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!

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