Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Thanks for supporting the Parlor Car!

Thanks to Give BIG more than $13,000 has been raised in support of moving the Parlor Car off the beach on Whidbey Island!  The former Northern Pacific Railway passenger car was built by Pullman in 1901 and was retired in 1941.  Adaptively reused as a cottage for more than 75 years, this incredibly complete early 20th Century wood passenger car will be moved to the Northwest Railway Museum, hopefully later this season.

Again, thank you to everyone who supported Give BIG 2017!



Monday, May 8, 2017

Saving a Pullman parlor car

Help the Northwest Railway Museum save a Pullman parlor car. GiveBIG today!

In the Golden Age of Rail Travel the parlor car was emblematic of luxury travel. Designed for day travel, this extra-fare car provided more room, individual seats, and often even a car attendant available at the push of a button.  

Parlor cars began to appear on American railroads in the 19th Century as an alternative to the classless coach seating of the era, which featured simpler and less comfortable seating.  And parlor cars tended to attract better-dressed and more refined individuals, and were the de facto first class seating equivalency to European railroads.  

Most Golden Age parlor cars were constructed of wood.  Many were retired and scrapped prior to World War II, and still fewer survived into the 1950s.  Yet one example was retired in 1941, purchased by a retired railroad man, and re-purposed as a seaside cottage on Whidbey Island in Washington State's Puget Sound. 

Northern Pacific Railway parlor car 1799 has been protected by a shelter and is largely intact.  Now owned by the Shaw Family, the car has been donated to the Northwest Railway Museum provided it can be removed from the island as soon as possible.

Join us in supporting acquisition of this Pullman-built parlor car with GiveBIG on May 10, 2017!  Contributions made through the Museum’s Seattle Foundation gateway between midnight and and 11:59 PM on Wednesday, May 10 will support transportation of parlor car 1799 to Snoqualmie.  As in prior years, this is an online initiative so donations are accepted only through the Museum’s Seattle Foundation gateway.   And you can schedule your donation anytime between now and May 10th!

Give Big proceeds will be used exclusively for transportation costs, which may approach $67,000 for this car that weighs more than 80,000 pounds. Once received by the Museum, the process of listing, funding, and restoring the car will begin and when completed it will be able to operate with the Museum’s former Northern Pacific Railway steam locomotive 924.  Please Give Big today!

Monday, May 1, 2017

New paint for antique locomotives

The Northwest Railway Museum interprets the role railroads played in the development and settlement of the Pacific Northwest, but it also provides the public with an opportunity to experience the excitement of a working railroad.  

Sister Air Force locomotive 4010,
Circa 1955.
The mainstays of the operating railroad are two 1953-built Baldwin locomotives that were formerly owned by the US Army. Their black paint scheme was oh so appropriate for their roles in the aftermath of the Six Day War, training soldiers in Virginia, provisioning bases in West Germany, or warehousing weapons at the chemical munitions depot in Oregon.  However, black is a difficult color to use in marketing the Museum.  Dark colors such as maroon are only a slight improvement.


A few years ago, the Museum initiated a branding effort and engaged Eye of Eye in Everett, WA to develop a new image. Later, a Board of Trustees-led effort developed a locomotive painting scheme in support of that image.  Earlier this year, the first locomotive entered the Conservation and Restoration Center for a general clean up, then preparation and priming to receive the new paint.  Former US Army 4024 was the first to receive the new livery; 4012 will follow later this year. 

Special thanks go out to Ronald Macdonald at Wesco for his help in matching paint samples, and to the great team at Fast Signs for their efforts in developing the paint masks for lettering the locomotive.


Cleaning and sanding.  A vacuum sanding system did wonders
for keeping dust under control.

Imron 2.8 polyester primer was used to seal the surface and
help make the locomotive's sheeting more rust resistant.

Imron 3.5 HG was used for the color coats.  Orange is a
particularly difficult color to apply so multiple coats were
required.  Numbering and chevron striping will be added later.