Is there anything more simultaneously romantic and haunting than the lure of a steam whistle? With Memorial Day past, the historic steam train operated by Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad is a daily occurrence in Rockaway Beach, and you can often hear the whistle long before you see the train putting down the tracks.
With it brings smiling faces of all ages excited for this rare experience of riding a historic steam train down the coast. It’s one of our more unique treasures here in Rockaway Beach, but our relationship with trains goes back a long time. Like, 100 years long.
For literally decades the trains have been rolling into Rockaway Beach bringing families to spend the summer. On the weekends, crowds of mothers and children would eagerly wait for the train to come in. It was fondly dubbed the “Daddy Train” as this week-end steam engine was bringing the working dads from over the hill to spend the weekend with their families in Rockaway Beach.
The first passenger train came to Rockaway Beach in 1912. Prior to that, it was a two-week journey by wagon to get to Rockaway Beach from Portland. When the railroads were built, it became much easier for families to spend their summers here and every Friday afternoon, children and mothers waited patiently for the Daddy Train that would bring the daddies for the weekend.
You can still catch the train to Rockaway Beach thanks to the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, and taste a little bit of this long-standing tradition to reach the beach by train.