Tuesday, February 12, 2019

February continues to scream!

Northern Pacific Railway Rotary 10
More snow.  Incredibly, it has continued to snow in Snoqualmie and North Bend.  It is difficult to accurately measure accumulations because of the high winds, so let's stipulate, "a whole bunch of snow."  And this was not just any snow, it was Cascade Concrete, a really wet snow that is incredibly slippery and has very high density.  


Snoqualmie Depot
Cascade Concrete was the frozen slurry that descended on Wellington in the infamous avalanche of 1910, and made it particularly difficult to extricate survivors. It is snow that has a particularly high water ratio.  Today's snow had a 3:1 ratio.  So three inches of snow would equal one inch of rain.  Snow in other parts of the country might normally have a water ratio of 10:1.  So ten inches of snow would equal one inch of rain.  Notwithstanding, check out today's snowy views of the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie, Washington.  And, as always, click on the image to see it in high resolution.

Bridge 35 in North Bend

Railway Education Center

Train Shed foyer

Cars and locomotives outside the CRC

Rear side of Train Shed

East end of Train Shed foyer

Monday, February 11, 2019

January roared but February screams!

Railway Education Center
Western Washington and the Northwest Railway Museum are experiencing a severe bout of winter weather.  Schools are closed, as are many businesses, several Amtrak trains have been canceled, and even the State Legislature has shut down.  Already, February has seen more snow in the Puget Sound lowlands than any time since records have been kept, and the Museum has been in the thick of it.  
Locomotive 4024

Nearly two feet of snow has fallen at the Museum in the space of just eight days.  While some has melted, most has not. And the winds have been howling: drifting snow is almost four feet deep in places.  The Museum is in a region where snow plows and sanding trucks are rare; this is a weather event experienced only once every 25 years or so.  Check out a few of today's seemingly unworldly photos, all from an elevation that rarely sees snow for more than a day or two. (Click on the photos to see full resolution!)


Locomotive 7

Cars and locomotives outside the CRC

Pettibone

West end of Train Shed

Coach 213

Snoqualmie Depot

Army ambulance kitchen car


Saturday, January 19, 2019

January is in with a roar!

January is traditionally the slowest month of the year for the Northwest Railway Museum.  It is a time to reflect on the prior year, plan for the coming year, and to conduct annual inventories.  This month, however, has not been typical.

In addition to being one of the warmest Januaries on record, there have been some powerful wind storms.  Trees have been blown down, power out, and traffic detoured.  Wind storms have also destroyed a total of three railroad crossing gates on the Museum's railroad in North Bend.  

Crossing gates are designed to withstand wind gusts of more than 70 miles per hour, but despite official records indicating gusts of "just" 50 mph, three gates - made of extruded aluminum - folded up over the wind guards.  Of course, despite the unexpected expense and effort, they will be repaired in time for the coming season, which begins at 11 AM on Saturday, April 6, 2019.