The Eagle Cap Excursion Train has a busy schedule under way through September and October, with plenty of opportunities for passengers to enjoy the beautiful and ever-changing fall colors along the route. Departing from the Elgin Depot Saturdays, September 14, 21, and 28, and October 5, 12, and 19, fall trips are our most popular. Some trips have guest experts on railroad history, photography or wildlife.
The train travels beside the Grande Ronde River downstream to its confluence with the Wallowa River, then follows that Wild & Scenic river a few miles upstream. A brief stop at Vincent (Howard Creek) allows passengers to get off, stretch their legs and breathe the fresh, piney air, before the return trip to Elgin.
While all of the train rides are highly scenic and provide lots of great opportunities for photos, the October 12 trip is a rare opportunity to capture the scenery in the soft evening light. The trip follows the grand opening celebration at the new Elgin Depot, departing at 2:30 p.m. and returning to Elgin right at sunset. This trip is certain to sell out quickly, so make reservations as soon as possible.
The public is invited to the grand opening celebration at the depot, October 12, which includes an open house from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., historical displays, a model railroad and a ribbon cutting. Lunch will be available for purchase, served outside if weather permits. Free cupcakes and beverages will be served following the ribbon cutting. Watch this blog for more on the depot grand opening as plans take shape.
For most trips, the Eagle Cap Excursion Train departs at 10 a.m. from the Elgin Depot and returns around 2 p.m. For those trips, lunch is served on the train after a brief stop along the river to let passengers stretch their legs while the crew prepares for the return trip to Elgin. However, as mentioned above, for the train ride on October 12, boarding begins at 2 p.m. and departs at 2:30. Passengers on this trip receive a dessert sampler on the return leg of the ride.
To reserve your seat and ensure your lunch is on the train, make your reservations by 4 p.m., the Friday afternoon prior to the trip. The train can handle some last-minute walk-on passengers, subject to seat availability. Those waiting to purchase tickets at the depot Saturday morning should arrive at the depot by 9 a.m. and be prepared to bring their own lunch or snack. Nearby restaurants in Elgin offer lunches to go.
Ticket prices are: youth, 3 to 16 = $40 / adults = $75 / seniors 60+ = $70. Lunch is prepared by Ten Depot Street of La Grande and included in the ticket price. For train tickets, details on the excursions and lodging options, contact Alegre Travel, 1.800.323.7330 or firstname.lastname@example.org. When purchasing your tickets, you will be asked to choose a sandwich, salad or vegetarian lunch, which includes a dessert and beverage.
Excursions travel 38 miles, round trip. Friendly volunteer car hosts answer questions and point out landmarks or wildlife along the way.