North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N

The North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N is a collaboration by author/historian Sydney Stevens and the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and is part of Arcadia Publishers “Images of Rail” series. The 128-page book features nearly 200 historic photographs of the North Beach Peninsula’s narrow gauge railroad and the communities it served from 1889 to 1930.

The quirky little train provided the primary transportation link from Ilwaco in the south to Nahcotta in the north, making peninsula communities accessible to one another and supplying a reliable route to outside markets for the area’s major industries – oystering, logging, and cranberry farming. A tide table, not a timetable, governed the railroad’s schedule, allowing coordination with the steamers that met the train at either end of its daily journeys. Old-timers of the area still speak affectionately of the train’s unorthodox schedule and its informal and accommodating service. And they remember with fondness that the IR&N was widely known as the “Irregular, Ramblin’ and Never-get-there Railroad.”

North Beach Peninsula’s IR&N retails for $21.99 and is available or can be special-ordered at local independent bookstores. It is also available at Arcadia Publishing or through Amazon.

Copyright ©2009 by Sydney Stevens for the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Published by Arcadia Publishing, Charleston, SC