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“Steam Train Ride with BBQ”

Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Ranked #1 of 4 things to do in Elbe
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Fourteen-mile excursion on a train using vintage 1900's steam locomotives on a scenic trip through the Pacific Northwest to Mineral Lake, passing within 25 miles of majestic Mt. Rainier.
Reviewed 18 July 2014

The train ride is fun, it runs from Elbe, WA to Mineral and stops at the museum of antique trains. There is an optional BBQ meal available there, and snacks available for purchase aboard the train. The passenger cars are clean, some are open air, others with windows that open. We rode in the only air-conditioned car where there are tables and chairs. The conductor and other staff were friendly and told us a little about the train's history and made the trip more interesting. There was a band playing at the site of the BBQ, where there are picnic tables with benches to eat the meal. Reservations are necessary for weekends and for the BBQ meal.

2  Thank RRrider2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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136 - 140 of 210 reviews

Reviewed 18 July 2014

We had a fabulous time today aboard the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railway. Yes, it did go through a great deal of forest land but that was the original intent when it was used for logging. The staff was very polite and enthusiastic about the railroad operation. We were very impressed when we saw the museum and the number of very old and very big engines. I'm sorry to read reviews where the people were disappointed in this adventure. I guess it's all about attitude and maybe expecting too much.

4  Thank Augustgal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

The foliage didn't represent logging in the Northwest. It was logged off and never replanted. We saw ONE view of the very top of Mt. Rainier. The Logging Camp museum was well cared for, but they need benches for older people to sit. I realize, this is run by volunteers and some employees, but it is poorly run. No time schedules are kept and there are no instructions as to where to stand, and stand you must in the sun and rain as there is no place to sit (2 benches). I detected NO organization.
You do get to see a milky Nisqually River as it comes from the glacier, and I'm sure it takes effort to keep for the elderly steam engines running. We had the 1950's diesel as the steam engine was sick.

2  Thank gcmartini
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 July 2014

My and I took our 2 year old son for a ride on this today and were very disappointed. We went because of a 2 for 1 coupon offer. Our little boy loves trains, but there was no effort to connect with little fellas--simple things like having the expected "All Aboard" called out would've made a big difference.
Additionally, there was almost no organization, you couldn't tell where to load onto the train, there were no signs or direction. The seats are totally unassigned, and even though we waited in line for 40 minutes prior to departure, we had to walk through several cars to find a seat together. We saw other families that had to sit separately. Just numbering the seats and the tickets would be a very simple solution to alleviate this. Sitting with a group over 4 people together would be pretty difficult as-is.
The trip itself was nothing much, the views were far less than you will get by driving a short distance into Rainier park. My wife and I wished we would've spent the extra time there. Unless you're really, really into trains, skip it.

6  Thank Desiree B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 July 2014

We have threatened for years to take this little ride. I grew up in the area (and the end of the era!) and wanted to see the scenery there again. We did the regular, run-of-the-mill trip. They do have limited holiday (Halloween and Christmas) trips, dinner trips, and other route trips. Call them and ask - they're very friendly VOLUNTEERS! The train swayed the 6 miles to a repurposed log landing where the vision of L T Murray (1940-60s timber baron) is coming to fruition. He wanted to preserve these great machines (the trains) for coming generations so they could see the work horses of the post-horse logging industry. Many engines, train cars, associated equipment pieces, etc have been purchased and rebuilt, refurbished, will be restored, etc. A complete working shop that can completely make parts and rebuild a train is on site. This is still a work in progress and should only get better as time passes. The scenery I mentioned follows the Nisqually River and forest for the lion's share of the way. You do see people's backyards, farmland, remnants of the rail's power lines, other creeks, and a glimpse of the mountain on a clear day. The cars are unheated and are furnished with park benches so dress accordingly. Wear sensible shoes. Take your camera. Talk to the volunteers and to the other guests. Make friends! Oh - pets are welcome but not recommended. The train emits a shrill whistle for the majority of the trip. The pet's ears would surely be bothered.
ALSO, while you're in Elbe - look across the highway from the train. There's an old brown building with 2 auto bay doors. In the 50s & 60s, it was a Shell Service Station. Then look over the tracks at the little white church. It's an oldie with information posted outside of it. And buy a burger from the Scale Shack across the highway - best I've had a looong time!!

4  Thank Ajmmeao
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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