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A Visit to Cashmere With Surprises Before and After ~ June 23rd, 2011

by Elizabeth Guenzler

The NRHS convention events today were the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad and Tacoma Rail. As we had visited both of these places in prior years, plans were made to explore and railfan along State Route 2 to Cashmere, with our morning goal of catching the Empire Builder at the Cascade Tunnel. So after breakfast, Chris, myself and Bob drove east on State Route 2 to the west portal of Cascade Tunnel.

Waiting for the train in the cool and showery weather.

The view toward the siding at Scenic.

The westbound Empire Builder exiting Cascade Tunnel. Flooding in North Dakota had played havoc with Trains 7 and 8 and the train originated from Havre, Montana. We continued on our drive and our destination of City of Cashmere, the geographical centre of Washington. Once we crossed the Cascade Mountains, the weather improved greatly and a summer's day it was.

The 1910 Great Northern station in Cashmere. We drove to the Pioneer Village and Museum, paid the admission and after looking at some local artifacts, went outside to photograph the railway-related displays.

Great Northern caboose X494 built in 1922 which was formerly on display at Moses Lake.

The Great Northern station from Mission, which was the original name for Cashmere.

Great Northern coach 1099.

The Great Northern section house from Leavenworth.

Great Northern section house description and map.

A semaphore signal.

Displays inside the section house.

A unique wig-wag crossing signal.

A Great Northern trainorder signal.

Track cart and repair equipment.

I had not seen a Great Northern mileage sign like this before.

Museum views.

A Railway Express baggage cart was seen as we walked back to the car and drove to Wenatchee, where we stopped at Arby's for lunch.

The Great Northern freight station in Wenatchee. We then found the Amtrak station.

Views from the platform of the station. From here, the westward drive was commenced.

West of Leavenworth this station was spotted. It is the 1911 Great Northern Winton station which was originally in Chiwaukum and moved to Winton in 1928 when the railway was re-routed.

A stop was made at the Iron Goat Trailhead, eight miles west of Stevens Pass, and their informative display boards.

Stevens Pass Historic District Map.

More information signs here.

The Wellington Avalanche history from 1910.

The Resort of "Scenic".

Great Northern caboose X294 built 1951 which had been at Skykomish until August 2006. We stopped in Skykomish for a couple of photos.

The 1898 Skykomish station. Little did any of us know that there was a move afoot to restore the station and create the Great Northern and Cascade Live Steam Railway which would start in 2013.

The Town of Skykomish welcome sign, with more than a nod to its Great Northern heritage. The drive back to Lynnwood continued and as we reached Maltby, we could not believe our eyes, and luck.

Chris caught this picture as we paralleled the train a short distance, since I was driving.

Here came an Eastside Railfreight train - locomotive and caboose on its way to Woodinville. That made our day. The three of us returned home and after relaxing for a while, Bob and Chris went to Edmonds while I prepared dinner.

Chris caught Sounder 1704 on its way to Everett.

That was followed by a northbound BNSF coal train.

To finish the day off, the Empire Builder with heritage unit 156 on the point, made its way along the Edmonds waterfront for points north and east. These photographs were taken by Bob. It was then time to return home.

This had been a very enjoyable, and at times, surprising day. A fitting way to spend a summer Thursday, and also Chris' 6,000th day of sobriety.