Train Rides Available in June – With Hopes for More

ELGN, OREGON__The Friends of the Joseph Branch, managers of the Eagle Cap Excursion Train, are pleased to announce the 2019 partial schedule has been posted and reservations can be made for four train rides being offered this month. In addition, the Bigfoot Train, July 27 and the Fall Foliage Train September 14 are available for booking. To make reservations, go to or call Alegre Travel, 541.963.9000.

In June, two rides are scheduled to help honor fathers and families over Father’s Day weekend, with trains departing from the Elgin Depot at 10 a.m., Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16. Both rides have the added excitement of robberies by the Gold Rush Bandits.

Saturday, June 22, the Summer Solstice Dinner Train leaves the depot at 5 p.m., for one of the rare opportunities to enjoy an evening ride, complete with dinner and adult beverage of choice. The train winds along the shores of the Grande Ronde, into the ruggedly beautiful and roadless section of the canyon, crosses the bridge at Rondowa and continues a few miles up the Wallowa, before returning to the depot in Elgin at about 8:30 p.m. This trip is catered by Chuckwagon Sisters of Joseph.

Finally, Saturday, June 29, is the always popular Veterans’ Train, departing Elgin at 10 a.m. This ride is free to veterans and active military personnel and each may bring one guest. Lunch is included, with the train returning to Elgin at 1:30 p.m. The Friends of the Joseph Branch invite businesses to help sponsor this ride and show appreciation for those who serve our country. If you would like to be a sponsor or make a private donation, please contact Peggy Weishaar, 541.786.0094. The Friends thank Anderson Perry & Associates for their continued support for this event.

“We are looking forward to another year of entertaining area residents and visitors from across the United States and around the world, with the joy of riding a train through a beautiful and remote landscape,” said Ed Spaulding, President of the Friends of the Joseph Branch, the non-profit organization that manages the excursion business for the railroad and provides the all-volunteer train crew.

“Passengers and crew had so much fun with the Bigfoot Train last July, it was an easy decision to bring it and Scot Violette of Blue Mountain Bigfoot Research back in July 2019,” Spaulding added. He noted that, regardless of the theme for the day or when they are riding, passengers always have high praise for the scenery, the volunteers and the fun, relaxed atmosphere.

Following is a brief look at the approved schedule, for which reservations can be made. Go to for the full descriptions, prices and to purchase tickets. Call the Alegre Travel, 541.963.9000, or the Elgin Depot, 541.437.3652, if you have questions. Depot hours are temporarily Wednesday through Saturday, 9 a.m. to noon, expanding in mid-June.

June 15 Gold Rush Bandits Robbery

June 16 Father’s Day Gold Rush Bandits Robbery

June 22 Summer Solstice Dinner Train

June 29 I Love America! Veterans’ Train

July 27 Finding Bigfoot

September 14 Fall Foliage Photo Run

The Friends of the Joseph Branch hopes to add eight more trips to the schedule, including three in July, two in September and three in October. Several of these trips feature regional wine and local food. Please watch the newspapers, website and Facebook for updates on the schedule.

The Friends of the Joseph Branch is a non-profit organization that operates the excursions on Wallowa Union Railroad, a partnership of Wallowa and Union Counties. The Friends work under the supervision of the Wallowa Union Railroad Authority, the owner and governing body of the railroad. All net proceeds from the excursions pay for train and facility improvements. To become a member of the Friends or learn about volunteer opportunities, please contact Peggy Weishaar, 541.786.0094 or

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