Developed by the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, WA

Clamshell Railroad
What's in a name

Why Clamshell Railroad?

In 1900, the Ilwaco Railway & Navigation Co. was acquired by the much larger Oregon Railway and Navigation Co. In 1903, a new superintendent was dispatched to inspect the line. Unimpressed with the small railroad, he muttered, “Hmph! Clamshell Railroad” and the name stuck!


Learn about the 1889 train car that ran along the Clamshell Railroad.

Gone but Not Forgotten

Remembering the Clamshell Railroad.

Clamshell Railroad Days

An annual celebration at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum.


For 41 years the Clamshell Railroad made thousands of trips along the historic North Beach Peninsula. But like so many other small railroads across the country, it struggled to survive as automobiles and trucking lines became more dominate forms of transportation. In 1930, the Clamshell Railroad made its last run.

Though the old tracks have been pulled up and the rolling stock sold, present day visitors to the Peninsula still enjoy retracing the route of the vintage train and recapturing a small piece of its history.

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Discover our Stories

Explore the crossroads of history where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Ocean. Discover the history of the railroad that ran by the tide, fishing, logging and early explorers of the Columbia-Pacific region.

Visit us at: