Saturday, April 27, 2019

April wine train

Guests enjoy local wines aboard coach 218.When a museum guest asks if they can check out the Cab, we usually assume they are referring to a locomotive.  However, during Snoqualmie Wine Train events they are almost always talking about a Washington Cabernet from one of the fine Snoqualmie - area wineries including Sigillo Cellars, Mt Si Winery, Pearl and Stone Winery, Convergence Zone Cellars, and William Grassie Wine Estates.  

Mt Si Winery serves wine in the Snoqualmie Depot freight room.The Northwest Railway Museum kicked off the 2019 Snoqualmie Wine Train season on April 27.  140 guests enjoyed wine, Train Shed exhibits, live music from Tinkham Road, a train excursion through the woods, and even access to the Conservation and Restoration Center where they viewed ongoing work on Northern Pacific Railway locomotive 924 and Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway coach 213.

Lyle shows a wine train guest how the radial arm drill press works.A new feature during month's event was the opportunity to view demonstrations in the Conservation and Restoration Center.  Volunteers and Staff including Lyle, Gerry, Gary, Bob, and Wayne explained what the machines were used for and then demonstrated how they worked.  Lyle gave a demonstration of the huge lathe once the centerpiece of Puget Sound Energy's Snoqualmie Falls power station machine shop.  

Wayne and Pete prepare to board passengers on coach 218 in Snoqualmie for the April 27 wine train.The Snoqualmie Wine Train is the Museum's newest event series; it was first introduced in 2018.  The event features a train excursion, live music, wine tasting, and a museum visit.  Museum Staff and Volunteers including Elizabeth, Cristy, Jessie, and Kacy planned this year's events.  A total of five are offered in 2019; events through June are available for advance purchase now.   

The band TInkham Road performs in the Train Shed during the Snoqualmie Wine Train.The next Snoqualmie Wine Train will be May 18 and will feature a tasting experience at the Snoqualmie Falls Hydro Electric Museum.  Tickets are available on the Museum's ticketing web site.  Proceeds from Snoqualmie Wine Train events support programs of the Northwest Railway Museum.  Join us for a great afternoon, and the opportunity to support heritage and historic preservation!

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Pressure builds on the 924 project!

If "bake a cake" is old railroad slang for building up steam in a locomotive, then you could say that the restoration crew at the Northwest Railway Museum has been mixing a lot of batter lately.  With major boiler issues either already addressed or with a plan to mitigate, preparations for the first pressure test of the boiler are nearing completion.

The boiler was filled with water to the top of the dome to check for leaks.Over the past several weeks, the dry pipe has been "lapped" with the throttle body and the branch pipe manifold, the throttle valve has been lapped, and the components reassembled inside the boiler.  (Lapping is the process of grinding and polishing the mating surfaces to allow them to fit together without leaking.)  Then the boiler was filled with water to check for leaks.  Some minor leaking was detected around several new rivets and some of the new stay bolts, but nothing serious.

Gary James used his borescope to check for leaks inside the dry pipe.Gary James is a shipwright who usually leads the work on coaches and other wood projects, but he has a very diverse skill set, and some great tools, too.  His borescope displays an image on his phone and was inserted into the dry pipe to check for any leaks.  He found the assembly leak-free, at least under atmospheric pressure.

The copper gasket for the steam dome was heated and quenched to soften it in preparation for bolting on the lid.Meanwhile, the copper gasket for the steam dome was annealed by heating it with a torch and quenching it in cold water.  This makes the copper soft and prepares it to take shape as the dome lid is tightened down.  This thin ring of copper provides the steam seal.

The steam dome lid was gently placed on the copper gasket and bolted down.Lastly, the dome lid was replaced and tightened down.  Machinist Gerry Petitjean did the honors and verified the lid was pulled evenly against the gasket.  The water was filled all the way to the top and the last of the air was exhausted so the entire vessel could be inspected for leaks.  

What is next?  In the coming weeks water in the boiler will be heated to around 30 degrees C.  Then a small hand pump will be used to raise the pressure in the boiler to approximately 200 psi.  This process will identify any remaining leaks, or other issues that need to be addressed.  When all the remaining leaks are repaired, the hydro-static test will be repeated for the Federal inspector.

16 bolts hold the steam dome lid on locomotive 924.The Museum is grateful for 4Culture, Washington Heritage Capital Fund, Schwab Fund, Osberg Family Trust, Emery Rail Heritage Trust, Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association, and more than 100 individuals for their support in funding the restoration of the 924.

Want to see and learn more?  Join us for the Snoqualmie Wine Train on Saturday, April 27 beginning at 2:30 PM in the Snoqualmie Depot.  Your Wine Train experience will include a visit to the Conservation and Restoration Center to see locomotive 924.

Monday, April 22, 2019

Wine trains return

Guest enjoy wine as they travel from one tasting stop to another aboard the Museum's train.The Northwest Railway Museum debuted the Snoqualmie Valley Wine Train in 2018, and it was enthusiastically received by the community.  This year the event has been enhanced by offering two options: the Railway History Center CRC option and the Charles Baker Hydro Museum experience.  The first opportunity to ride this year is April 27 beginning at 2:30 PM!

Wine Train guests explore the Railway History Center as they sample local wines.All Wine Train experiences feature Snoqualmie Valley wineries, food, music, and views! Visitors (21 and older only) receive a complementary souvenir wine glass with each ticket.

The Snoqualmie Wine Train series is hosted in partnership with several, rotating local wineries, food producers, and chocolatiers with fresh, locally produced products from Sigillo Cellars, Mt Si Winery, Pearl and Stone Winery, Convergence Zone Cellars, William Grassie Wine Estates, Carnation Farms, Heirloom Cookshop, Black Dog Cafe, and Boehm's Chocolates.

The Railway History Center option is a 3.5 hour program that includes wine tasting stops at the Snoqualmie Depot and the Train Shed Exhibit Building. Railway History Center Wine Train includes behind-the-scenes access to our Conservation and Restoration Center where you will learn about the restoration of Northern Pacific Railway steam locomotive 924 (built 1889) from staff and volunteers working on this and other projects. Must be 21 or older. Ticket includes return passage to Snoqualmie.

Guests on the Charles Baker Hydro Museum experience enjoy a stop at the Snoqualmie Falls Depot.The Charles Baker Hydro Museum option is a 3.5 hour program that includes wine tasting stops at the Snoqualmie Depot, the Train Shed Exhibit Building, and the Snoqualmie Falls Hydro Museum – home of the world’s first underground hydroelectric power plant that was built in 1898. Visit the historic carpenter’s shop and Snoqualmie Falls Depot, and learn about Charles Baker’s vision inspired by the power of Snoqualmie Falls!
View from the Museum's train high above the Snoqualmie River.

All Snoqualmie Wine Train experiences at for 21 and over only.  Tickets are $49 and are available in advance on the Museum's ticketing web site.