Sunday, July 14, 2013

A day of firsts

Coach 218 pauses outside the Train Shed prior to being switched onto the train.
The first passengers since the 1940s and the first five-coach train since 1988!  On July 13, 2013, coach 218 was marshaled into the passenger train in Snoqualmie creating the Museum's first five-coach passenger train since 1988.  Coach 218 then carried its first revenue passengers since the 1940s! 

218 prepares to depart for Snoqualmie
Falls with 30 passengers, its first
revenue run since the late 1940s.
Coach 218 first entered service in August 1912 for the Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway.  By 1948 it had been replaced by more modern cars and relegated to work train service where it served as rolling accommodation for railway workers.  It was purchased at auction by Museum supporters in the early 1980s and stored.  In 2007 the Museum made the decision to rehabilitate the car and work began soon after.  The primarily volunteer-led effort completed much of the carbody work and beginning in March 2013 several grants have funded two full time carpenters to continue work on the car, but with continued substantial volunteer support.  Support from 4Culture, The Snoqualmie Tribe, the Nysether Family Foundation, proceeds from GiveBIG! 2013, and other private funders is helping advance this important project.

Temporary "parlor" seating is in the
coach 218 to allow Day Out With
Thomas visitors to ride inside.  An on
board docent explains the state of the
project and a diagram shows the name
and function of all the exposed wooden
A project of coach 218's complexity always involves a few surprises.  On July 1 the Museum learned that the paint supplier "lost" the formula for the deep coach green paint that had been accurately matched from original samples.  To move the project forward, the car has been temporarily painted with a similar color created from one part jet black and five parts jade green.  The correct color will be matched and applied later this summer.

After years of effort, 218's carbody rehabilitation was substantially completed earlier this month.  Considerable effort remains to complete the interior appointments and lower window sashes, but with a visit from railroad royalty (Thomas the Tank Engine) it was difficult to resist the opportunity to "try out" the 218!  And after Thomas departs for his next museum venue, coach 218 will return to the Conservation and Restoration Center where work will resume on the interior.


David said...

Spike, That coach car is just beautiful! Very impressive restoration by an obviously dedicated and persistent group of volunteers... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

jonesrachel388 said...

nice article, you really have done a great job..very impressive and your work is really looking great..i hope that its pretty safe too.

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