Washington State Steam Railroads and Locomotives
We created a Newport Depot page with photos, text and links.
We added two images of BN 12171, one cross-referenced under NP 10425. The large \"Washington cabooses\" album was split into two to simplify image-viewing. \"WA cabooses-w/o photos\" now contains all of the information Brian Fritz and Roger Kirkpatrick compiled for cabooses for which we currently have no photos.
We posted Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad General Manager Brian Wise\'s photographs and article about the Polson Logging Co. 2-8-2 #70 and made a few minor updates to photo descriptions throughout the site.
Frequent updates to the Train Shed photo spread have occurred since July.
In October a page dedicated to the excellent work performed on the Rayonier #2 Willamette locomotive by the Western Forest Industries Museum/Mount Rainier Scenic RR was created. Photos provided by WFIM/MRSR General Manager Brian Wise have been posted. In January 2010 an article describing the history and process was added.
Minor updates to the Plogger software were added: improved search functionality, a contrasting color for the active menu item was added, and photo details now display in the slide show.
A special projects section has been added along with photos of the new Northwest Railway Museum Train Shed construction.
This site has been relaunched using software called \"Plogger\" customized by NDC Web Design. The new structure allows easier administration, particularly by those who are not programmers or coders(like us!). It stores files in a SQL database, which simplifies searching and other tasks. And to make it all possible, we remain grateful to Henry of Railfan.Net for continuing to host this site for free.
We are also beginning the process of updating material and adding new resources such as historic depots and bridges. This is where you - the user - comes in. This site was and is intended to be dynamic. When updated information is available, we will gladly post it. Please forward submissions to director at trainmuseum dot org. (Sorry for being so cryptic but we have had enough emails offering a share of stolen Nigerian fortunes!)
While we recognize it is (probably!) impossible to create an interface that is ideal for all users, we have done our best and hope you like the new format.
--Richard R. Anderson, Northwest Railway Museum
Dear Friends and Supports of Brian Fritz:
Brian unexpectedly passed away in March 2007 and has left a large void in the lives of those who knew him, and in fact in many who barely knew him. His interest and dedication in rail preservation took him to nearly every rail-oriented exhibit, museum or attraction in the Pacific Northwest. This interest in part resulted in this well-respected web site, but also in his volunteer and other involvement in a variety of undertakings. Consequently, he knew many of the principal players at the various organizations and often facilitated improved communications between groups.
In the last few years, Brian was volunteering with several Seattle-region groups including the Mt Rainier Scenic Railroad and the Northwest Railway Museum. He will be particularly missed at those institutions.
The Northwest Railway Museum asked Brian\'s family if it could continue Brian\'s web site. I am pleased to announce that the family has accepted. I am also pleased to announce that Henry Priebe Jr. has agreed to continue hosting the site on Railfan.net. To Brian\'s family and to Henry, we are grateful. Not only is this a wonderful site that we are pleased to perpetuate, but it is a fitting memory to Brian.
Now about the site. There are no plans to make any major changes to site however updated material will continue to be added. Please note the new contact information at the bottom of this page.
I hope you all will continue to use and enjoy this web site.
Richard R. Anderson, Northwest Railway Museum
I just added two new, and shorter than they deserve to be, pages for the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad and the Yakima Valley Trolleys. I\'ve also made a few updates to the cabooses page.
I\'m hearing from reliable sources that the Golden Pacific will operate another season starting in May. Their web site sort of confirms this, but as yet there are few details.
Well, it has been an interesting year since my previous updates. It\'s been almost a year since I started a new job with a small company whose products and technology I find really cool. The down side is that the commute (via bus) to downtown Seattle makes for along day and it\'s hard to find time to work on my hobbies... like this web page.
What\'s new with steam locomotives in Washington?
The Golden Pacific Railroad, after a few fits and starts, finally started their revenue runs last summer. I rode a couple of times and very much enjoyed the experience. No word yet on whether they will continue to operate in 2007 though. I\'ve added some photos on a new web page. The link is on the left.
The SP&S 539 which has been stored in Battle Ground for the last several years, has a new, private owner. The new owner has the intention, and means, to restore the big Mike to operation. I\'ve spoken with him and I\'m quite excited about his plans. Best of luck to B.F. and L.J.!
The Crosset Western #10, formerly the Hammond Lumber #16, long stored at Shelton, then moved to The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad, is finally under steam again. I\'ve not had a chance to drive down to Chelatchie and see the 10 run yet.
The November rains and floods did significant damage at the The Northwest Railway Museum and The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad. The Northwest Railway Museum volunteers put on a tour de force effort and were able to repair the washouts on their line in time for their sold out Santa Trains.
