Following the valley between the Columbia River and Mount Hood, the Mount Hood Railroad excursions feature magnificent scenery and dinner train rides that operate year round. The MHR runs Oregon’s only Polar Express train rides during December. Holiday Express Trains are also run by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation using SP&S 4-8-4 #700 during the holidays.
The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad operates an historic steam locomotive and scenic dinner train excursions along the Pacific coast throughout the year.
Climb aboard the Eagle Cap Excursion Train on the Wallowa Union Scenic Railway and travel through the wilderness of northeastern Oregon as you experience the excellent sightseeing along the Grande Ronde and Wallowa Rivers.
The Sumpter Valley Railroad is open weekends and major holidays, Memorial Day Weekend through the last weekend in September. The railroad has two historic steam locomotives and the Cab Pass Program that will get you up close and personal with a steam locomotive and the engine crew.
Did you know?
There are 58 steam locomotives listed in Oregon today. Several are on display at various city parks. Others are in storage and may not be open to the public. You can find replica miniature train rides in Oregon on the Washington Park and Zoo Railway in Portland.
Some of the Beaver State’s 2400 plus miles of railroads provide scenic rail excursion riders spectacular scenery as you travel along the Columbia River and the Blue Mountains. The state’s first railroad was a 5 mile portage railroad completed in 1862. Amtrak daily service includes the Coast Starlight, the Cascades and the Empire Builder from Chicago serving the 1896 era Portland Union Station.
The Canby Depot Museum is housed in an 1873 depot and is the oldest remaining railroad station in Oregon. This restored building is also an Historic Museum, containing many items preserved from the past.
Step back in time and experience a bit of yesteryear. Ride the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad following the beautiful Oregon coast line behind a 1910 Heisler steam locomotive. Your scenic hour and a half trip chugs along Tillamook Bay and gives passengers panoramic views of the Pacific ocean. Great for all ages, this trip will give you a glimpse into Oregon’s history. Oregon Coast Scenic Railway now operates McCloud River RR 2-6-2 , No. 25.
The Mount Hood Railroad’s vintage trains capture the nostalgia of classic American train travel. Enjoy a delicious four-course dinner or brunch prepared on-board and served by their friendly and attentive wait staff. On certain dates, special entertainment is offered including Murder Mystery Dinner Trains. Two hour and 4 hour excursions are available. Sit back, enjoy the great views and visit with friends and family as you travel along the river, through forests, meadows and numerous fruit orchards to the town of Odell or Parkdale. A live narration along the way covers local history and key points of interest. During the layover, have a picnic in the park, sample local cafés, browse the shops and take in stunning views of Mount Hood. The Mount Hood Polar ExpressTrain ride comes to life when trains depart the Hood River depot for a memorable journey during November and December. As you travel through the quiet woods, listen to the story of the Polar Express and meet Santa and his elves at the north pole. Then, Santa will greet each child on board the train and give each one, their own special Christmas bell. Also a 30 minute The Little Engine That Could train ride for children and their families.
The Willamette Shore Trolley line takes you on a beautiful journey along the Willamette River in a authentic antique trolley car. The sites along the way include the 1,396 foot Elk Rock Tunnel. With an “S” curve between its portals, the mid section of the tunnel is in total darkness. Travel over several trestles, including the 686 foot Riverwood Trestle. Directions
The Medford Railroad Park includes rolling stock and exhibits that are open to the public on the second and fourth Sundays of months from April through October. Motorcar rides, 7 1/2″ gauge train rides. HO & G model railroad layouts.
Washington Park and Zoo Railway offers zoo visitors scenic excursions behind either a diesel replica of General Motors’ “Aerotrain” or the Zoo Railway No. 1 4-4-0 steam locomotive. Trains travel over 30-inch gauge track on grades up to 4 percent. On its two runs, the railway operates three trains which are approximately five-sixths the size of the old narrow-gauge trains. All trains feature covered, open-air cars. Directions
Friends of 4449 is a group of volunteers dedicated to the maintenance and operation the SP 4449, the only surviving example of Southern Pacific Railroad’s (SP) GS-4 class of steam locomotives. The 4449 runs excursions, attends railfairs and makes special event appearances.
Holiday Express Trains in season. Currently the Oregon Rail Heritage Center does not charge admission. However, donations are welcomed. Engines on display include Oregon Railroad & Navigation #197, a 1905 Baldwin Locomotive Works 4-6-2 “Pacific” type locomotive, Southern Pacific 4449, a 1941 built 4-8-4 GS-4 locomotive and Spokane Portland & Seattle No. 700, a 1938 built 4-8-4 Northern Pacific Class A design.
Take part in the Murder Mystery show on board the Crooked River Dinner train. You will be transported back in time to the 1800’s during the days of the infamous Jesse James. The cast of characters will serve libations from our no host bar during the boarding hour while you get acquainted with them. Also enjoy an old fashioned Sunday meal, served by the James Gang as they entertain you. Enjoy the day light excursion of the beautiful scenic Crooked River Valley. But look out, Jesse James and his gang are on the loose, and appear on horseback alongside the train when you least expect it. Bring your camera and get your picture taken with one of our famous outlaws as they board the train in search of the loot. Holiday mystery dinner theaters are scheduled every Friday and Saturday evening before Christmas in December. Update: The Crooked River Dinner Train is currently not operating. The dining cars have been sold and are now a part of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad in Elbe, WA.
If you have ever wanted to operate a steam locomotive, this is your opportunity! The Sumpter Valley Railroad Cab Pass Program allows you to actually operate a steam locomotive under the supervision of qualified Sumpter Valley Railway personnel. Participants learn how to operate a locomotive in the McEwen yards, make up a freight train and take it out onto the main line. As you travel through the forests and gold dredge tailings of the Sumpter Valley, you will be given a glimpse back in time without having to leave the comfort of the present. Operating between McEwen and the historic mining town of Sumpter, the narrow gauge steam locomotive excursions on the Sumpter Valley Railroad offer an enjoyable way for the whole family to spend a day. This former logging line runs scenic train rides with an original SVR 3-foot narrow gauge, powered by the 1920 Alco Mikado 2-8-2, No.19. Directions
Oregon Coast Scenic Explorer operates on 95 miles of scenic mountain railroad with long tunnels and magnificent scenery along the Pacific coast. TBRR usually offers a variety of rail excursions on weekends, however the Tillamook Bay Railroad is still a working freight line and excursions were suspended in 2007.
The Eagle Cap Excursion Train operates on the Wallowa Union Scenic Railway over a 63 mile railroad, linking the communities of Elgin to Minam in Northeast Oregon. Along the way, the track passes through spectacular roadless areas as it follows the wild & scenic Grande Ronde River down stream, then turns up the Wallowa River and across the beautiful Wallowa Valley to the base of the towering Wallowa Mountains. Enjoy the Fall Foliage excursion through the Canyon Cruise scenery dressed in the brilliant colors of autumn. The changing light, weather and migrating wildlife make these fall runs special even for veteran Eagle Cap Train riders.