News Archive

Suitcases project - free show at Snoqualmie Depot August 24 & 25!

Kogut Butoh & Friends at Snoqualmie Depot
Directed by Joan Laage with a cast of 9

AUGUST 24 & 25, 2013  10:30 AM - 4:00 PM

Cast: Sheri Brown, Camille Hildebrandt, Chris Jarmick, Joan Laage, Lin Lucas, Kaoru Okumura, 
David Thornbrugh, Helen Thorsen with music by utsusemi (Dmitry Artamonov & David Noble).

Snoqualmie Depot
38625 SE King Street
Snoqualmie WA 98065

Suitcases Project is a 4Culture 2013 Historic Site(s) Specific Project
Entertaining, imaginative and informative, Suitcases Project is a free, all-ages continuous event from 10:30 am until 4:00 pm with alternating scenes throughout the depot and on the passenger train. Spectators will have the delightful opportunity to:

  Observe railroad workers and passengers as they circumnavigate the depot

  Enjoy soundscapes in the freight room

  Meet orphans just arriving from back east on the orphan train

  Buy a Suitcases Penny Rag for only 1₵ for news items, puzzles, and cartoons

  Have their passbook stamped on the train by the official Suitcases conductor

  Listen to hoboes telling tall and true tales, and look for their secret language of signs

Join in the Chapel Car’s congregation and hear an inspiring sermon

Give BIG! 2013

GiveBIG_logo_&_date GiveBIG coach 218
GiveBIG on May 15 and help complete rehabilitation of a 101-year-old coach!
The Seattle Foundation’s annual GiveBIG one day charitable giving event is scheduled for May 15, 2013. Donations made that day on the Northwest Railway Museum gateway page will be partially matched by the Seattle Foundation, and by a group of local donors including Seattle International Foundation, Microsoft, The Boeing Company, Bezos Family Foundation, Starbucks, and more.
Last year your generous GiveBIG support allowed us to reupholster seats used on the interpretive railway. This year we plan to continue the effort to transform your experience on board the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad. This year's support will be used to complete the historic rehabilitation of Coach 218, a former Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway wood coach built in 1912. Already, a new roof is taking shape along with new windows, and with your support the project will be completed this year!
Here is how it works: on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 from midnight to midnight donations made through the Museum’s gateway page on the Seattle Foundation web site will be eligible for the partial match, but also for randomly drawn Golden Tickets that provide an additional $1,000 match.  Once you land on the gateway page, click donate now and you will be taken to the Museum's click-and-pledge account to enter your name, contact information, donation amount, and credit or debit card information.  Once you click submit, you are done!

Annual Docent Training Begins May 11!

GiveBig 2012 success!

The Northwest Railway Museum participated in the Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG online giving campaign on May 2 from midnight to midnight. Contributions to the Northwest Railway Museum are being partially matched from the Seattle Foundation's stretch pool, and are being directed towards the Bad to Beautiful campaign to upgrade upholstry on the interpretive railway. Upholstery was selected in June and will be delivered in early August with application following soon after. Learn more on the Museum's blog and visit our giving page here.

Meadowbrook Way SE crossing reconstruction completed

5 July 2011 & 18 July 2011- A City of Snoqualmie grant facilitated the reconstruction of the Meadowbrook Way SE railway crossing. RailWorks of Chehalis installed new ties, clean ballast, welded rail and new concrete crossing panels to meet the needs of the community. The construction is similar to the Newton and River Streets crossings in downtown Snoqualmie completed in the early 2000s. The $38,000 project began July 5 and was substantially completed in time for Day Out With Thomas on Friday, July 8, 2011. The project was detailed in a recent blog post: Northwest Railway Museum blog.


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 photograp her 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 202 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Great Northern caboose donated & moved to Museum

8 November 2010 - The Museum has gratefully accepted the donation of caboose X101. Jack Hoover developed a representative collection of Northwest rail history on his ranch in Belt, Montana prominently featuring former Great Northern wood caboose X101. His daughter Christina Blackwell announced the donation of his caboose to the Museum while attending the Train Shed dedication on October 2. The caboose was moved to the Museum on November 4 & 5; the move was detailed in a blog post here.

X101 dates from 1892 and is the oldest known surviving Great Northern caboose. It will be a featured exhibit in the new Train Shed exhibit building beginning in 2011. The Museum is grateful to Mr. Hoover's family for their generosity and for providing this incredible interpretive opportunity.


