Washington Royal Line

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Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#1
I posted a thread on 8-15-13 about a trip to my 45 year high school class reunion in Lewiston, ID. Included in the thread were photos I took of an old ALCo diesel that had been sitting forever on what appeared to be abandoned trackage at the end of the Milwaukee Road's Royal City (WA) branch. Bruce Butler responded with information about the branch's future including a link to a 2009 inspection report.
http://www.railroadforums.com/forum/showthread.php?44850-Class-Reunion-Trip

The line may be open. From the Port of Royal Slope's website:
The Port of Royal Slope acquired the Royal Slope Railroad in the fall of 2015 with the help of our legislators supporting a bill that was signed by Governor Inslee. We leased the railroad in February 2016, to Operator, Paul Didelius who has deemed it the WRL — Washington Royal Line. Paul has been contacting local businesses to see what their interest is in having rail service. Though this is a “start-up” situation, there have already been several trains bringing fertilizer in and shipping corn out!
http://www.portofroyal.com/all-about-rail/

Here is a link to a 2015 inspection report from the Port of Royal Slope website.
http://www.portofroyal.com/project/u...Inspection.pdf

I hope the "port" and railroad do well. Hopefully they will provide regional shipping alternatives to the Puget Sound ports of Seattle and Tacoma, both of which suffer from heavy automobile traffic congestion in the area. If anyone has more current info and/or photos, please post them to this thread. I'll stop by on my way to Lewiston for my 50 year high school reunion next year if I don't make it over before then.

For those not familiar with the area, Royal City is located on Hwy. 26 in central Washington. It is one of those small rural towns that you pass through on your way to somewhere else if you are not stopping for gas. In this case it is usually students of Washington State University (Go Cougs!) in transit between Pullman and the Puget Sound region. Aerial photo from the Port's homepage:
http://www.portofroyal.com/project/uploads/2016/06/Aerial-Detail16.pdf
 
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#3
I rode that branch several times on a group speeder excursion, in the cold of winter and the hottest weekend of the year. There's a sweeping curve/fill that lifts the line up to the industrial area, and a stub that points in the general direction of Royal City itself.
 
#4
A gentleman on another forum I frequent, was one of the folks who operated that line for a while, using the old Alco. In fact, he was the last person to operate it, and parked it where it still sits today. He told me what year it was parked, but I have forgotten what he told me. I know for sure it was parked there before 2005.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#5
A gentleman on another forum I frequent, was one of the folks who operated that line for a while, using the old Alco. In fact, he was the last person to operate it, and parked it where it still sits today. He told me what year it was parked, but I have forgotten what he told me. I know for sure it was parked there before 2005.
I saw it the summer of 1992, the first time I drove from the Seattle area to a high school class reunion in Lewiston. One of the links I posted showed a photo of a diesel with the caption that it was the first engine to run on the line in 25 years. That would put the year at 1991 or 1992.
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#6
I drove through Royal City Thursday (9-20-18) and back again on Sunday (9-23-18) on my way to and from my high school class reunion in Lewiston, ID. The Washington Royal Line appears to be running as I saw what looked like a former Montana Rail Link diesel and hoppers at Royal City and a former NS high-hooded Geep and hoppers next to the highway outside of Othello.

I did not stop for photos as I was in a hurry going both directions. Link to the railroad's website.

http://portofroyal.com/all-about-rail/
 
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#7
I hope this line makes it. Under the current ownership though, I am not so sure. U.S. Rail has a spotty history. In fact, they just lost the contract at Cincinnati for that line. All their shortline operations are very iffy, with little business. However, cars and locos on the line is some progress
 

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
#8
Judging by the hoppers sitting at Royal City, there must be some traffic for the time being. I only pass by twice every five years on my way to & from high school class reunions in Lewiston, ID. The reunion committee took my advice and did not schedule this reunion in the summer when it is hotter than h*** in eastern Washington and the Lewis-Clark Valley.
 



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