Amtrak to Centralia

June 6, 2000

At 9:00 a.m. on June 6 18 Obsidians and guests gathered at the Eugene Railroad Station for a train-bus ride to Portland. Our escort for the trip was Gil Hulin, an expert on trains. He coordinated our trip, getting us our “own” car on the Talgo train to Centralia, Washington. While he photographed 13 trains during our stay in Centralia, Liz Reanier had arranged for a Destination Centralia tour guide and van to take us on a tour of Centralia — especially to see beautiful murals and “old” town. Then on to Chehalis to the Lewis County Museum (which is housed in the original train depot). The museum was very interesting, quite authentic, beautifully displayed. After returning to the van we passed the mint plant, heard an historical replay and saw the location of the Wobbly Massacre. We then traveled NE of Centralia to the soft coal mining area. We could see the dredges, the processing plant, train loads of Wyoming hard coal that is mixed with the local coal to produce electrical power that is then sold to Bonneville. [Sorry, Bill Eaton, that you were unable to join us.] Some saw a few deer and a glimpse of a large herd of elk. Upon returning to the railroad station we selected restaurants for dinner. We boarded the same Talgo train for our return trip to Eugene. The day was not complete yet. As the train neared Woodburn we halted, waiting for a car to be cleared from the tracks and the inspector of tracks before we could proceed. Of course that delay brought us into the Eugene yards for a wait for a freight train. Total of one hour late on our return. All had a great day. Riders were: Ethel Allen, Mary & Richard Bentsen, Lloyd Bissell, Glendora Burbank, Bette Hack, Dora Harris, Gil Hilin, John & Lenora McManigal, Barbara & Walter Miller, Grace Miller, Edna Robertson, June Smith, Dick & Janet Speelman, and Liz Reanier (leader).

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