For a daytime excursion this summer with all the bells and whistles, these five Pacific Northwest railways and rail museums are just the ticket. All are located in or around two hours of the Portland Metro Area. Read on to learn more about riding these rails as well as savvy tips for each one. All aboard!

Oregon Pacific Railroad

For a 45-minute, roundtrip train ride on the Oregon Pacific Railroad (OPR), head to Portland’s eastside. The remains of a vast interurban trolley line, the route winds along the Willamette River and through Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, pulled by the OPR 1413, a GMD-1 diesel locomotive built in 1959 and now painted red and white. Coaches usually include an open-air car, a business car and a caboose or two. For the best views, try to score seats in a caboose’s copula.

Schedule: Multiple runs every Saturday, January through November, from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC). Mid-March through mid-October, riders can also board at the Oaks Station stop, located directly across the street from the north end of the parking lot at Oaks Amusement Park.

Fares: $5/ person; $10/person for a locomotive cab ride.

Pro Tips: Make a day of it by boarding at Oaks Station (free parking is available at Oaks Amusement Park) and riding to the ORHC. There you and the kids can explore the center and return on a later train. Be sure to pack snacks as there’s no food available for purchase on the OPR or at the ORHC.

Oaks Station
7805 SE Oaks Park Way

Photo credit: Carrie Uffindell

  • On the MRSR, photo by Carrie Uffindell

Where does your family love to ride the rails? Tell us in the comments below.

—Carrie Uffindell