Washington’s Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Suspends Operations

By Railfan & Railroad Staff

CHEHALIS, Wash. — The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad has suspended all passenger operations and the board of directors said the Washington tourist railroad is on the verge of closing.

On Saturday, the railroad announced that it would be suspending operations and that people who had signed up for upcoming Easter excursions would be receiving full refunds.

“Due to circumstances beyond our control, the Chehalis Centralia Railroad has made the difficult decision to suspend all passenger operations until further notice,” the board wrote on Facebook. “We appreciate your support and are looking to resume operations as soon as we are able to do so. All tickets purchased for the 2022 Easter Eggspress will be fully refunded. Please allow (one) week for the refund to reach your credit card. Again, we are very sorry for the inconvenience this has caused.”

But in a letter to museum members, the news appeared to be even grimmer. Railroad President James Folk told members that they had been unable to get liability insurance and that the “future of the railroad looks very bleak.” The letter was obtained and published by the Centralia Chronicle newspaper.

“None of the railroad insurance companies are willing to insure our organization for at least a year, and possibly longer,” Folk wrote. “There will be some very difficult decisions made at next week’s board meeting on March 9. The most likely outcome of all this is that we will be shutting down permanently. It is my intention to see that we are able to wrap up current projects as much as possible over the next few months to leave our equipment in the best possible shape for any future opportunities that may come up.”

The Chehalis-Centralia operates on 10 miles of former Milwaukee Road trackage and was first established in 1986.

This article was posted on: March 7, 2022