Thursday, April 24, 2014

Celebrating 125 years of passenger trains

2014 is a big year for the Snoqualmie Valley!  This summer is the 125th anniversary of passenger train service to the valley.  On July 4, 1889 the inaugural run was a day trip from the foot of Western Avenue in Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls.  The excursion was operated by the ME Church Society over the lines of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railway Company.  

125 years later, the Northwest Railway Museum continues the tradition of train excursions to Snoqualmie Falls. To kick off the celebration, the Museum will operate a commemorative train on July 4. Then we have something even bigger planned to celebrate.  We’re letting off a little steam (not blowing smoke!) by bringing a real, live steam locomotive to operate at the Museum during Snoqualmie Railroad Days, August 15 – 17.

Santa Cruz and Portland Cement #2,
built by H. K. Porter in 1909.   Photo
courtesy of S. Pappas.
The Santa Cruz and Portland Cement locomotive #2 will travel to Snoqualmie on a highway truck. Owner Efstathios I. Pappas will be bringing the locomotive to Snoqualmie from another museum event in California.  It will pull the Northwest Railway Museum's passenger train Friday through Sunday - watch for special train schedules that will be announced this summer.

The visit of this Porter-built steam locomotive will celebrate the continuing passenger train excursion service to Snoqualmie Falls, but it will also help the Northwest Railway Museum prepare for a steam program of its own.  The experience will "plant the seed" for a long-term, sustainable program.  Cost, however, will not be for the faint-of-heart.  Transportation of the locomotive, fuel oil and lubricants, and even water will cost thousands of dollars.  

Your support can make this a reality!  Make your contribution through GiveBIG, the annual charitable giving initiative of The Seattle Foundation and you can "stretch" at least some of your donation. All contributions up to $5,000 made on May 6 will be partially matched by The Seattle Foundation.  So plan to visit the Museum's Seattle Foundation donation page on May 6, 2014 and help make this project a reality!  
Santa Cruz and Portland Cement #2 pauses under steam. Photo courtesy 
of S. Pappas.


Aaron Adams said...

Will the tickets cost more than usual? I hope we can make it.

Spike said...

Great question! We intend to charge regular fares for regular trains - so no extra cost - but we do expect to run at capacity all weekend so make plans to arrive early!

Aaron Adams said...

OK. Thanks! I've been a big fan of the museum for years and am really excited to see ssteam excursions. I have a buy one get one half off coupon too. Can'twait till August!

Spike said...

We hope you will join us to see and experience the excitement of a working steam locomotive. To avoid disappointment, please ensure your coupon is good during Snoqualmie Railroad Days - most promotions exclude major events such as Railroad Days. We hope to see you in August!

Anonymous said...

Nice to see steam back on the rails at Snoqualmie, Richard. Nicely done.

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