Polar Express

The Polar Express chugs through the backcountry of Mount Rainier near Elbe. 

The Mount Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum will cease operations for the foreseeable future due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement posted online Monday.

American Heritage Railways Inc. made the announcement, noting that it can no longer fund the operation.

“MRR and AHR management teams will immediately implement a plan to close the railroad in as orderly manner as possible,” the statement reads. “As such, we will be closing the doors and canceling all future events and train excursions for the foreseeable future, expected to remain through and beyond the end of the year.”

American Heritage Railways said it has notified staff of the decision and reached out to its marketing, web, advertising and vendors with the news.

Refunds to customers began May 18 and reservations were closed as of May 15.

“It is with great regret and sorrow that this must happen,” John and Al Harper said in a statement. “Each one of you have done your best to make Mt. Rainier Railroad prosper and delight our customers. It just seems we could not overcome all the surmounting roadblocks.”

The full statement is below: 

AHR Press Release:

From American Heritage Management Re: Mt Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum

May 18, 2020

To: The partners and contractors of Mt Rainier Railroad and Logging Museum

Subject: Termination of All Operations

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen:

American Heritage Railways Inc. has decided to permanently cease operations and close Mt. Rainier Railroad for the foreseeable future. Due to the pandemic COVID-19 and the complications with the WFIM not-for profit, American Heritage Railways Inc. can no longer continue to fund MRRR. MRR and AHR management teams will immediately implement a plan to close the railroad in as orderly manner as possible. As such, we will be closing the doors and canceling all future events and train excursions for the foreseeable future, expected to remain through and beyond the end of the year.

We have contacted our staff and have begun reaching out to Business partners, groups, vendors, partners, and contractors. We will be terminating all marketing, web, advertising, and other vendor support for this location effective immediately. We are currently working on a communications plan and will be focused on messaging our current and future customers directly. Refunds for existing riders are began May 187, 2020, and the closure of all reservations online and by phone started Friday May 15, 2020.

We truly appreciate the hard work, effort, and support everyone has put into Mt. Rainier over the last three years. From John and Al Harper, “It is with great regret and sorrow that this must happen. Each one of you have done your best to make Mt. Rainier Railroad prosper and delight our customers. It just seems we could not overcome all the surmounting roadblocks.”

On behalf of Mt. Rainier Railroad, we wish you well and hope that our paths will meet again in the future.

Sincerely Yours,

American Heritage Management Team

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