In another important 2014 development for the Northwest Railway Museum, the first steam-powered Santa Train since 1989 operated on December 19, 2014. The Santa Cruz Portland Cement 2 pulled sold-out four-car trains from North Bend to Snoqualmie where passengers disembarked to visit with Santa and receive refreshments prepared inside the railway kitchen car. The SCPC 2 is owned by the Museum's curator and is helping train volunteers in preparation for a permanent steam program. While not indigenous to the Northwest, the SCPC 2 is an excellent example of a small steam locomotive and is a powerful tool for interpreting steam locomotive operation.
Steam Santa Train was quite popular and successful More than 1,200 people made the journey on December 19, and younger visitors who still believe received a small gift from Santa, which this year was an LED flashlight. The day closed without incident and will likely be repeated in 2015 - check out the steam-centric photos of the event below!
Steam Santa Train departs from the North Bend Depot and travels to
Snoqualmie where the Santa experience takes place.
Periods of sunshine brightened the day, but crisp air allowed escaping steam
to persist making the event feel rather ethereal.
Santa Train has a tight schedule: the train completes a run every sixty minutes.
To maintain the schedule, a water truck topped up the water in North Bend at
the end of each run.
The SCPC 2 was very popular with the visiting public and crowds quickly
gathered after each arrival.
Steam Santa Train included a very rare 4:00 departure, which meant nearly
the entire experience occurred after sunset.
Heading up the coach consist was the newly-rehabilitated SP&S 218, a wood
coach built by Barney and Smith in 1912.
There is something truly magical about a steam locomotive operating after