Steam Engine Poster
Jump to: navigation, search Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad Locale Lewis / Pierce counties, Washington, USA Dates of operation 1980–present Track gauge Standard 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) Length 7 miles (14 roundtrip) Headquarters Elbe, Washington The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad (MRSR) is a steam-powered heritage railroad operating in Washington State between Elbe and Mineral. The railroad travels on tracks that pass through thick forest just south of Mount Rainier. The depot, gift shop and ticket office are located in Elbe. The Mineral stop is on the shore of Mineral Lake, close to picnic grounds, trails, and the railroad's maintenance shops. The MRSR, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, runs its collection of vintage rail equipment over seven miles of track owned by Tacoma Rail, an entity distinct from the MRSR. The railroad has four steam locomotives in regular service, as well as several diesel engines. Most of the railroad's engines are geared steam locomotives. These specialized types of steam engines—Shay locomotives, Heisler locomotives, Climax locomotives, and a Willamette locomotive were used in the early 20th century for logging. Compared to traditional side-rod steam locomotives, geared locomotives were better-suited for steep grades and hastily-laid track. Thus, the MRSR seeks to preserve and operate historic geared locomotives and related logging technology in order to present visitors with a sense of a bygone logging era critical to the development of the Pacific Northwest.