‘One thing that makes this railroad survive is our volunteers’

‘One thing that makes this railroad survive is our volunteers’

"There is something nostalgic about steam trains. There’s a bunch of people out there that are drawn here. We have people from six continents come to see our railroad."

“There is something nostalgic about steam trains. There’s a bunch of people out there that are drawn here. We have people from six continents come to see our railroad.”

A short tour of Garibaldi with Paul Daniels reveals his optimistic spirit.

Wouldn’t a building look great here? This used to be really run down: look at all the commercial activity now. We have great plans for the railroad here.

His positive attitude toward economic growth has enhanced Garibaldi and greatly benefitted the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad.

After spending 20 years as a contractor and another 20 years as a commercial fisherman, Paul and his wife of 50 years settled in Garibaldi.

“We just fell in love with the place and never left. We loved the community and beautiful people,” Paul said.

Due to his background, Paul was asked to be a board member of not  only the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, but for the Port of Garibaldi, Tillamook County Road Advisory Committee and Garibaldi Museum.

“My wife and I have been really involved in the community since we got here,” Paul said. “I’m a nuts and bolts guy. Things have to make sense…it has to have a value if we’re going to do something. I’m a believer in budgets.”

His background has helped envision plans for the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad’s future including the potential to rebuild a replica of the original Garibaldi depot station and construction of a 30,000-square foot workshop that visitors can tour.

Paul doesn’t shy away from getting his hands dirty. Here he is working on a culvert project for the railroad.

“That will draw people from all over the world to see that,” said Paul. “We have people from six continents come to see our railroad. If the train is managed correctly in the coming 8-10 years it is going to be one of the major driving forces in tourism in Tillamook County. We are a major, major attraction with our authentic steam-powered train.”

Recently, Paul dedicated his time to repainting several cars in the railroad’s collection.

“Long after I’m gone, I want things to be working,” said Paul. “One thing that makes this railroad survive is our volunteers. We are deeply indebted to them. We have a really good staff.”

And all the hard work of Paul’s, volunteers, and staff is paying off with an increase in ridership.

“There is something nostalgic about steam trains. There’s a bunch of people out there that are drawn here,” said Paul.

And when you yourself are drawn to the Tillamook Coast to ride the authentic steam engine, ask Paul about his Four Corners Tour: it’s quite the story.