As a huge fan of steam rail travel I try to find places that have them for little road trips. Mt Rainier is 4 hours from my house and I have dogs so it was always a bit unattainable. However my son decided I should have the ultimate train fan experience and purchased tickets for me for the train ride by Mt Rainier. So with that said, I didnt get any ordinary tickets. He bought me a ride in - wait for it - drum roll please............ the CAB.
We left the house at 5 am and drove to the station. Made good time with no road construction along the way. There is still snow on the mountains so it was a pretty ride. So the getting there was fun. \
Once we arrived at ELBE, we checked in and as soon as the ticket guy knew who was riding the cab I was treated like royalty. I had access to the train from the moment I stepped onto the platform. As a photographer, they gave me access to the front end of the engine while moving.
Ok so it isnt that long of a ride ( 7 miles) and it is a bit rough ( they should fix the tracks) but the round trip is a train fans paradise. There is a new museum they are going to be opening very soon at the end stop in Mineral and they have the shops open for viewing of rebuilds etc. The staff are fabulous and are never too busy to stop for a photo op. Everyone is very knowledgable about their particular role in this and they are all volunteers. I cannot say enough good things about this experience. I smiled for about 4 days afterward and even now while typing I am smiling just remembering. Just a fabulous experience. Go......
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