Thursday, September 20, 2018

Museum Day is Saturday, September 22, 2018

Do you like special deals and last-minute opportunities? Or perhaps you do your own research and already know about Museum Day? Either way, Saturday, September 22, 2018 offers "the deal of the year" at the Northwest Railway Museum. You can register and download a ticket from the Smithsonian Magazine web site good for free admission to the Train Shed at 9320 Stone Quarry Road! Saturday hours are 11 AM - 4 PM.

What can you do in the Train Shed?  You can see the Chapel Car Messenger of Peace.  Browse Wellington Remembered.  Check out The Railroad Changed Everything.  See Weyerhaeuser Timber locomotive 1.  Play a few minutes with a Thomas train table . . . or not. You decide how you use your free ticket, but please remember it is valid only on September 22!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

More Wine Trains!

Wine trains are a great new way to experience the excitement of a working railroad, and see the scenic beauty of the upper Snoqualmie Valley.  Three more wine trains are scheduled for 2018: September 15, October 6 & October 13.  The three hour event features wine and food from several of the valley's premier venues, including:

  • Sigillo Cellars
  • Convergence Zone Cellars
  • Mount Si Winery
  • William Grassie Wine Estates
  • Pearl & Stone Wine Co. 
  • Carnation Farms 

  • The Snoqualmie Valley Wine Train experience includes breathtaking scenery, tasting stops at the Train Shed exhibit building and Puget Sound Energy's Snoqualmie Falls Hydroelectric Museum, live music performed by local artists, food from local producers, and of course wine from local wineries.  During the experience you will have an opportunity to view exhibits in the Train Shed.

    The Wine Train begins with a check in at 2:30 PM in the Snoqualmie Depot where you will experience your first tasting with your complimentary Northwest Railway Museum wine glass.  You will travel by train to the Train Shed and Hydroelectric Museum for two more tasting opportunities, and will see the lower Snoqualmie Valley from high atop bridge 31.3, more than 300 feet above the Snoqualmie River.  The event will conclude at 5:30 PM when the train returns to the Snoqualmie Depot.  What a fun way to spend a Saturday afternoon!

    Tickets for the Wine Train are $45 and can be purchased in the Snoqualmie Depot daily from 10 AM - 5 PM or on the Museum's new online ticketing website.  Sorry, the Snoqualmie WIne Train is for patrons 21 years and older only.

    Monday, August 13, 2018

    Snoqualmie Railroad Days 2018

    August 17-19, 2018 in historic downtown Snoqualmie, just 30 minutes from Seattle!

    Snoqualmie Railroad Days is a community festival celebrating Trains, Timber, & Tradition.  It is hosted by the Northwest Railway Museum and supported by the community.  Founded in 1939, this year represents the 79th annual festival.

    Railroad Days features a wide variety of entertainment and activities, and is well known for its visual and performing arts performances and exhibits.  Artists in Action, live music, living history, the Plein Air Paint Out, a community drum circle and the Art Stage are all included in this year's action-packed festival. There are some unique performances in the annual Grand Parade, too, and don't forget about the Legend's Car Show on Sunday!

    And speaking of the Grand Parade, this year's Grand Marshall is City Clerk Jodi Warren, who has served the City of Snoqualmie for more than 22 years.  

    Have you ever wanted to be in a parade? This year's Grand Parade also features a Kiddie Bike Parade.  Why not bring your whole family out with decorated bikes, wagons and animals?  You can meet in Riverview Park by 11 AM; preregistration is NOT required. 

    Of course there are trains, too!  Excursions on the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad will depart Snoqualmie on Saturday and Sunday at 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM, and will include a stop at the Train Shed exhibit building.  Gas motor car rides on the Kalamazoo will be available from Snoqualmie, too!

    Snoqualmie Railroad Days has much more to offer!  Check out the Schedule of Events to find something of interest for you and your family.

    Sunday, August 12, 2018

    New arrival

    The Northwest Railway Museum is delighted to announce the arrival of a new and more comprehensive online ticketing systemThis month, advance ticketing was launched for the Santa Train, Grand Tour, and the Snoqualmie Valley Wine Train events.  The new system is built on the Museum's TAM Retail Point of Sale System and - when fully implemented - will allow advance ticketing for all regular trains too. 

    The new system has been designed to provide flexibility so it can be expanded as the Museum continues to grow, but also to improve security.  For instance, the new ticket system requires users to create a user account.  This process is intended to reduce attempts to illegally or inappropriately use the ticket system.  However, the user account will speed any user's subsequent ticket purchase because it will eliminate the need to re-enter contact information.

    Ticket are now on sale for the September 1 Grand Tour, Snoqualmie Valley Wine Trains in September and October, and the annual Santa Train.  Visit to select and purchase your tickets today.

