Facebook Page

Steven Pass Railfan Trip and beyond! 6/23/2011

by Chris Guenzler

We all got up on my Day 6000 of my sobriety and after a quick and good breakfast, I posted the NW Railway Museum Story before we left for Stevens Pass. Our first and only goal today was to get Amtrak coming out of the Cascade Tunnel. Bob, Elizabeth and I headed north up Interstate 5 to Everett and we turned east onto US Highway 2. I had never been on this road so I was looking forward to it. It was raining though but nothing was going to stop us from completing our goal for today. When we reached Baring there was a BNSF track foreman whom I asked about Amtrak. He said "It is about an hour away right now" "Do I have time to get to the Cascade Tunnel?" "Yes, you will have plenty of time to get there." So we headed straight to Scenic and took the road that took us near the Cascade Tunnel where we parked. After we repositioned the car, we got a green westbound signal. So we crossed the track and waited.

Looking west towards the siding at Scenic.

The westbound portal of the Cascade Tunnel.

The rain started to come down more heavily so I went back to the car and got the umbrellas. On my return I spotted a train headlight miles away in the Cascade Tunnel. Railfannning is standing in the pouring rain under your umbrella waiting for the Empire Builder to pop out of the Cascade Tunnel.

The full backward Havre to Seattle Empire Builder coming out of the Cascade Tunnel heading west to Seattle.

The west portal of the Cascade Tunnel. From here we decided to get back into the car, warm up and drive east over Stevens Pass in search of unknown things and dry air. So we crossed Stevens Pass and dropped east. We saw the ventilation system for the Cascade Tunnel at East Portal. From here we enjoyed the rapids in Tumwater Canyon before we stopped briefly in Leavenworth. From here we went by the Amtrak Leavenworth Icicle Station Platform. From here we drove into Cashmere which is the geographical center of Washington to find their train station and museum.

The view down the railroad westbound at Cashmere.

The former Great Northern Cashmere Station. From there we followed the museum signs in town to take us to our next stop.

Pioneer Village and Museum

We went in and paid the admission fee and she gave us guides and more information than we really needed. They have a large gun collection, arrowheads, Native American pictographs (paintings) and petroglyphs (carvings) and paintings by local artist Walter Graham. After seeing all the unique exhibits we headed outside to see why we stopped here which were the railroad exhibits. On the way there we stopped at something unique.

The Stoffel Waterwheel built in 1891.

The station one mile sign.

The Great Northern Mission Station. Mission was the original name of the town of Cashmere.

Great Northern Caboose X494.

A semaphore signal.

Great Northern Coach 1099.

The truck of this passenger car.

A unique wig wag crossing signal.

RR Crossing Sign.

Track indicator signal.

Track gang cart and rerailer.

Views of track repair equipment.

The section house came from Leavenworth.

A Great Northern Trainorders Signal.

The famous Rocky the Goat mascot of the Great Northern Railway.

Railroad Crossing 300 Feet.

The Train Board.

Displays inside the Great Northern Section House.

A Great Northern Crossbuck.

A Great Northern Milepost 1656.

A Great Northern Telephone Box. Now I will show you most of the buildings at Pioneer Village.

Views of the buildings Pioneer Village.

Replica dugout canoe of the Wenatchi Tribe.

Railway Express Baggage Cart.

Two views of the grounds.

This log dating from the 1300 is older than America and its presidents.


We left the museum and headed east to Wenatchee. We had lunch at Arby's before we headed into town to look around.

Great Northern Freight Station.

West and east views down the tracks from the Wenatchee Amtrak platform. From here we gassed up the car and headed west starting the trip back to Lynnwood.

Views west along US Highway 2.

The Pinnacles.

Another view looking west down US Highway 2.

A 24 foot Knight Statue in Leavenworth on our return trip.

The Great Northern Winton Station built in 1911 is on privately owned land. From here we crossed Stevens Pass and went from clear weather back into the rain. We stopped at the Iron Goat Trailhead where we had spotted a Great Northern Caboose when we went by east this morning.

Great Northern Caboose X294.

The Iron Goat Display Boards. From here we went to Skykomish.

The Skykomish Great Northern Station built 1898.

The town is proud of their Great Northern Heritage.

The street signs are in the shape of cabooses. From here we headed back to Lynnwood but made a pair of stops in Maltby.

From the highway we caught the Eastside Rail Freight Train.

Eastside Rail Freight at Maltby returning to Woodinville. From there we headed back to the house. But there is still more to come.

Click here for Part 2 of this story