Train Shed dedicated

Snoqualmie - The Train Shed exhibit building was dedicated on October 2, 2010. 186 guests traveled by train to view the new building and participate in the ceremony. The $4.3 million facility was the result of years of effort and was completed this fall. The event was covered in detail in the Museum's blog here.

Track construction began in earnest in August and is being performed by volunteers. Over 2,700 feet of track is being constructed and will connect the Train Shed with the Museum's main track and the CRC.

Group photo at Train Shed dedication

Give BIG 2011 success!

The Seattle Foundation GiveBIG event June 23, 201124 June 2011 - The Northwest Railway Museum participated in the Seattle Foundation's Give BIG initiative and it was an unqualified success. During the 17 hour event, donors contributed more than $16,000 to the Museum, which is being partially matched by The Seattle Foundation and their event sponsors bringing the total contribution to $19,000!

Give BIG was an online giving challenge presented by The Seattle Foundation. On Thursday, June 23, 2011 from 7 AM to midnight, all contributions to the Northwest Railway Museum made through the Seattle Foundation website gateway were partially matched by the Foundation's and local sponsors' Stretch Pool. All proceeds designated for the Museum have been directed towards completion of the Train Shed Exhibit Building and collection care program work at the Museum.

Join as as we Give BIG thanks to The Seattle Foundation and their GiveBIG partners including Seattle Sounders FC, Seattle International Foundation, JPMorgan Chase; lead sponsors Microsoft, The Boeing Company, Puget Sound Energy; and more than two dozen supporters!

Train service to Snoqualmie Falls restored

After a brief line outage, regular excursion service to Snoqualmie Falls resumed April 2, 2011. Track reconstruction to correct unavoidable impacts caused by PSE's Snoqualmie Falls Generating Station project were undertaken and the line has been reopened. The $120,000 reconstruction project replaced subgrade, ballast, and ties for a distance of 600 feet. The successful bidder was RailWorks of Centralia, WA. The Museum has posted a blog video illustrating some of the work that was performed in that spectacular location.

Check out the schedules and fares for this season. All aboard!

Excavation Newtrack
Spreading ballast TrainAtSnoFalls

Working on the Railroad benefit a success

7 March 2011 - The Museum's annual working on the Railroad benefit dinner was held Friday, March 4 at the Salish Lodge and Spa. 90 guests enjoyed a delightful meal prepared by the Salish's award winning kitchen, a silent auction, live auction, a chapel car 5 rehabilitation update, and a theatrical rendition of a visit from the Reverend and Mrs. Neil, chapel car 5's first pastor, from 1898 - 1900.

Proceeds from this event are benefiting the rehabilitation of the Messenger of Peace now underway in the Conservation and Restoration Center, and planned for completion in 2012.

WOTR2011 1

Thank you for voting for Messenger of Peace!

Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace has been awarded a $50,000 rehabilitation grant by Partners in Preservation. Thank you to all of our supporters who voted for the Museum’s chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace during the Partners in Preservation Seattle initiative!  25 sites in the Puget Sound region competed for a share of $1 million - and the Messenger of Peace finished in the top 10 in the popular vote. Partners in Preservation is a project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express. For more information visit

Join us on Facebook to keep informed about chapel car 5's progress. Learn more about the Chapel Car at

Chapel Car 5 Messenger of Peace web site launched

15 April 2010 - Snoqualmie, WA - The Northwest Railway Museum today launched a new web site dedicated to the railway chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace. The chapel car is one of the most distinctive and distinguished objects in the Museum's collection. In 2009 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places and as a City of Snoqualmie Landmark. In 2008 it was added to the Washington State Heritage Register.

The web site is co-hosted with trainmuseum and has a url of

Chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace was built by Barney and Smith in 1898 and served the Baptist Publication Society, Baptist Home Mission Society and the Railroad YMCA for fifty years.  It operated in at least 11 states and traveled extensively in the Pacific Northwest.  After retirement, it was used in several creative ways from 1948 until 2006 including as a roadside diner and a seaside cottage. In 2007 it was donated and moved to the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, Washington. 

