!
We felt that MRSR did a great job giving us the most real and authentic experience that could ever be possible. The staff were absolutely incredible: from boarding the train to answering questions and talking to guests during the ride, and even offering to take photos for everyone. We could not have been more impressed with how all of the staff went above and beyond to make sure you left with a smile on your face.
Have you ever been on a historic steam train?
Our visit was sponsored by MRSR, but as always, our opinions are our own.