Pend Oreille Valley Railroad
|Pend Oreille Valley Railroad|
The MILW entered financial difficulty in the 1970s and the Newport - Metaline Falls section was sold to Port of Pend Oreille following the company's downsizing. The Port of Pend Oreille established the Pend Oreille Valley Railroad and contracted railroad holding company Kyle Railways to manage the POVA. Freight service began on October 1, 1979, and the Port of Pend Oreille took over the POVA's management from Kyle Railways in 1984. The Newport - Dover section was acquired from BNSF on March 3, 1998.
Since 1981, the North Pend Oreille Valley Lions Club has worked with the POVA to operate a seasonal excursion train service on several weekends in the summer and fall.
The 20-mile (32 km) round trip runs from Ione to Metaline Falls along the spectacular Box Canyon, passing through several tunnels and crossing several bridges and wooden trestles. The passenger cars consist of 3 standard coaches as well as 3 open-air cars and a caboose with some equipment borrowed from the Inland Empire Railroad Historical Society.
Financial issues hurt the excursion train service, as upkeep and inspections became cost prohibitive. In October 2016, the railroad operated its last excursion.