Depot Restroom construction completed

5 April 2010 - The Snoqualmie Depot restroom renovation project was substantially completed on April 2, 2010. The restrooms were able to open in time for the first train on April 3 and in the first weekend over 600 people used the restrooms. Designed by Seattle's Miller|Hull Partnership, built by Mr K's Construction and funded by the City of Snoqualmie, the new restrooms have a projected life of 25 years. Click here to read a recent blog post about the completion.


11 March 2010 - The depot restroom renovation project is progressing with wall tile installation now underway. Work is expected to continue through the end of March with completion in time for the first train in April. Two blog posts have desribed the project: an introduction here and a progress update here.

Restroom tile installation

Wellington Remembered exhibit opens

2 March 2010 - The Northwest Railway Museum is pleased to introduce Wellington Remembered, an exhibit and companion web site dedicated to the town of Wellington, 1892 - 1929.

Wellington was a railway town in the Cascades in the northeast corner of King County. It was located just west of the Great Northern Railway's old Cascade Tunnel and on March 1, 1910 was the site of the infamous Wellington Disaster. The town was an indispensible cog in the railway machine that has been almost forgotten. Over 100 workers lived there and supported nearly every imaginable job required to keep the railroad running.

Wellington Remembered is an initiative to keep the memory of the town and the many people who worked there alive. The project is centered around the 60 image Oberg collection of photographs taken by photographer Casper Hansen in 1913 and 1914. With images provided by the Skykomish Historical Society, the Everett Public Library, the Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center, the University of Washington Special Collections, the Washington State Historical Society and the Northwest Railway Museum, the story of Wellington from 1892 - 1929 is being recounted.

The Wellington Remembered exhibit is presented in a model of a Great Northern snowshed inside the Snoqualmie Depot at 38625 SE King Street and is open daily 10 AM - 5 PM. The companion web site is focused on the Osberg Collection, but additional content will be added later. The web addess is .

Snoqualmie Depot restroom renovation to begin in January 2010

30 December 2009 - The restrooms in the Snoqualmie Depot are being replaced. A generous grant from the City of Snoqualmie funded with Lodging Tax revenue is allowing complete replacement of the public restrooms. The project has been in planning for nearly three years and will begin in January 2010. Completion is anticipated in late March 2010.

The existing restrooms were constructed in 1979 during restoration/rehabilitation of the Snoqualmie Depot. In the intervening thirty years, they have served an estimately 2.5 million visitors. Complete replacement was deemed necessary to assure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements and contemporary building codes. The new design is intended to reduce environmental impacts and is mindful of anticipated visitation of even more visitors in the next thirty years. It is featuring ceramic tile flooring and backsplash, waterless urinals, low-flow toilets, high tech paperless hand driers and motion-activated lighting.

At the conclusion of the renovation, the Snoqualmie Depot restrooms will reopen as public restrooms for all tourists visiting downtown Snoqualmie. The City of Snoqualmie will maintain and operate the restrooms including daily cleaning, and open/close. The restrooms will operate daily from dawn to dusk.

Save America's Treasures grant awarded to Chapel Car

9 December 2009 - The Chapel Car 5 Messenger of Peace rehabilitation project has been awarded a prestigious Save America's Treasures grant. The $180,000 award will be used to conduct rehabilitation on this Nationally-significant object, part of the Northwest Railway Museum large artifact collection. Click here to read more in the Museum's blog.

Train Shed exhibit building construction progress

27 November 2009 - Train Shed construction continued in November and just before Thanksgiving 2009 workers began pouring the interior concrete slab. Building erection is scheduled to begin in early December and that will mark the 50% milestone.

In November 2009 King County's 4Culture confirmed an additional $40,000 grant from the Heritage Captial Project program towards Train Shed construction costs. Fundraising continues with over $3.1 million pledged or received. Total costs including project administration and design are expected to top $4 million.

Construction of the Train Shed began in July 2009. It is the largest project in the Museum's history and will create a structure that incorporates 25,000 square feet. The facility will accommodate 1,100 track-feet of artifacts.

The project is under construction in Snoqualmie adjacent to Meadowbrook Farm, a public open space buffering Snoqualmie and North Bend. The site is a beautiful location surrounded on three sides by trees and on the fourth by the Museum's railroad. A view of Mount Si is visible between the trees.

Check out these photos of the site as seen the day before Thanksgiving; additional photos depicting progress may be viewed here on the Museum's WASteam web site.

