Engineer and daughter on NP locomotiveReconstruction of North Bend Way signals and crossing in 2001Snoqualmie Depot circa 1896Eccentric crank on locomotive 11Conservation and Restoration Center, July 2006

Welcome to the Northwest Railway Museum

DSC 0779We invite you to travel to Snoqualmie where you can - Visit a Victorian depot. Learn how the railway changed Washington and influenced settlement. See and feel the excitement of a working railroad. Experience what travel was like before Interstate highways. Hear all the bells and whistles. Travel back in time. See the sights and all the sites. Shop in a book store and find a new book. Enjoy it for the pure spectacle!

Depot hours: 10am - 5pm, 7 days a week

Price: No admission charge to visit the depot and grounds.

Riding the Train:The train runs Saturdays and Sundays, April through the end of October.

Museum news

Day Out With Thomas Tickets Now On Sale!

Day Out With Thomas tickets are now on sale to the general public!  The first of the Day Out With Thomas (TM) trains has sold out! But never fear, there are still tickets available for other train times when Thomas visits on July 11-13 and July 18-20. To order your tickets, please click here.
The first of the Day Out With Thomas (TM) trains has sold out! But never fear, there are still tickets available for other train times when Thomas visits on July 11-13 and July 18-20. To order your tickets, go to

Coach 218 interior paneling

Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway coach 218 has been undergoing rehabilitation and restoration in the Museum's Conservation and Restoration Center. Recently, crews began fitting interior paneling into the car, a tedious component of work that will take many weeks to complete. There are many hours of effort remaining to fit all the panels but this stage represents an important and long-awaited milestone.

Click here to read the full story on the Museum's blog.

More Bridge Repairs

It started out as a small project for the 1891-built Bridge 35: replace several timbers under the Pratt truss that had detectable deterioration or evidence of crushing.  Simultaneously, bearing pads - in this case, a nest of steel rollers - that are designed to allow the bridge to freely expand and contract were frozen and were also scheduled for replacement. In preparing for the work, it was noted that the pony truss that supports the timber trestle approach to the steel span was not properly pinned and had unequal spacing of the posts so it was also scheduled for replacement. 

The scope of work was set: change timber caps and girders, replace bearing pads, and replace pony bent. For bridge 35, this should have been four days work but unfortunately not everything goes according to plan. Work began on a typical spring day in the Northwest: wet and cool. Initially, the bridge lifted without incident and the old roller nests were removed.  Timber replacement began and then something started to go wrong: a weld in the steel added to support the jacking arrangement failed and two steel angles near the jacking area began to fail.  The bridge slowly descended approximately 6 inches onto the pier.  Fortunately no one was hurt and there was no serious damage.  However this was another timely reminder about how challenging it can be working with a structure designed and built more than 125 years ago.  And because it is "safety first," this minor damage will be repaired before any passenger trains operate over the bridge, even though this will affect the first trains of the year.

Imhoff's 65 ton crane lifts the end of
bridge 35.
The next step was to get a crane on site to lift the bridge up. (Special thanks to King County for granting permission to drive up the levee on just six hours notice!)  
New copper-treated timbers are in
place and now workers are installing
the new base, soul plate, and bearing
pad on the south side of the east pier.
The east pier consists of large timbers typically 14 inches square and a length to suit their purpose.  Timber girders are eight feet long and caps are longer.  Originally, the caps were 26 feet long, but the replacements will be split, using two 12-foot timbers to perform the same function.  This Timbers are pinned in place, but only as required because each hole is an opportunity for moisture and oxygen to get into the wood.  All the new wood is treated with copper naphthenate and was supplied by Wheeler Lumber in South Dakota. 
New soul plate is inserted
on top of the new
Fabreeka pad under bridge
35 in North Bend.

An important part of the project scope was replacement of the bridge bearing pads.  The original steel roller nest was probably troublesome for much of the bridge's history.  Modern bridges often use a stainless steel and Teflon interface to address this need.  On the advice of the bridge engineer, this design was adopted. 
With all the work except installation of the new pony bent complete, repair of the damaged steel angles is now the focus.  New angle irons are being drilled to match the existing holes.  They will be incorporated into the bridge as soon as their fabrication is complete.  After these minor repairs are completed and the bridge is "double checked," train service to North Bend will resume.

Click here to read the full story on the Museum's blog.

Bridge Repairs

So you think you can repair a bridge?  Well great, you start tomorrow!  Now if only it were that simple . . .
Damaged sections are obvious but the method for replacement is not.

Most bridges are near water and at a minimum require a hydraulic permit before work can begin, and this usually adds conditions to a project.  Railway bridge work - by law - must be supervised by someone experienced in the maintenance and repair of railway bridges.  And any modifications must be reviewed by a qualified railway bridge engineer.  So even the damage caused by a tree striking a bridge triggers a variety of additional requirements besides just ordering new timber.
A tree striking a bridge?  Yes, that was the subject of a recent blog post.

Total working time for the trestle repair was five days and was completed before the end of March; costs
exceeded $25,000.  Ideally, this would have been the extent of bridge work for 2014.  However that was not to be and will be the subject of an upcoming blog post.

Click Here
to read the full story on the Museum's blog.

A Bridge Not Far Enough!

A recent wind storm has had a devastating impact on the Northwest Railway Museum's bridge 35.  A large cottonwood tree that measures more than five feet at the base has blown over and landed on the structure.  Estimates are that the tree weighs more than 12,000 pounds and the bridge was subjected to the entire

While the tree was intertwined with the bridge structure, damage appeared to be minor. Unfortunately, serious damage became obvious as soon as the tree was removed. Significant damage was sustained by the outer stringers, a pile cap, and some of the deck boards that support the ballast.

A bridge inspection and cost estimates are driving the repairs.  The Museum blog will feature another post while repair work is underway.

Click here to read the full story on the Museum's blog.

Bridging the Gap

November 12, 2013- Bridges are vitally important to railroads.  They allow trains to cross rivers and gullies, swamps and streams, roads and highways, and sometimes other railroads, too.  It was evolving bridge technology that allowed steel bridges to be built in remote areas of the west, and for the train and locomotive mass to rise dramatically.

The Northwest Railway Museum has a collection of bridges representative of those that transformed the west.  Timber trestles, open and ballasted decks, a pin connected truss and even a voided-slab concrete span are all critical structures on the Museum's railroad.  All these structures are inspected annually by an independent railroad bridge inspector, and periodically by Museum staff.

Click here to read the full story on the Museum's blog.

Subscribe to the Museum's E-Newsletter

20 January 2012 - Learn about last minute opportunities, new programs, exciting news and more! The Northwest Railway Museum has joined with ConstantContact to offer you a safe and secure way to subscribe. Rest assured, the Museum will never share or sell your address, and you will only receive occasional emails - typically two or three per month in the summer, and one per month in the winter. And if you decide you no longer wish to receive mail, a simple click on "unsubscribe" will remove your name and address from the list. (Sorry, but you may need to disable your pop up blocker to complete the registration process.)

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Commercial photography restrictions

A permit is required for all commercial photography at the Northwest Railway Museum. This includes all individual and family portrait sessions where a photographer is hired to perform the work. The permit is available for purchase at the Depot Bookstore and allows the photographer to shoot for 90 minutes on Museum grounds. The cost is $50. Larger projects will require a more extensive evaluation - please respect the Museum's private property and the immense cost of maintaining the collection and operating programs. Contact the bookstore clerk for more information: (425) 888 - 3030 x 7202 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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