After a very successful Mother’s Day Brunch, we are preparing for our next train ride on Saturday, June 14. Family Fun Day was created to appeal to families and younger passengers by offering a shorter train ride and lower fares. Tickets for this trip range from $20 to $50, depending on passenger age.
Choose the morning train from Elgin to Minam, with a bus ride back to the Elgin depot. Or, select the afternoon trip, riding a bus from the Elgin depot to Minam, where you board the train for a ride from Minam to Elgin. Either way, the combined train and bus ride takes about 2.5 hours. Young passengers will receive a souvenir gift as a memento of the trip.
“We created this ride because we want to give kids the opportunity to ride a train,” said Ed Spaulding, President of the Friends of the Joseph Branch, the non-profit organization that manages the excursion business and the depot for the Wallowa Union Railroad. “Many young people have never experienced the fun of riding the rails. This trip should be a hit with visiting and resident families in our area who are looking for fun things to do during summer vacation.” Spaulding noted the trip also marks the train’s return to Minam for the first time since 2012.
The scenery is beautiful this time of year as the train follows the shores of the Grande Ronde and Wallowa Rivers. Wildlife is plentiful and recently included deer, a Bald Eagle, wild turkeys, heron and lots of ducks and geese. Passengers are free to walk through the train in transit and enjoy the view from the open vestibules or the half-screened bay doors in the baggage car.
The exciting and always popular train robbery by the Elgin Stampeders follows Family Fun Day, taking place June 28. Passengers can expect lots of excitement and laughs as horseback riding bandits board the train. The four-hour trip always sells out, so advance bookings are needed. The July 5 train celebrates America. Descriptions of all 2014 trips are available at the train website, www.eaglecaptrainrides.com.
The Elgin Depot includes a gift shop, rest rooms and ample parking. Reservations are recommended, but some seats may be available for last minute passengers. Tickets are purchased through Alegre Travel, firstname.lastname@example.org or 800.323.7330, or at the depot on train day. Ticket agents are well informed about the trips and can also book motel rooms and offer advice on other activities and attractions in the area.