Train Shed slab pour NorthSidewalk

Train Shed exhibit building construction begins

22 July 2009 - The Northwest Railway Museum's Train Shed exhibit building will soon be a reality! Construction officially began on July 6, 2009 with the creation of a haul road. Loggers visited the site beginning July 10 to carefully remove trees from the footprint of the new building - dozens of other trees are marked for retention. Grading began in earnest on July 20. Foundation construction will begin August 3. Building completion is scheduled for 2009; facility will be dedicated in summer 2010. Progress photos are posted here on WASteam.

The Train Shed will incorporate 25,000 square feet and is the largest project in the Museum's history. Its primary purpose is to provide a museum environment to preserve and exhibit surviving examples of Washington's railway history including steam locomotives, freight cars and passenger coaches.


Trees on the footprint of the building were removed. Trees around the building permeter are being preserved to the extent practicable. Trees marked for saving include the spectacular 48 inch diameter western red cedar in the middle distance that will be seen outisde the east end of the Train Shed.



Soon the Train Shed will occupy this site. All the trees in the distance are to remain.

You can help support this important initiative that will help ensure our shared heritage is preserved and perpetuated. Click here to donate on the Museum's web site or click here to use the American Express Giving Express gateway that also allows you to donate membership reward points. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law; donors who consent will be acknowledged on a permanent donor board that will be located in the building foyer.

This is the largest project in the Museum's 52-year history. While construction costs are immense, the history this facility will preserve and perpetuate is priceless. Chapel car 5, White River Lumber caboose 001, Weyerhaeuser Timber locomotive 1, and a railway bunk car are just a few of the artifacts that will be exhibited in this new public facility.

You can learn more on the Museum's blog, on the Railway History Center page, and on WASteam.

Snoqualmie Depot open but small fire has damaged some siding

June 30, 2009 - King County Sheriff's Office has posted a $10,000 award for information concerning a fire that was deliberately set at the Snoqualmie Depot at approximately 2 AM on Jun 30, 2009. Another two fires were also deliberately set in downtown Snoqualmie that same night. Debris piles were set up and ignited outside the hair salon and behind the Snoqualmie City Hall at the corner of King St. and Falls Ave at approximately 4 AM on Jun 30, 2009. Anyone with information about any of these fires is encouraged to call 1-800-55ARSON. 

Damage to the Snoqualmie Depot is limited to some charred siding and burnt wiring. The depot's exterior sprinkler system was activated by the fire and that combined with a quick response from the Snoqualmie Fire Department prevented what could have been a much more serious outcome. 

The Museum has posted a commentary on the blog.

Washington Steam Railroads and Locomotives

11 June 2009 - The Northwest Railway Museum has re-launched Washington Steam Railroads and Locomotives, a web site dedicated to surviving railroad heritage in Washington State. It is presented as a continuing program of the Museum.

Developed by volunteer and member Brian Fritz during the 1990s, the site highlights underrepresented railway heritage including park locomotives, cabooses, and rail museums. Mr. Fritz was a railfan and historian who was active in several local rail heritage groups including the Northwest Railway Museum. Brian died unexpectedly in March 2007 and his family gave the site to the Museum to perpetuate in Brian's memory.

The re-launch of WASteam includes a new interface developed by NDC Web Design using Plogger, an open source photo album. This will make the site easier to update, and provide wider browser compatibility.

Also with the update comes a broadening of scope: the site now includes an expanding chapter on historic depots, and a truly underrepresented resource: historic bridges.

The Museum is grateful to Brian's family for donating this valuable resource, and to J. Henry Priebe, Jr., owner of who has agreed to continue donating hosting services for the site.

Chapel Car 5 Messenger of Peace: religion on the rails

11 May 2009 - One of the most significant pieces in the Northwest Railway Museum Collection is a chapel car formerly used by the Baptist Publication Society and Baptist Home Mission Society. Chapel Car 5 Messenger of Peace was donated to the Museum by the Hodgins family in 2007 and was moved to Snoqualmie that fall. Now, a major research and collection care effort is underway to return the object to its condition, function and appearance when used as a mobile church in Western Washington. 

