Milwaukee Road Cle Elum Depot



The depot was built for the Milwaukee Road in 1909. It operated as the divisional point office until 1974, the year a new run through agreement allowed train and engine crews to run from Tacoma all the way to Othello. The depot did continue to serve as a train order office until 1980 when the Milwaukee was abandoned.

For the Milwaukee, it was the Cle Elum Depot but it was located in the town of South Cle Elum, across the river from the \'real\' Cle Elum. Notably, the depot included a restaurant known as \'The Beanery\' that was open 24/7 to provide meals for train and engine crews, and other railway employees. Operated by the Interstate Company, The Beanery was the only restaurant in Kittitas County open all night and also served the local population.

South Cle Elum was more than jsut a depot for the Milwaukee Road. It was a 12 1/2 acre terminal that originally included a roundhouse to service steam locomotives, a rail yard, and other support structures. Later, when the line was electrified, substation was built here too.

The depot is owned by Washington State Parks and was acquired in the late 1990s. Through a unique partnership with the Cascade Rail Foundation, the depot has been beautifully restored. The restoration has included \'The Beaner\' and until recently it has been operated as a local restaurant. Learn more on their web site: Cascade Rail Foundation