Train Shed Construction


The Train Shed will be a large indoor exhibit building located at the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie. It will incorporate over 25,000 square feet and will be the first structure of its type in the Pacific Northwest. It is being built adjacent to the Northwest Railway Museum\'s Conservation and Restoration Center, a collection care facility completed in 2006.

Four tracks will run the length of the structure and will allow locomotives and rail cars to be exhibited in a controlled environment. This will allow some of the Northwest\'s most vulnerable and historically representative railway history artifacts to be protected from the weather yet remain accessible to the visiting public. Examples of objects to be included in the Train Shed include the 1898-built railway chapel car \'Messenger of Peace,\' White River Lumber caboose 001, Weyerhaeuser Timber Company locomotive 1 (FM H12-44, built 1951) and Northern Pacific steam locomotive 924 (Rogers L 5 Class, built 1899).

This $3.5 million project began construction in July 2009 and the building is scheduled for completion in early 2010. Track construction will follow in spring 2010 with the first exhibits appearing in summer 2010.

With support from all levels of government, a great many foundations, local business and hundreds of individuals, the project is more than 75% funded. Cascade Bank is providing the construction financing that is allowing the project to proceed and scores of volunteers have pledged to plant gardens, construct track, and build exhibits. Major funders include 4Culture, Schwab Fund, Washington Department of Commerce, Osberg Family Foundation, North American Railway Foundation, Washington State Historical Society, The Seattle Foundation, McEachern Foundation, and the Federal TEA-21 Enhancements program administered by the Washington State Department of Transportation.

Constructing a special-purpose building for a railway museum is a significant undertaking and it involves unique design features to address the immense mass of the objects, the size of the doors required to move objects in and out, and of course the needs of the visiting public. This photo essay reveals some of the special features and efforts to design and construct this museum exhibit building.

More information is available on the Northwest Railway Museum web site.