Washington Steam Locomotives

Washington State was profoundly impacted by the construction and operation of steam railroads. They were a factor in Washington territory achieving statehood in 1889 and continued to shape settlement patterns and economic growth for the next 100 years. And the \"engine\" that drove the steam railroad was of course the steam locomotive. Once common and now increasingly rare, Washington\'s steam locomotives were the original raison d\'etre for this site.

This chapter is dedicated to Washington steam locomotives that are displayed in parks or held privately. In the transition from steam to diesel that began in earnest in the late 1940s, many cities requested retired steam locomotives to be displayed in a city park. Some were acquired by interested individuals. Sixty and more years later, many of these \"artifacts\" have fallen in disrepair and the owners (some municipal, some private) have disposed of their responsibility. Unfortunately, in many cases this has led to yet another of these rare artifacts leaving Washington State.

When Brian Fritz first started on this project to locate and photograph all the surviving steam locomotives in Washington, several folks mentioned that the project had already been done. However, no one could quite remember the name of the book or the author. Finally, in July 1997, Brian was tipped off about Washington Steam Locomotives (Said Brian at the time: \"Duh! Why didn\'t I think of that?\") by Kenneth G. Johnsen. He borrowed it from the county library the next day.

The book was copyrighted in 1978 and it\'s interesting to see how much has changed - and continues to change. Brian assumed that many of the photos in the book were somewhat older. However, where he photographed (as often as not) rusting hulks, Kenneth was able to see still proud, and in some cases, still operating locomotives.

Additional Notes:

Included on this list are locomotives held privately and this should not be taken as a invitation to visit: please respect private property. Others are in public parks and are accessible during park hours.

Many readers are interested in each locomotive\'s technical specifications. If they are known to us, they are included in the narrative. If details are missing and you have some, send them to us and they\'ll be added.

The locomotives at Elbe and Mineral are part of the (as yet) unrestored collection of the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. The only locomotive that is publicly displayed is Heisler #10. The others can be viewed only when the MRSRR holds one of their open houses. Most photos have now been grouped under \"Railroads\" in the \"Mt Rainier\" chapter.

Locomotives in the Northwest Railway Museum collection are (largely) viewable from the Centennial Trail in downtown Snoqualmie. Plans for a new exhibit building are moving forward in 2009 and it is possible one or more will find a permanent home there. Most photos have now been grouped under \"Railroads\" in the \"Northwest Railway\" chapter.