Worth a Visit: Oregons Sumpter Valley Railway | Reader's Digest

Worth a Visit: Oregon’s Sumpter Valley Railway

from Off the Beaten Path | 318
Sumpter Valley Railway, Oregon© 2009 Sumpter Valley RailwayPassengers in open-air cars pulled by a vintage locomotive take a trip back in time through Oregon's gold and timber country.

211 S.W. Austin, Bakercity, Oregon

Travel back to the glory of eastern Oregon’s turn-of-the-century lumber and mining industry aboard the open-air cars and original caboose of this restored narrow-gauge railway, driven by an authentic wood-burning Heisler locomotive.

The Sumpter Valley Railway Company, started in 1890 by lumber magnate David Eccles, was a highly prosperous operation by the time its tracks were extended to the Sumpter gold mines in 1896. However, during the 1930s business declined, and in 1947 the railroad, known as the Stump Dodger, ceased operation.

Since 1970 local volunteers have been restoring the track bed and offering rides through the picturesque countryside. Occasionally a run is attacked by “bandits,” provided by volunteers, who add to the colorful illusion of the Old West. While you’re waiting for the trip to begin, browse through the historic photographs and railroad memorabilia in the depot’s museum or visit the engine cab, where the crew is happy to explain how the steam locomotive works.

Open weekends Memorial Day–Sept. Admission charged.

www.svry.com

(541) 894-2268