The railroad operates No. 15, a 2-8-2 steam locomotive built by Baldwin in 1916, over a 10-mile section of former Milwaukee Road track. The route was originally built by the Puget Sound & Willapa Harbor Railway in 1914 and winds through scenic hills, farmland, and over several wooden trestles over the Chehalis River.
The railroad was incorporated as a non-profit organization in 1986 by Chehalis citizens inspired by a visit to Chehalis by the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. The organization removed No. 15 from a city park where it had been on display for over 30 years, and brought it to the Mt. Rainier shops in Mineral, Washington for restoration. Work on the locomotive was completed in 1989 and the railroad started operations later that year over ex-Milwaukee Road, Weyerhaeuser Timber Company-owned track. In 1993, the Port of Chehalis purchased the route. In 2006, the railroad had 10,250 riders — a record for the railroad.
In December, 2007, the railroad sustained significant flood damage, but with much work from the dedicated volunteers of the railroad the Right Of Way has been completely restored, and trains can once again run all the way to Ruth.
- Milwaukee Road Archives - Puget Sound & Willapa Harbor Railway
- Anders, Kurt F. (April 2007). "1 man, 1 locomotive, 70 years together!". Trains. 67 (4): 56–57.
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