Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking back at 2011

2012 has started out with heavy weather including heavy rain, over 9 inches of snow and an ice storm.  So as we complete our latest storm recovery, it is appealing to recollect some of the achievements for 2011.

In February 2011, rehabilitation of chapel car 5 Messengerof Peace began in earnest.  A crew of three worked full time on the car and completed all the car body structural repairs.  By year end, more than 7,000 hours had been invested in the project and all the exterior cladding was being applied.  Other highlights include manufacture of replacement windows and the draft and platform sills.
In March and April, a major track rehabilitation project was performed.  Back in August 2010 an engineering decision made by another local company caused the railroad at Snoqualmie Falls to shift.  The rehabilitation project was funded by that company and removed the affected track that parallels the Snoqualmie Falls Generating Station plant.  The underlying soils were excavated and new railroad ballast was placed and compacted.  Then, the track – along with about 30% replacement ties - was reconstructed, aligned, leveled and tamped.   
In June, Cristy L. joined the Northwest Railway Museum as the full time volunteer coordinator.  She has volunteer and collections management experience, and degree in history & historical archeology.  She has already made a huge difference during events, regular train operations, in the CRC and with apply volunteer skills to the Museum's many other needs.

Also in June, the Museum participated in the Seattle Foundation's first-ever GiveBig event and raised almost $19,000 in support!  Many donor funds were matched by their employers such as Boeing and Microsoft.  All donor's funds were matched by the Seattle Foundation's match pool further leveraging their gifts.  (Watch for GiveBig again in 2012!)
In July, the Meadowbrook Way SE railway crossing was reconstructed.  Funded by the City ofSnoqualmie along with generous support from the Snoqualmie Casino this two lane crossing was rebuilt with welded rail, oak ties, new ballast and concrete crossing panels.  The City of Snoqualmie then repaved the entire road, which is the secondary gateway to downtown Snoqualmie and the Northwest Railway Museum. 
In August, the Museum unveiled locomotive 1, a Fairbanks Morse model H 12-44 that was used by the White River Lumber Company (Weyerhaeuser) at their Enumclaw operation in east King County.  This project was funded by the National Railway Historical Society and private donors.  Volunteers performed most of the work.
The highlight of the year was the grand opening of the new exhibit building at the Railway History Center.  This followed construction – largely by the Museum’s volunteers - of more than 1,000 feet of track and five turnouts allowing the first rail cars to be moved into the building.  On September 17, invited guests joined the trustees, volunteers and staff to formally open the building to the public.

In October, the Museum's Facebook page received its 1,000th like!
2011 was also a successful year for attendance too.  11,039 people – a Museum record – attended Santa Train, and impressive numbers were recorded for Railroad Days in August, Day Out With Thomas in July and Halloween Train in October.