Cascade Scenic Railway Inc
Curve2About Us

The Cascade Scenic Railway is a non-profit corportion dedicated to bringing passenger excursion service on the 32 mile short line that is currently lease-operated by  the Willamette Valley Railroad.  While the entire line connects the communities of Woodburn, Mt. Angel, Silverton, Central Howell, Geer, Macleay, Shaw Aumsville and Stayton, initial service is planned for the Woodburn-Mt.Angel-Silverton portion of the line.


Although communities in the Willamette Valley no longer rely on rail for their vitality, the lure of the railway still remains.   It attracts hobbyists with a love of engines and of America's by-gone romance with steam, and appeals to tourists who want to get out of their cars to appreciate the beauty of valley.  And, the practicality of using rail for transporting goods is regaining a foothold in the economy.

Until recently, these interests remained active but separate.  However, in 1999, a group spearheaded by Marion County Commissioner Patti Milne, first came together to consider the future of the line between Woodburn, Salem and Stayton. 
It was clear that the potential for the railway was tremendous, but it was equally clear that portions of the line could disappear forever as they fell into long term disuse, and as right-of-ways were being relinquished. The loose knit group included representatives from every community along the line, railway enthusiasts, chambers of commerce, city, county and state officials, the media, the current operator of the line (Willamette Valley Railroad), and tourism groups.  Over the course of several months, they gradually honed the focus and goals, and eventually emerged as a fully fledged non-profit organization.  The vision of Cascade Scenic Railway, Inc. is to restore rail service, providing more jobs and economic diversity for our region, improving the livability of our communities.

The line currently serves freight clients, but requires track and bed improvements for excursion passenger service and competitive freight service.  CSR, Inc. entered into an exclusive agreement with WVRR to operate passenger service on the line, and has taken the first steps to restore the railroad.

Two barriers need to be overcome before excursion service can be offered.

1) Union Pacific, the current owner of the rail line, has determined that it must sell the line  before passenger service can be allowed. The current lease with WVRR permits freight operations only. WVRR is in negotiations with UP to purchase the line this summer.

2) While the line is in good condition and has been continually upgraded the past several years, some portions will require additional track and tie work before passenger service can be allowed under state and federal law. This work, a large portion of which needs to happen between Woodburn and Mt. Angel, is estimated to cost up to $900,000.

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Cascade Scenic Railroad Inc.