I recently had the good fortune of visiting the Northwest Railway Museum which is located in beautiful Snoqualmie, Washington. This was my first visit to Snoqualmie; my traveling companion and I and were quite delighted with the quaintness of the town.
The museum is located in the Cascade Foothills; our commute from SeaTac via I-90 by way of I-5 was only 40 minutes. This was on a Sunday; weekday commutes may be longer. The further east we drove, the more scenic the view became. The town of Snoqualmie is surrounded by forest and is best known for Snoqualmie Falls which empties into the Snoqualmie River.
I have always had a fascination for historical places and old things. From the very moment that I stepped out of my car, walked to and entered the railway depot, I felt as if I had stepped into the last century. It was very easy for me to envision what the station looked like over a century ago. The depot was built in 1890 and has been restored to its turn of the century grandeur. I picked up my boarding pass at the original ticket window.
The Santa Clara Portland Cement was the steam powered locomotive that was pulling the train. It was shiny, powerful and majestic to behold. In the last century, logging was a very profitable industry in the Pacific Northwest. Many of the paper mills had their own trains to move their product around the nation. A few of these locomotives, freight cars, passenger cars and refrigeration units are now on display in the Northwest Railway Museum.
There was so much information to take in from our tour guide. I learned that the small houses on the tops of the caboose were actually lookout towers to alert the conductor of fire on the train. The train was to the industrial revolution, what the computer was to the tech revolution. Come take the tour and see for yourself!