All aboard for brunch with Mom


ELGIN — May 14 is Mother’s Day and the traditional opening day for the Eagle Cap Excursion Train’s season.

The Mother’s Day brunch ride gives passengers a chance to celebrate the holiday while enjoying the beautiful spring scenery along the Grande Ronde and Wallowa rivers.

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The Mother’s Day trip features brunch, which is prepared by Ten Depot Street and served on the train during the ride.

Screen Shot 2017-05-10 at 11.21.23 AMThe menu includes a medley of breakfast and lunch entrée items, salads, fresh fruit, pastries and beverages. The train departs at 10 a.m. Mother’s Day from the depot in Elgin.

“We have small gifts to honor the oldest mother and the mother who has traveled the farthest to ride,” said Ed Spaulding, president of the Friends of the Joseph Branch. “Our volunteers decorate the cars to add to the festive atmosphere.”

Reservations are required and available through the online booking service on the website,; go to “Ride the Train” and select “Book Online” from the drop-down menu.

Passengers can also make reservations by speaking with an agent at Alegre Travel in downtown La Grande. Alegre’s phone number is 800-323-7330.

Spaulding said the 2017 season includes some new trips like a Wine and Chocolates Train, which features wines from Tero Estates Winery and chocolates from Petits Noirs chocolates, both Milton-Freewater businesses.

Also new is a train ride designed for railroad photographers, with special stops to provide photographers with excellent views of the train as it passes by.

Passenger train excursions use the section of track from Elgin to Minam. Volunteers with the nonprofit Friends of the Joseph Branch manage the excursion business for Wallowa Union Railroad, operating the train and hosting passengers as well as restoring the rail cars and preserving the history of the railroad.

See the website, for the full 2017 excursion schedule and information about how to join Friends and volunteer to assist with train activities.

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