Report: #379547

Complaint Review: RailsNW

  • Submitted: Wed, October 08, 2008
  • Updated: Thu, October 09, 2008
  • Reported By: Lake Oswego Oregon
  • RailsNW
    10200 SW Eastridge St. Suite #210
    Portland, Oregon

RailsNW Disappointing Trip Portland Oregon

*REBUTTAL Owner of company: Unhappy passenger

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We have tried RailsNW for two trips on a steam engine train into the Salmonberry Canyon. Last year, the steam engine broke less than halfway along the trip. We were able to get back to the station using the diesel engines in the cars. It was a very slow and hot way to travel. Even though we did not make it the entire distance, RailsNW only offered a $35 credit towards another of their trips.

We again tried the trip this year. They changed to a diesel engine at the last minute. Actually they knew about it a month before the trip, but did not notify the passengers until it was too late to cancel and get our money back. After boarding the train, they announced that we would not get all the way to the end of the route, the area with the historic trestles. The track had sustained damage last fall. They have known for 10 months, but did not bother to change their advertisements or notify the passengers until they were on the train. The lunch was TERRIBLE. The bathrooms quit functioning (tanks filled up) about an hour from the station. They did stop at a small town where we all lined up in the rain to use the restroom. Otherwise we were supposed to just "hold it." The portable microphone did not work because they forgot to charge the battery.

We have now paid Rails NW close to $1,000 for a steam engine train ride to the top of the Salmonberry Canyon, and we haven't made it yet.

Lake Oswego, Oregon
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/08/2008 09:08 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 REBUTTAL Owner of company

Unhappy passenger

AUTHOR: Tom - (U.S.A.)


The passenger purchased space on a historic chartered train, under the clear understanding that schedules, equipment and other components of the trip were subject to change at any time. Being he was on one of our trips the previous year, he knew that things happen and that a old steam locomotive is prone to breakdowns, it goes with the territory. Many of his other assertions are incorrect, such as bathrooms.... there was at least one functional bathroom on the train. But we did recommend passengers use those in the towns we stopped whenever possible which is what bus tour companies also recommend. Use onboard facilities sparingly.

As for his assertion we didn't get to the end of the line, or the area with the trestles, we got to the yard limits of Salmonberry, which is exactly where we said the train was going. The tall trestles and tunnels he refers to are much further up the railroad in an area of the line which got wiped out in bad storms last December.

Yet, I would agree wholeheartedly that the lunches provided by Nehalem Winery were the worst I have seen. Last year, they provided great lunches. Next year, we will not be stopping at the winery.

In short, many of the points this passenger brings up are non-issues, or issues outside of our control. But most importantly, he has totally lied and defamed RailsNW. Being one of the largest marketer of rail tours and trips in North America, we pride ourselves on customer service. But nothing we do will satisfy everyone. However, it is interesting that out of the 400+ passengers who rode the train this past weekend, we only received one major complaint. Sure, everyone complained about the lunch, but nearly everyone else enjoyed the trip.

However, we will go ahead and refund him for his ticket as we don't like disgruntled passengers. Luckily, we only get a handful of complaints a year, which is pretty amazing considering we book more than 20,000 seats a year on railroads throughout the World.


Thomas V. Horstmann, Jr.
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