Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum

The Chehalis-Centralia began in 1986 as the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Association, a non-profit corporation. The founders were a group of local citizens whose goal was to restore a 1916 logging locomotive that had been placed in a Chehalis park thirty years earlier. Soon work was underway on the Cowlitz, Chehalis & Cascade No. 15, a Baldwin-built 2-8-2 “Mikado” type steam locomotive.

Over the course of two years, the engine underwent extensive restoration, and several passenger railcars were acquired. In 1989, scheduled passenger operations began over former Milwaukee Road track in Lewis County. In 2006, the association changed its name to the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum, to better reflect its continuing mission to preserve the railroad heritage of the region.

Presently, the Chehalis-Centralia is one of only a few steam powered railroads in Washington State. The railroad operates seasonal excursion trains each year over approximately ten miles of track owned by the Port of Chehalis, offering both coach and dinner train service. Additionally, the railroad is caretaker of the #15, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyards No. 9, and numerous other pieces of historic railroad equipment.

In 2016, the CC&C #15 will mark its 100th birthday, a remarkable feat. As the railroad looks forward, emphasis will be placed on how best to ensure the future for such historic equipment. It is our hope that the #15 and other equipment of the CCR&M will still be operating not just ten years from now, but fifty years from now and beyond.

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