Car 5 was built in 1898 by Barney and Smith and served as a mobile church for over 50 years. It rode the rails in 11 states and affected the lives of thousands of people in hundreds of communities. This story is truly remarkable and speaks as much to the impact of the railroad on American society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as it does to the development of modern religious evangelism. This story and more will be told in a future exhibit that is being developed for the new Train Shed exhibit building. 

Since the donation, planning efforts for evaluation, care, and interpretation have been underway and the Museum is pleased to announce several recent developments:

  • Listed on Washington State Heritage Register, July 2008. The object is recognized for its impact on Washington having served in the state for over 20 years.
  • Listed on National Register of Historic Places under National criterion, January 2009. The Messenger of Peace is recognized for its role in the development national patterns serving in far flung communities from West Virginia to Washington State.
  • Listed on the King County and City of Snoqualmie Landmarks Register, March 2009. Chapel Car 5 repeatedly visited King County and numerous communities including Wilberton, North Bend, Renton, Kent, and Seattle.
  • Completion of the Report of the Investigation of Chapel Car 5, April 2009. This study was completed by Nationally-recognized wood car expert Glenn Guerra and will be used to guide collection care efforts on this historical artifact.
  • 4Culture has awarded a Collection Care grant, Landmark Challenge grant and a Landmark Rehabilitation grant towards rehabilitation efforts. This funding totals $32,000 and is allowing preliminary work to begin on this project that is expected to expend nearly $400,000.

Several short articles have appeared in the Museum's blog; additional material will be posted here and in the blog in the coming months.



New exhibit building set to break ground

2 December 2008, 17 February 2009, 12 March 2009 & 11 June 2009- A contract has been awarded to Wick Constructors of Bellevue to build the new Train Shed exhibit building. The new structure will be built on the Museum's Railway History Center campus on Stone Quarry Road. The award is the result of a public bid process that received 6 proposals that ranged in price from $2.6 million to $3.3 million.

The new exhibit hall that will be used to display rail artifacts including coaches and locomotives. Planned for completion in 2010, the Train Shed was put out to public bid on February 17 through King County; bids closed on March 19.

The building will incorporate 25,000 square feet including four railway tracks with traditional depot-style platform access for museum visitors and will be used to teach, preserve and perpetuate our State’s rich and colorful railway history. A component of the Railway History Center project, the exhibit building will provide sustainabilty for some of the most important and vulnerable artifacts in the collection. And the building itself features many sustainable features in the design including an automated cooling system that uses outside air, and controlled natural light for exhibit spaces.

Exhibits planned for the Train Shed will include religion by rail featuring the National Register chapel car Messenger of Peace, logging on the rails featuring the Enumclaw-built White River Lumber Company caboose 001, and an exhibit on the steam locomotive featuring a locomotive once assigned to switch the King Street station in Seattle (NP 924), which will be used to describe what it was like to work inside the “furnace” called a locomotive cab. 

The construction phase of this project is expected to cost between $2.7 million and $3.3 million exclusive of design, construction management, tax or track; contributions of $2.8 million have been secured. Major funders include 4Culture, The Seattle Foundation, McEachern Charitable Trust, Capital Projects for Washington's Heritage, Schwab Charitable Fund, Osberg Foundation, PSE Foundation, CTED, and the Federal government's TEA-21 enhancements program.

You can support this important initiative that will help ensure our shared heritage is preserved and perpetuated. Click here to donate on the Museum's web site or click here to use the American Express Giving Express gateway that also allows you to donate membership reward points. Contributions are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law; donors who consent will be acknowledged on a permanent donor board that will be located in the building foyer.


Major flooding January 7 & 8, 2009

January 2009 & 10 May 2009 - On January 7 & 8, 2009 the Northwest Railway Museum experienced a major flood event and sustained serious damage. Click here for information and photos of Snoqualmie and the Museum. Repairs were completed in April (progress was documented on the Museum's blog) and trains are operating as scheduled. Thanks to a generous outpouring of community support, flood recovery is now complete. Thank you for all your support!

Museum Blog announced

30 November 2008 - The Northwest Railway Museum today officially launched the new Northwest Railway Museum Blog. A Blog is the popular term to describe a web log and this new web tool will be used to describe what's happening at the Museum with greater detail than practicable using a more traditional web site. The blog will also be used to describe behind-the-scenes details often unseen to most visitors. Coverage of collection care activities, upcoming and current programs, interesting details about objects in the collections and things the museum gets involved with in the local community are just a few of the many topics that are being covered in the Northwest Railway Museum blog. 

