McCloud River Railroad
1980s Advertising Campaign

George Landrock collection

A series of sawmill closures in 1977-1979 decimated the McCloud River Railroad's traffic base and called the future existence of the company into serious question. Itel, the railroad's new owner since 1977, was not willing to immediately pull the plug on the operation and gave the McCloud management some breathing room to revive the company's prospects. The railroad almost immediately rewarded that patience when it landed the $1.26 million FRA-funded track rehabilitation grant that rebuilt much of the railroad. New president William Herndon and his staff next turned their efforts towards developing new business, and to that end the railroad partnered with a number of state and local agencies and others to develop joint marketing campaigns built around several available manufacturing sites the company owned along the line. Centerpieces to these marketing efforts were a pair of booklets the railroad prepared for distribution outling the area the railroad served, with heavy emphasis placed on Mt. Shasta City, McCloud, and Burney. The promotional work also spread to other potential revenue sources, including as a location for film shoots that landed the railroad its starring role in Stand By Me and several TV commercials.

The two advertising booklets the railroad produced in the early to middle 1980s are reproduced below. First up is "Life At The Top", a glossy all color booklet with fairly high production values complete with loose inserts that are scanned after the main part of the book, and second is "Manufacturing Sites Available on the McCloud River Railroad". It's hard to measure or know what impact these had versus the tireless efforts of the railroad's management and marketing staff, but the combination of all of them did land the railroad substantial new business through the 1980s, mostly traffic passing through the warehouse in McCloud.

Both of these booklets will open in a new window, simply close those to return to this page.