Centralia Amtrak Station
Built in 1912, the Centralia train station is served by five trains each direction each day between Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington. The official address is 210 Railroad Avenue. Centralia, WA 98531, and it is open 9:00am to 4:30pm every day.
The interior of the station features restored and reproduction features in order to keep the appearance of the historic station as much as possible with the historic downtown area. There is a single station agent and when that station agent goes home at 4:30 every day the station is closed and locked - which means the station is only open for certain trains. For the evening trains that go past after the station is closed, passengers simply walk out to the platform past the waiting room.
The waiting room has a number of historic photographs from the area in very large format, virtually all of them having to do with the railroad history of the surrounding area. Information on the photos state "questions about the photos are gladly answered by the station agent".
North of the waiting room there is a small local information kiosk which features local transit information (see my Twin Transit tip) as the station serves also as a transit center for several local bus lines, and it is also the departure point for Gray's Harbor Transit route 90 to Elma, with connections to Aberdeen, Hoquiam and other cities - but it only operates on Fridays and Mondays. Cowlitz Tribal Transit Service operates weekdays from Longview to the Amtrak station in Centrlia as well, but is an irregular service. L.E.W.I.S. Mountain Highway Transit also stops at the Centralia Amtrak station several times a day with a bus route serving Morton, Packwood, and a number of other communities going up highway 12 into the mountains.
The information kiosk just outside the north door of the waiting room also features a map of downtown Centralia featuring certain businesses, as there is quite a lot within walking distance of the train station. The opposite side of the information board has a map of the Twin Transit bus routes.
The core of downtown is one block west of the station. The rear of most buildings from this area faces the station.
As the station is not open during the entire operating day, several of the trains that stop here do not have checked luggage service, so you should plan accordingly.
As the station is closed during part of the train operating times, it is possible to walk directly to the platforms. However, be very aware of the tracks and the train traffic on them, and stay as far away from the track as possible. Freight service through here is frequent and sometimes not exceptionally slow, and at the platform there isn't much between you and those freight cars.
- Budget Travel
- Historical Travel
Twin Transit: Centralia, Chehalis Bus Service
Twin Transit operates a small group of bus lines centered on the Amtrak station in downtown Centralia, which also serves as a local and regional transit hub. From here, there are local lines connecting most areas of Chehalis and Centralia with eachother, as well as a longer distance route that connects downtown Centralia with the casino in Grand Mound. One route goes from downtown Centralia to the factory outlet stores.
Fares are $1 per trip, or $2 for a day pass.
There is currently no web site for the transit district. It is in the process of being completely redeveloped and is completely off line, and the URL links that I have been able to find on other web sites seem to indicate it did not have a domain name of its own.
There is a single map and timetable offered that gives all the routes (of which there are only several). Schedules are listed on a basic time of location format:
00: Amtrak Station
17: Main & M, Centralia
23: D & C, Centralia
The number is the number of minutes past the hour of each bus operation, with minimum service being hourly on all routes. For example, each bus leaves the Amtrak station at the top of the hour, passes Main & M streets at 17 mintues past each hour, and D & C streets at 23 minutes past each hour.
There is an information Kiosk outside the north end of the Centralia Amtrak station which serves as a covered waiting area as well as having one map of the local downtown area and a map of the Twin Transit routes.
While the system lacks much frequency, it does have fairly comfortable buses.
Schedules are available in the Twin Transit office two blocks southeast of the Centralia Amtrak station, as well as located on each bus. The schedules are sometimes available in a color coded print format which is a lot easier to work with, but many of the schedules that are available are in a black and white photocopied format that doesn't give very good information as there is quite a lot of useful information contained in the color codes.
- Budget Travel
Enterprise Rental Cars Centralia
While I am no fan of car rental places in the USA (their primary profit is overpriced insurance and gasoline) sometimes you just need to be able to get around in places that have no public transport.
As best as I can tell, the Enterprise Car Rental office is the closest rental office to downtown Centralia. It is located at Kresky Avenue and Summa Street, which is about 10 blocks from the Amtrak station.
I have never used their services here in Centralia, but I did wind up going past their rental office. They are not a large office but seem to have a reasonable selection.
The official address is 507 E Summa Street, Centralia, Washington 98531-3845
- Road Trip