Patrons interested in what's happening at the Museum as reported in the blog can subscibe by email or by using the Atom or RSS feed available on the blog page. (The subscription lists are being maintained by museum staff and there is an option to unsubscribe if you no longer wish to receive the blog.) The full address of the blog is

Click to subscribe to the Northwest Railway Museum Blog



New paint for dormers and turret on the Snoqualmie Depot

8 September 08 & 8 October 08 - Snoqualmie – The Snoqualmie Depot has new paint on surfaces above the roof gutters.  The depot has decorative dormers and a turret that are the most visible and distinctive features of the building. They also get considerable exposure to the elements.  These surfaces were last repaired and touched up with paint during the roof replacement in 1996. Unfortunately the paint was beginning to peel and immediate attention was required before serious damage occurred.  

The first element of the work – cleaning – was performed in 2007 when the roof was treated with a preservative.  The work just completed included scraping away loose and failed coatings, brushing with “Prepbond” to help prevent any additional coating failure, and application of an acrylic latex architectural coating.  Woodinville-based RC Painting performed the work.  The project is being funded in part by a grant from 4Culture. 

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the Snoqualmie Landmarks Register, the Snoqualmie Depot is the centerpiece of historic downtown Snoqualmie.

Snoquamlie Depot 8 Sept 08
Snoqualmie Depot 8 Oct 08

Rehabilitation of White River Lumber Company caboose 001 completed

7 & 28 May 08 - Rain, sleet, freezing rain and snow. Those conditions made riding on log cars not only unpleasant but dangerous. These conditions were likely a factor in Washington State enacting a rule that required a caboose on log trains of more than 10 cars. That law (probably) resulted in caboose OO1, a short caboose at just 24 feet but nonetheless an improvement allowing a safer work environment and a safer train. 

The caboose was built at Enumclaw in 1945 and that original construction required approval of the wartime ration board. Trucks from a log car and other recycled parts were used to construct the caboose because steel and other raw materials were in short supply. Stock lumber from around the mill was used to frame and clad the carbody. 

Caboose 001 was constructed by carpenters at the White River Lumber Company and represents the innovation, adaptability and elegant simplicity that characterized logging by rail in the Northwest. It is framed like a building and lacks most of the joinery common on mainline rail cars. It has no insulation, no kitchen, no toilet, no running water, and no beds. But it does have a table and bench seating, oil heat, and early on was equipped with an Onan light plant to provide electricity for interior and exterior lighting. 

The caboose is at the end of an extensive multi- year reconstruction project and is presented as it appeared in 1949. This work is being made possible by the Museum's new Conservation and Restoration Center, a specialized collection care facility completed in 2006. Collection care has taken 4,400 skilled man hours and an expense of over $35,000 for materials. Volunteers completed the work over a period of several years but the majority of effort was focused in a 16 month period. Click here to view progress on Martin N.'s web site.

Caboose May08
Caboose end
Caboose 001 officialCaboose 001 Oct 30,2007


001 Mar08

Caboose front door

Caboose3 001 Oct 30,2007

New exterior cladding appears and then primer. Over4,400 person hours are transforming this badly deteriorated artifact into a signature piece for the Northwest Railway Museum.

The caboose was repainted several times during its service life and were matched to samples found on surfaces protected from light and rain.

Museum honored with heritage tourism award from 4Culture

Golden Rain Globe Award recognizes achievements in sustainable heritage tourism

24 April 08 - 4Culture, King County’s arts and heritage agency, has awarded its 2008 Heritage Tourism Award to the Northwest Railway Museum of Snoqualmie. The “Golden Rain Globe” highlights an individual, organization, or agency that has most effectively shared the distinctive cultural heritage of King County through successful promotion beyond the local level. This prestigious award was presented April 22 to the Northwest Railway Museum staff and board of trustees, before a large gathering of their peers at the Museum of History and Industry during the Association of King County Historical Organizations’ 25th annual Awards.

“Since 1957, the Northwest Railway Museum has grown into one of the most exciting heritage attractions in King County,” said 4Culture Executive Director Jim Kelly. “With more than 80,000 visitors a year, the museum is a model for sustainable development that serves multiple local, national, and international audiences.”