The MRSR was not quite so fortunate. A raging Nisqually River decided that the \"new\" bridge installed a few years ago did not provide a wide enough channel and widened the channel by washing out the approaches on both sides of the bridge\'s piers. The track is actually owned by Tacoma Rail and I\'ve not heard (and it\'s too soon anyway) what plans are being made to restore the line to service. The washout, as well as stranding the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, also strands the lumber mills at Morton. The Mt. Rainier Scenic plans to operate out of Mineral until the line to Elbe can be repaired.
Speaking of Morton, the move of the Morton Depot from the grounds of the Tubafor Mill to it\'s new location was documented in an episode of The History Channel\'s Mega Movers.
The folks at the The Northwest Railway Museum have completed their Conservation and
Restoration Center (CRC). This has been a huge project for them and they have been working toward it for years. This new building provides the museum\'s volunteers an enclosed facility to work on the museum\'s collection of rolling stock and locomotives. The first big project is the restoration of SP&S #218. A steel framed wood coach built for the SP&S in 1912 by Smith and Barney.
Northern Pacific #2152, long on display in Auburn WA, has been tranferred to The Northern Pacific Railway Museum in Toppenish.
Last, but not least, I\'ve finally added links to two historical web pages I did a couple of years ago but didn\'t get around to making generally available. They\'re in a new section I\'m calling Historical Pages .
November 25, 2005
I\'ve been busy with the day job and getting the house ready for winter. Raking leaves... what fun.
The Reading 2100 arrived in Tacoma last week. I hear they are negotiating with Tacoma Rail to run from Freighthouse Square south to Fredrickson. I\'ve ridden on those tracks several times... I guess you could say it is scenic... in it\'s own way.
The photo at the left was taken as the train with the 2100, it\'s tender and several (10 I think) ex-Montreal (or so I read somewhere) commuter coaches was departing BNSF\'s yard in Everett for Woodinville. Apparently the 2100 was too high for the Seattle tunnel, so the 2100 was routed south on the beltline on the east side of Lake Washington.
The 2100 is a steam locomotive and I\'m sure I\'ll get down there sometime next year and take some photos of it under steam. However, the Golden Pacific Railroad folks aren\'t a preservation or historical group and the 2100 doesn\'t even resemble anything the Milwaukee or Chehalis Western would have operated on that branch. This is a purely commercial operation and that limits my interest and enthusiasm.
The The Chelatchie Prairie Railroad seems to be back on track and will be operating Christmas trains this season. They\'ve been having some issues with a new operator on their line.
The Northern Pacific Railway Museum hasn\'t been so lucky... with the same operator as the Chelatchie Prairie folks. From what I\'m hearing they\'ve lost their operating (i.e. revenue operation) and track privledges.
The Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad and The Northwest Railway Museum both start Santa Trains tomorrow (11/26). Check their web pages for dates, times and locations. The The Lake Whatcom Railway will start their Santa trains on December 3rd. I couldn\'t find any mention of Santa Trains on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad web page.
The Morton Depot Project has achieved a significant milestone. The depot has finally been moved from it\'s old (original) location in the wye at the Tubafor Mill (in Morton WA), to it\'s new location. This location is maybe a half mile south and is still adjacent to railroad tracks. I\'ve seen the Mt. Rainier Scenic trains pushed up that tail of the wye to within a coach length or two of where the depot now is. As you can see from the photo, foundation work has just begun.
October 13, 2005
Thanks to all who have sent in updates for the caboose page. I hope to get to them soon. Feel free to keep sending news.
I\'ve heard that Rayonier 2-6-6-2T #8 will be moving from Shelton to the Chehalis and Centralia Railroad sometime soon. I\'m also told that the plan is to eventually rebuild it and use it in excursion service. Time will tell.
It seems that the rumors that former Reading 4-8-4 #2100 is headed for Tacoma are true. A page titled Reading 2100 The Big Lift had some interesting photos of the 2100 and tender being loaded onto high cap railroad flat cars. Once they reach Vancouver BC, the rumors say that the 2100 is to be unloaded and run south to Tacoma under its own power.
I find that a bit hard to swallow. If I were the BNSF I wouldn\'t be happy to have a steam locomotive with an unknown crew with no track record to speak of, tying up any portion of the mainline while the fall grain and Christmas rush is on. We\'ll see... (BTW... my current employer is right beside the BNSF surf line, just north of the tunnel under Seattle. If they route it through here on a weekday I should be able to have a grand view of it.)
Once in Tacoma, The Golden Pacific Railroad, Inc. has plans to use the 2100 to power dinner trains between Freight House Square and Fredrickson... or so I\'m hearing.
