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Northwest Railroad Museum and Flight to SeaTac

by Chris Guenzler

Back in May there was a post on about the end of the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train out of their Renton base to the Columbia Winery. A highway reconstruction project without the money for the railroad underpass doomed that route and the last run was held on July 31st, 2007. A few weeks later, a new route was announced using the Tacoma Rail former Milwaukee Road Line up Tacoma Hill to Lake Kapowsin. I called and got the first reservation on this new route but one I had ridden over before. Knowing that I would be up here for a weekend, I started checking into doing some other new activities doing my visit. Friday the Pacific Northwest Museum would be open and I might be able to check out the train on the farm in Carnation, Washington. Back in Tacoma I could Talgo to Seattle and Sounder back to Tacoma before the Dinner Train. The Tacoma Light Rail could also be ridden. On Saturday a trip on the Lake Whatcom Railroad could be done. Andrew wanted to do the Seattle round trip while Bob and Elizabeth wanted to do the Dinner Train and Lake Whatcom Railroad with me. Bob offered me his spare bedroom in Lynwood. I called Carol at Belle Vista Travel to get my rental car and I was all set. I worked every day at the McFadden/Carr Summer School and I was ready for a good short trip before my big NRHS 2007 Convention Trip in just over a week!

Alaska Airline 481 to Seattle 8/2/2007

My mother drove me to the Orange County Airport and the Security Scanner did not like my roll on deodorant but got through it with a flash of my smile. I waited at Gate 10 for the boarding of my flight. The plane arrived late from Seattle and our departure time was pushed back to 3:30 PM. At 3:15 PM I was boarded onto this 737-800 aircraft and it took about twenty minutes to board everybody else. We took off at 3:57 PM after we waited for five other planes to take off before us.

Los Angeles-Long Beach Harbor.

Downtown Los Angeles.

Soledad Canyon where the Lancaster Metrolink Line leaves the LA Basin.

Bealville on the world famous Tehachapi Loop Rail Line.

The Guenzler Family Ranch.

Yosemite Valley.

Both ends of Lake Tahoe, the first time I had ever gotten a good look at this unique lake.

The California Zephyr Route east of Truckee heading for Reno.

Beckworth Pass on the old Western Pacific Route.

Mt Jefferson.

Another peak in Oregon.

Mount Hood.

The Columbia River Gorge.

Mount Adams.

Mt St Helens.

Mt. St Helens and Mount Adams.

Mount Ranier. After a very interesting viewing flight, we touched down at SeaTac at 6:02 PM. I deplaned and headed out of the Terminal finding Hertz Rental Car counter. There I received a Hyundai Elanta. I drove out to Interstate 5 south to Fife and checked in at the Travelodge there for two nights. I went to Subway to get dinner and returned to my room to relax for the rest of the night.

8/03/2007 I slept in until 7 AM then drove southeast in search of the Meeker and Southern Railroad. I found Meeker east of Puyallup then followed the railroad all the way to the south end looking for the locomotive. I returned north to Meeker and turned onto a side road and spotted my prey for this visit.

Meeker and Southern Railroad engine. I then drove north on Washington Highway 187 to Washington Highway 18 which I took north. I stopped at Covington for a breakfast of hot cakes and sausage. I then made my way to Snoqualmie to start my day of railroading action. I parked across the street and headed for a look.

Northwest Railroad Museum 8/3/2007

The Snoqualmie Station 56.2 miles from Seattle.

Station Scene.

The train they run for their excursion is with ex US Army RS-4TC 4024 with SP&S 213, unnumbered coach, United States Army Kitchen Car 89061, SP&S Combine 272 and Observation Car.

United States Army Kitchen Car 89061.

Yard Scene.

US Army RS-4TC 4012.

Yellow wooden box car.

Baggage Car.

Snoqualmie Valley 2945 ex Santa Fe.

JH Baxter Company Gasoline-Mechanical Locomotive 6-C.

United States Army GE 44 toner 7320.

Water Car.

US Plywood 2-6-6-2 11.

Skagit Railway Trailer Car 40.I walked into the station and was told about their stored equipment awaiting restoration three blocks north down the tracks. I headed out the door to see what else this museum has in their collection

Log Car in the Centennial Log Pavilion was a stop along the way to the stored equipment.

LF Co 368 and 361.

Northern Pacific Box Car 207721.

Coach 136.

Stored equipment all behind fences.

Northern Pacific Stock Car 83296.

Oregon Short Line 2-8-0 529.

Canadian Collieries 4-6-0 14.

Northern Pacific 0-6-0 924.

Ohio Match Company Heisler 4.

Weyerhaeuser Timber Company 2-6-6-2 6.

SP&S X5 75 Ton Wrecking Crane.

Eastern Railway Lumber Company Shay 2.

Western Steel Casing Plymouth. I continued to walk along the bike path and crossed a creek and found two more railroad displays at the far north end.

Northern Pacific Rotary 10.

A Semaphore Signal. I started to walk back to the station.

Shell Tank Car 1246. I made my way back to the station and thanked them for letting me look around. I told them that someday I would be back to ride their train. I next drove to Snoqualmie Falls.

Snoqualmie Falls. After enjoying the views for a few minutes I drove north to Carnation to Remlinger Farms.