Posted on March 26, 2010
The author’s family posing in front of Ilwaco’s Centennial Mural of the Clamshell Railroad.
Now that’s artwork! It got the Wet Rails Jr. seal of approval; Wet Rails III dressed in a doggie costume for this family photo, which he wore nearly the entire trip. This mural is on a wall in Ilwaco, at the base of the Long Beach Peninsula. It depicts the Ilwaco Railway and Navigation Company, which ran north to Nahcotta. The line started as a hauler using horse-drawn wagons on the beach, and eventually became a narrow-gauge railroad; the tracks were set 3 ft. apart, versus the standard 4ft – 8 1/2 inches used today on North American railroads. The line hauled vacationers to the grand hotels of the day “up the beach,” and hauled seafood down to awaiting ships. Final train ran in 1930.
Read the article.
Information about, and photos of, the rich history of the Ilwaco Railroad and Navigation Company (IR&NC) can be found at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, which also hosts Clamshell Railroad Days in July (July 17-18 this year, 2010). We have a nice page on the railroad here on funbeach.com also.
This Wikipedia article offers fairly comprehensive history of the Clamshell Railroad, the “Train that ran by the tides”.