    Saturday, July 28, 2018

    A trolley for Yakima

    Heritage railroads are chronically underfunded, which makes it even more important that similar organizations work together to achieve common goals.  One opportunity recently presented itself to the Northwest Railway Museum, and it allowed an important vintage trolley to move to Yakima.  

    A private collector in Snoqualmie decided it was time to donate his trolley car to a museum.  The artifact is Brill Master Unit #20, a car that was purportedly the last trolley to operate on the Yakima Valley Transportation (YVT), a system that shut down streetcar service in 1947.  YVT is a national treasure now owned by the City of Yakima and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This intact interurban line is maintained and operated by Yakima Valley Trolleys, a non profit similar to the Northwest Railway Museum.

    The Northwest Railway Museum viewed the project as one best taken on by a group that specializes in that interurban line's history and the donor agreed. So the Museum reached out to Mr. Ken Johnsen of the Yakima Valley Trolleys and made him aware of the opportunity, one they had actually been hoping for. 

    The Northwest Railway Museum was in a better position to help Yakima Valley Trolleys prepare and load the Master Unit on a truck for the three hour trek to Yakima.  So on a warm July morning Kyle, Bob and Richard joined with volunteers from Monroe Correctional to help Ken and the Yakima Valley Trolleys prepare and load the Master Unit onto a truck.

    Performing excellent transportation with an extendable trailer was Mike Hawkins Trucking of Sedro Woolley, the same firm that moved the Porter #7 from Bellingham last September.  Mike and his driver handily maneuvered the loaded trailer out of a very tight space and safely delivered the artifact to Yakima Valley Trolleys.

    Special thanks to Herb Cole for helping make the opportunity a reality, and to Raoul Martin for donating the Master Unit to Yakima Valley Trolleys.  Toot toot!

    Tuesday, July 10, 2018

    Day Out With Thomas 2018

    2018 is Day Out With Thomas' "Sweet 16" at the Northwest Railway Museum!  It all began in 2002 with the first event in Snoqualmie, and this year's "Big Adventures, Bigger Memories" tour continues the tradition; tickets are on sale now for July 13 - 15 and 20 - 22.

    Day Out With Thomas is an experience with Thomas the Tank Engine, the fabled storybook character first introduced to children in 1945.  Thomas is "the really useful engine" who has adventures on the Island of Sodor.  Once a year, Thomas the Tank Engine travels off the island to visit children at heritage railways. The Snoqualmie Valley is one of the regular stops.

    Day Out With Thomas in Snoqualmie is a fun-filled experience for children of all ages, but is designed for children 3 - 5 years of age.  Motor car rides, a bouncy house, live music, train tables, story time, a puppet show, and a model train are some of the activities included with admission.  For an extra charge, professional photos are available, and food vendors are located on site and across the street. A gift shop has unique Thomas-themed merchandise too.

    New in 2018 is a special sensory-friendly train on Sunday, July 22 at 9 AM.  This limited event time is for families with children who have special needs.  Please contact the Snoqualmie Depot Bookstore at (425) 888-3030 Extension 7202 daily from 10 AM - 5 PM to make a reservation and purchase a ticket. Or call after hours and leave a message!

    Live music in 2018 will feature noted artists Eric Ode, Nancy Stewart, and the talented Brian Vogan and his Good Buddies.  These local artists have produced unique children's music, and are excellent live performers too.  Do you know your Animal ABC's?  How about that Barn Cat? Come and check out the live music too!

    Day Out With Thomas is running July 13 - 15 and July 20 - 22.  Tickets are available through an online ticketing system, or from the Depot Bookstore in Snoqualmie.

    Sunday, July 8, 2018

    Crossing art?

    Crossing repairs are far from a work of art, or are they?  Recent crossing repairs on King Street in Snoqualmie and North Bend Way in King County appeared to have more in common with crazy quilting than a roadway.  Yet art is in the eyes of the beholder, so you decide.

    Notwithstanding, broken asphalt occurs in a somewhat haphazard and random fashion, which is exacerbated by local wintertime snow removal.  And every five or so years the cumulative effect causes enough damage to make some crossings  rough for cars and light trucks.  So the Museum hired Asphalt by George to remove the failed sections and replace with new hot mix.

    First, the roadway was closed off.  The defective sections were cut out with a concrete saw.  Then a worker pried out the old material. A truck brought in a load of hot mix, and a compactor tamped it into the patchwork. Finally, some cracks and the seams where sealed with hot tar.  (Thanks to the City of Snoqualmie Public Works Department for closing King Street to allow this work to occur safely!)

    North Bend Way is a wider and faster crossing than King Street.  Prevailing speeds can reach 70 MPH over this 160-foot long crossing, and it is a critical corridor so it is difficult to close the road.  The patchwork effort there required a little more choreography to assure worker safety, but the theory was the same.

    Completion of this crossing work represents two more summer projects the Museum can check off the list, and another task completed in time for Day Out With Thomas 2018