American Heritage says it will work to find a new owner for Mount Rainier Scenic

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DURANGO, Colo. — American Heritage Railways, Inc., the country’s premier scenic tourist rail operator and the industry expert in rail-related special event management, said today it will close the Mt. Rainier and Railroad Logging Museum in Elbe, Wash., and cease operations there for the foreseeable future.

The AHR team will immediately implement a winding-down plan to close the railroad in an orderly manner while the company explores various ownership options with other entities.

After acquiring the former Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad in 2016, AHR formed the MRRR to operate a combined railroad/museum attraction that was in disrepair. Since then, the railroad has never been profitable, while AHR has invested millions of dollars to fund these financial deficits and comprehensively repair and maintain the facilities. In addition, the MRRR’s owner has devoted thousands of man hours to enhance operations and introduce new special events, which, while successful, did not result in the significant capital needed to sustain the business. Finally, the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the MRRR’s forced delayed annual opening as a result of COVID-19, also played a factor in this decision.

“It is with great regret and sorrow we make this announcement today, as everyone associated with this historic railroad has worked extremely hard to make it prosper and delight guests from all over the world,” said John Harper, general manager of American Heritage Railways, Inc. “With still many financial and operational unknowns to work through, AHR will announce further details in the near future regarding its plans for the facility, including finding a new owner and overseeing the divestiture of its famed locomotives and other important infrastructure assets. In the meantime, we wish to thank all of our loyal employees and volunteers who helped us celebrate the rich industrial history of the Pacific Northwest’s late 19th and early 20th-century settlement and growth.”

Source: AHR
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