Polar Express Will Not Run in December Due to Ongoing Track Repairs, According to Railroad President 

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad and Museum Launches Stationary Pumpkin Train at the Depot Oct. 22-23


The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad and Museum (CCRM) will hold its annual Pumpkin Train as a stationary event this year due to ongoing track repairs, the railroad announced Wednesday.

While the train won’t leave the depot, attendees will still be privy to a full slate of activities inside the 1920’s passenger coach, CCRM stated in a news release.

The Pumpkin Train will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Sunday, Oct. 23, at the depot, located at 1101 SW Sylvenus St. in Chehalis.

Pumpkins are ready in the pumpkin patch for children under age 15 and trick-or-treat goody bags will be given out to kids of all ages, CCRM stated.

Children, as well as adults, are encouraged to wear costumes. There will be costume contests for kids under 15.

Tickets are $15 per person and children 2 and under ride for free. Free parking is available at the depot.

The event is a fundraiser for CCRM.

CCRM shut down all revenue-generating passenger rail operations in early March after it lost its liability insurance coverage.

With a mile and a half of track still unusable due to flood damage sustained in January, CCRM is waiting until track repairs are complete to reapply for insurance that would allow it to resume revenue-generating passenger rail service, according to CCRM President Mary Kay Nelson.

CCRM did obtain premises-liability insurance in early April, which allowed railroad workers to return to the site and allows CCRM to hold fundraising events at and around the depot, so long as the trains aren’t moving.

CCRM’s initial goal was to have everything in place to resume passenger operations in time to run the Pumpkin Train this month, but ongoing track repairs have made that impossible, said Nelson.

As CCRM does not anticipate track repairs will be done by December, the railroad will not run the Polar Express this year, she told The Chronicle in an email on Thursday.

CCRM does plan to continue holding stationary events until track repairs are complete and the insurance issue is sorted out.

“Our stationary events this month have been fabulous,” said Nelson in an email to The Chronicle on Thursday.