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Steam & Excursion > Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale


Date: 05/20/20 09:12
Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: elueck

This was just posted on Railfan's rail news site:

Updated: May 20, 11:45 a.m. EST
The owner of Washington’s Mt. Rainier Railroad said Wednesday he is closing the tourist railroad for the “foreseeable future” and preparing to put it up for sale. 
On Monday, American Heritage Railways announced on its website that it was closing the Mt. Rainier Railroad because of the “COVID-19 pandemic and other complications.” The announcement set off a series of conflicting rumors — fueled by the public release of an internal staff memo — that the railroad was being permanently closed. On Tuesday, owner Al Harper told a newspaper that the memo was fake and that the railroad would eventually resume operations. But on Wednesday, the company issued a press release clarifying its earlier announcement and stating that it was looking at selling the railroad. 
“It is with great regret and sorrow we make this announcement today, as everyone associated with this historic railroad has worked extremely hard to make it prosper and delight guests from all over the world,” said John Harper, general manager of American Heritage Railways. “With still many financial and operational unknowns to work through, AHR will announce further details in the near future regarding its plans for the facility, including finding a new owner and overseeing the divestiture of its famed locomotives and other important infrastructure assets. In the meantime, we wish to thank all of our loyal employees and volunteers who helped us celebrate the rich industrial history of the Pacific Northwest’s late 19th and early 20th-century settlement and growth.”
American Heritage Railways purchased the Washington operation, previously known as the Mt. Rainier Scenic, in 2016. According to the press release, the railroad was in “disrepair” when American Heritage Railways took over and, despite significant financial investments into the property it has continued to struggle. In the past, the Washington operation was reliant on support from American Heritage’s other property, the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. In 2018, when the D&SNG was forced to shut down for more than a month due to a wildfire, the Washington operation also had to close. Officials said the coronavirus pandemic was the last straw for the Washington operation. 
While numerous tourist railroads have canceled events or delayed operating schedules, Mt. Rainier appears t
o be the first major heritage operator to call it quits as a result of the pandemic.
 



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/20 09:13 by elueck.



Date: 05/20/20 10:57
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: callum_out

Fpr certain, did he actually buy the track itself? Does he own any of the historic equipment? And where are all these millions that he invested?

Out 



Date: 05/20/20 11:04
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: LoggerHogger

The track is owned by Tacoma Rail and is under a long-term lease.

Martin



Date: 05/20/20 11:33
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: KM-ML4000

I think the only equipment AHR owns, is their former IC GP10.



Date: 05/20/20 12:12
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: elueck

The press release states that they own the "famous locomotives" and thus implies that AHR owns the equipment.



Date: 05/20/20 12:24
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: LoggerHogger

The assets of WIFM (land and rolling stock) were deeded and sold in February, 2016, to AHR's new entitity, Mt. Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum, LLC.

Martin



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/20 02:49 by LoggerHogger.



Date: 05/20/20 12:42
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: callum_out

Martin, did that include the steam locomotives?

Out 



Date: 05/20/20 12:53
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: Hillcrest

I may be wrong, but I did a search and some reading...it appears to mean everything.

Dave



Date: 05/20/20 13:04
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: callum_out

Dave, you're probably right in that as Martin says, asets of the museum which certainly included the rolling stock.

Out 



Date: 05/20/20 15:38
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: patd3985

I wonder what's to become of the "Willamette" that we spent so many hours, weeks and months restoring back to operation? Maybe it could be brought down to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland and be part of their active display? Afterall, it was born there and is part of Portland's history!... (What do you think, Arlen??????).



Date: 05/20/20 17:20
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: A-1

patd3985 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I wonder what's to become of the "Willamette" that
> we spent so many hours, weeks and months restoring
> back to operation? Maybe it could be brought down
> to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland and
> be part of their active display? Afterall, it was
> born there and is part of Portland's history!...
> (What do you think, Arlen??????).

I second this!

Posted from Android



Date: 05/20/20 20:39
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: pdxsteam

AHR really blew it with Mt. Rainier Railroad, just as they've done with just about every other fixer-uper they've temporarily owned. From someone who worked there the past four years and witnessed a lot of what went on behind the scenes, it was truly a mess. It was a miracle that we even had a train running at all sometimes. It was because of the hard work and dedication of the staff that we were able to push through. The management was little-to-no help and caused more problems then solved. It's a shame to see the place go, but I'd rather have it be shut down than let it continue on under AHR ownership.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 05/21/20 08:57 by pdxsteam.



Date: 05/20/20 22:35
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: goduckies

Sad

Posted from Android



Date: 05/21/20 10:10
Re: Just out from AHR on Mt. Rainier-- Railroad is for sale
Author: callum_out

Stathi is smiling a sad smile.

Out 



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