"Cultural tourism is an important part of our museum's model for sustainability, particularly as we partner with the
City of Snoqualmie to become the anchor attraction in the historic downtown,” says Richard Anderson, Executive Director for the Museum. “We feel very honored to be recognized by 4Culture for our efforts in this regard."

4Culture inaugurated the award in 2007 as a way to recognize the contributions of heritage organizations to the county’s growing heritage tourism industry. The recipient must demonstrate successful adherence to the five principles of sustainable heritage tourism established by the National Trust for Historic Preservation:

• Collaborating with partners
• Finding balance between community and tourism
• Making sites and programs come alive
• Focusing on quality and authenticity
• Preserving and protecting heritage resources

Disaster reconstruction completed

23 April 08 - Aided by a $49,000 US Small Business Administration loan, the Northwest Railway Museum has completed reconstruction of 1.1 miles of mainline track damaged by the November 2006 flooding. Nearly 300 new wooden crossties and 1,000 tons of rock were required to line and level the track to its predisaster alignment. This work supplements emergency repairs completed in mid November 2006 that have allowed the track to continue in service until this final work could be completed. Ace Rail of Graham, Washington performed the surfacing work while tie change out and other work were handled by other contractors.

Main track

Land exchange creates new Railway History Center campus


The draft site plan was developed in 2007 and shows the planned facilities including a Train Shed and Roundhouse for
exhibits, a library/archives, and a turntable.

9 Nov 07 - A complex real estate transaction involving a land swap with Meadowbrook Farm has been completed providing four additional acres for museum develop-ment. The Farm, owned jointly by the City of Snoqualmieand the City of North Bend, is public


open space. In exchange, the Museum has gifted a parcel of commercial land to the Farm that is located near the Mt Si Quarry. The process involved detailed appraisals, and the approval of six agencies: City of Snoqualmie, City of North Bend, Meadowbrook Farm Preservation Association, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Washington State Recreation and Conservation Funding Board, and the Northwest Railway Museum. Click here to read the joint Snoqualmie - Northwest Railway Museum news release describing the transaction.

The Museum is grateful for the support of Snoqualmie, North Bend, their respective mayors Larson and Hearing, their respective city councils, and key staff members including Snoqualmie director of communityplanning Nancy Tucker and city attorney Pat Anderson.


The next steps involve design and permitting for the next structure: the train shed. The train shed will be used to exhibit and store transportation artifacts including locomotives, coaches and freight cars and will incorporate 25,000 square feet.

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, Museum Executive Director Richard R. Anderson and North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing signed the real estate exchange agreement at a brief ceremony held at the Snoqualmie Depot on November 8, 2007. Construction is expected to begin in mid 2008 and has a projected cost of $3.2 million. Over $2.4 million has been secured from State and Federal government, private companies, foundations, and individuals.

Artifact rehabilitation completed for the Renton History Museum

January 08 & September 08 - Snoqualmie - The Northwest Railway Museum has rehabilitated a coal mine car that was used in a King County coal mine. This representative piece is from the Renton History Museum's collection and was

DSC 0852

be rehabilitated at the new Conservation and Restoration Center in Snoqualmie. Work included documentation, fabrication and assembly of a new wood carbody, cleaning of steel and iron components, and limited painting. Upon completion in August 2008, it was returned to Renton where it was be placed on exhibit inside the Renton History Museum.

The project was being funded by 4Culture and represents a new type of partnership between two history museums. For Renton, it represents one of their largest artifacts and one that required a different type of care than most of their collection. For the Northwest Railway Museum the project represents typical collection care work that is performed to the Secretary of the Interior standards for the treatment of historic properties. Click here for more information about this project from the Renton History Museum website.

Scott Sleeth helps unload the coal mine car at the CRC on a chilly January 25.
CoalCar Aug
oTeh coal car fram begins to appear again in June 2008. It was completed dismantled to allow rust removal from all ferrous metal components. Fasters were replaced but with square head and carriage bolts common in the early 20th Century. Coal mine car rehabiliation was completed in August 2008 and the car was prepared for shipping to Renton.

Museum hosts promotional video shoot

Museum hosts Hewlett Packard promotional video. The fictitious "Impossible IT" staged a contest between an IT (information technology) professional and a 1954-built Baldwin locomotive. Who won? View the video on HP's web site to find out: Impossible IT