The Northwest Railway Museum has finally broken ground for their Conservation and Restoration Center (aka CRC) in Snoqualmie. I\'m sure their web page will be regularly updated with the progress of the construction of the facility. The staff and volunteers are to be applauded for their patience and tenacity in seeing this project from conception to construction.
September 17, 2005
MORE Apologies... Where does the time go? I\'ve been busy with stuff that I think you\'ll find interesting and will try to integrate some of it into these pages this fall. The first new thing to bring to your attention is the Washington State Cabooses page. This has been an incredible amount of work, and fun. I\'ve got just about all the photos I think I have on the page. Now it\'s time to ask for your help confirming the existence and locations of the cabooses I haven\'t been able to see myself.
I\'ve also updated (slightly) the Parks and Static Displays page to reflect the loss of a couple of locomotives to Oregon. I believe they are in good hands though.
October 30, 2003
Apologies for not updating sooner... it\'s just been a strange and busy year. I\'ve got a ton of new stuff, and getting it scanned and edited is a huge task. I also don\'t quite know where I\'m going to put it all. So... it may just get shoe horned in, here and there until I make good on my threat to totally re-organize this whole site.
I\'ve added new photos to the parks and static display page. I\'ve now got photos of 3-truck Willamette Rayonier #2, the Port Townsend Porter locomotive and pictures of the newly repainted GN 2507 before it\'s return to Wishram. I\'ve also corrected the location information for some of the stuff that\'s moved and corrected a few other mistakes I saw.
Upcoming events: Santa trains at both the Mt. Rainier Scenic RR and the Northwest Railway Museum (Snoqualmie).
Speaking of the The Northwest Railway Museum... They still haven\'t got their permits in hand for their new CRC (Conservation and Restoration Center). The latest challenge was rejected by the City Council of Snoqualmie 5-0 (this was a victory for the museum). It is late October and I have not heard whether the NIMBYS will take this to the State Supreme Court or not.
The Museum has had its hands full for the past few weeks with the restoration of Bridge 35. This link is to a photo essay I did of the bridge before restoration began. For current information on the restoration see the NW Rwy Museum\'s home page (link in previous paragraph).
I\'ve also updated the Morton Depot page. The Mt. Rainier Scenic ran their first steam locomotive to Morton in over 10 years on October 10th.
January 25, 2003
Word has reached me that 2-truck Heisler, Curtiss Lumber #2 has been leased to the Port of Tillamook Bay
Pete Replinger has sold Long Bell 2-8-2T #803 to some members of the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad and leased them Hammond Lumber (currently Peninsular Railway Co) 2-8-2T #16. They plan to operate the #16 this year. The #803 will be a multi-year restoration project as many parts from it are now on the #16. There are pictures of the locomotives being moved from Shelton to Chelatchie Praire on on both the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad website and the Battle Ground,Yacolt and Chelatchie Prairie RR website. The folks at Chelatchie Prairie have also acquired Alco S3 #7001 that had switched at Longview Fiber for so many years.
The Mount Rainier Scenic RR has just acquired an EMD NW2 that was built for the Great Northern in 1942.
The Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie had what everyone hopes is the final hearing for a permit to build a Conservation and Restoration Center (a.k.a. CRC or \"shop\") in Snoqualmie. They\'ve been battling a couple of local NIMBYS for several years on this. Their last shop (shed) facility was on Weyerhauser land and they were evicted when Weyerhauser decided to subdivide the land for the Snoqualmie Ridge development.
It looks like Simpson Timber (Shelton WA) will be scrapping their line west of the Dry Sort yard near Dayton WA. This is just a spur nowdays that extends to just beyond Jackpot Siding at Lake Nahwatzel. The siding has been used for storage of various log cars that are worn out and no longer servicable. The siding is also home to Simpson\'s wedge snowplow, 2 water (tank) cars and 2 fuel oil cars. The tank cars appear to be of 1920\'s (maybe pre) construction. The future of the snowplow and tank cars is uncertain at this time. The log cars at Jackpot Siding are probably going to be scrapped. Look for a slide show of my visit there last November soon.
Finally, I hope to be able to start sharing some short videos with you all soon. I\'ve taken my camcorder to a couple of different steam ups and have edited some of the clips on my iMac using iMovie and will be posting them in Quick Time format.
October 30, 2002
Where did the summer go? Seems like I only did the previous update last week. Not much happened this summer... but a lot has happened in the past week or so.
Locomotives on the move.
Jim Gertz\'s Willamette (Rayonier #2) has been trucked from Port Angeles to Mineral. I\'ve heard that it is to be operational within two years.
