The Clamshell Railroad was a railway system on the north side of the Columbia River
that ran on the Long Beach (Washington) peninsula 14 miles from Ilwaco to Nahcotta.
It opened in 1889, and went out of business in 1930.

by Matt Moeller © 2005
Sung by The Whateverly Brothers

at the Wayward Coffeehouse, Seattle, WA, Dec. 12, 2008
Pacific Northwest Folklore Society Coffeehouse Concert

What’s that coming down the track it’s
Making smoke and a hellavu racket
Chugging up along the coast
Freight car coach and tender
City folk smoke and cinders
The only train that can boast
To go…

North from Illwaco depending on the tide
All the way to Oysterville it’s just a little ride
On the Clamshell Line

Illwaco, Seaview,
Longbeach and Klipsan too
Any place they flag ‘em down
Fisher folk and city spenders
Stack of wood for the tender
“When will we get to town?”
They go…

Farmer Browns and rubbernecks
Ride the train to see the wrecks
That sometimes comes ashore
Folks come from far away
Portland town, Elliot Bay
To see the wonders there before
They go…

Astoria steamer comes to town
If it don’t run aground
Depending on the tide
Schedules change with the lunar
“No, you can’t get there sooner
Just enjoy the ride.”

Pacific Nothwest Folklore Society