McCloud River Railroad : Passenger Operations

Signal Butte Excursions

A Signal Butte excursion at the McCloud depot in August 2006. Jeff Moore photo..

Around the time the dinner train started operations the McCloud Railway launched regularly scheduled one hour long excursion trains that ran Fridays and Saturdays through the summer months. The trains almost always used one or two of the open air flatcars. The railroad initially ran to either Signal Butte on the Mt. Shasta line or Dry Creek on the Bartle Line, but the soon dropped the eastern run entirely. The diesel excursions lasted the duration of the dinner train operations. In addition to the regularly scheduled excursions the railroad offered periodic special diesel powered trains on some major holidays or other community events when the steam locomotives were not available for whatever reason.

A brochure for the excursion trains from 1998.

A blank excursion train ticket.

A Signal Butte excursion train powered by the #38 in July 2001. Roger Titus photo.

Another excursion train with the #37 in August 2003. Roger Titus photo.

The exscursion trains operated in a push-pull fashion, with the engine leading on the uphill trip. The railroad kept an unloading ramp or two at Signal Butte, mainly for the pumpkin trains in October when the flat ground around the switchback was turned into a pumpkin patch. Roger Titus photo.

Double headers on the excursion trains were rare but did happen on occassion, usually towards the end of operations when the freight operations were becoming erratic and the crews didn't always have the time to disconnect the power before a run, or needed to get back to a freight immediately after the passenger trains had ended for the day. Roger Titus photo.

A special excursion train on the hill above McCloud. Roger Titus photo.