The two 2-8-2T locomotives stored at Shelton are to be moved (finally?) to the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad. (See note below)
2-Truck Heisler, Curtis Lumber #2, which was recently restored to operation at Mineral has been leased to a group in OR.
GN 2507 has been prepared for its return (by rail) to Wishram. The BNSF has sold land to Klickitat County for the display site near the depot in Wishram. The county has to prepare the site before the move takes place, so it may be next spring before the 2507 is in Wishram.
I\'ve also heard that 2-truck shay, Rayonier #3 has changed hands. This little locomotive has been stored in kit form at Mineral for several years. I\'ve not heard who the new owner is, or if it is to be moved.
I didn\'t get out and do much travelling this year. Holding onto my job was my highest priority and that meant some long hours and weekends... even though it was summer. I did get out a bit though, and visited the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad. This is their second summer of operations and I really enjoyed my visit. I hope to have photos from my visit online soon (as soon as I rebuild the kernel on my Linux box... which has the scsi card that drives the slide/neg scanner).
There have also been some interesting movements of classic diesels in the state and I\'ll try and get that information updated soon.
June 14, 2002
I\'ve now heard, and even seen pictures, that Eastern Railways #3 is already undergoing restoration to operation at Cass.
The Northern Pacific Railway Museum in Toppenish (a bit south east of Yakima) in conjunction with the City of Toppenish, will be having The 5th Annual Toppenish Rail and Western Art Show: August 16, 17 and 18, 2002. Check the special events section of their web site for more information.
A week or two back, I got busy and drove down to Tacoma to visit the Camp 6 Logging Museum at Point Defiance Park. It had been a while since my last visit and I\'d forgotten what a great museum it is. If you\'re curious about what logging was like in the old lumber camps, this is the place to go.
May 4, 2002
Eastern Railways 3-truck shay #3, which was privately owned and stored for a long time at the Northwest Rwy Museum in Snoqualmie, has been trucked to the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia. I\'ve not heard whether they plan to restore the locomotive to operation, or use it for parts.
The dinner train set which was used on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad has returned to Tacoma. The operation in Idaho wasn\'t successful and I\'ve not heard what Tacoma Rail\'s plans for the train set are yet.
Portions of the former Seattle and Walla Walla railroad grade are briefly visible along Coal Creek Parkway in Newcastle. Widening of Coal Creek Parkway will soon obliterate the remains.
27 March 2002
Thomas the Tank Engine is coming to the The Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie in July and the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad in Chehalis in August! Check their web pages for details and dates.
I\'ve heard that Pete Replinger has sold 2-8-2T #803 to a group of folks affiliated with the Clehatchi Prairie railroad (link below). They\'re hoping to move it at the same time as the #16 and plan to restore it to operation.
The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad\'s web page has announced that there will be another Tacoma Railfan Days this year on May 4th and 5th. Word from Chehalis is that the #15 has it\'s new tires and should be in Tacoma for the weekend too.
I\'ve started a new web page for classic diesel locomotives in Washington that I have photos of. It\'s a work in progress, but I\'ve started the effort, and hopefully, I\'ll be fleshing it out a bit more in the next few weeks. The link is in the frame on the left.
I\'ve also added new links to two interesting web pages from our neighbors in British Columbia to the links page.
28 December 2001
Word reached me many weeks back that Pete Replinger has leased his 2-8-2T Alco #16 to the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad at Battleground. The locomotive will be trucked from Shelton to Battleground sometime this winter (i.e. 2002).
I\'ve also heard from several sources that Jim Gertz has agreed to transfer his Willamette to the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. I\'m a bit hazy on all the terms and conditions but one that seems to be of concern is that Jim has stipulated that the Willamette be kept under a shelter.
Finally, The Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie has acquired for it\'s collection the second diesel locomotive purchased by the Northern Pacific. The Alco HH-660 was originally purchased by the NP in 1940 and spent it\'s early years switching the docks in Seattle and passenger trains at King St. Station. It was later sold to the Walla Walla Valley, and through a succession of leases and owners wandered around Washington and northwest Oregon. It\'s most recent owner was the Port of Longview. The locomotive was sidelined after problems with it\'s prime mover became apparent. It is still capable of moving under it\'s own power though. I understand it is also in need of wheel work. The museum will be raising funds to transport the locomotive from Longview to Snoqualmie in the upcoming months.
30 July 2001
I\'ve updated the Mount Rainier Scenic page with photos from the June 30, 2001 Elbe Railfan Days. The event featured the newly restored 2-truck Heisler Curtis Lumber #2 and a 2-6-2T Mason County Logging #7.
I\'ve added some photos of The Northwest Railway Museum\'s recently acquired 1954 Baldwin RS4-TC diesel locomotives.