Northwest Railway Museum 


Northwest Railway Museum teaches, preserves and perpetuates Northwest railway history by operating a living museum where visitors participate in a historically-authentic experience. These exciting yet educational programs are building a broad and diverse audience. Many programs feature an operating railroad with - quite literally - all the bells and whistles, which encourages participation. The primary audience is families with young children and school children however programs are of interest to all ages.

Mission Statement
To develop and operate an outstanding railroad museum that provides the public a place to experience the excitement of a working railroad, and to see and understand the significance of railroads in the development and settlement of Washington and adjacent areas.
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Northwest Railway Museum
PO Box 459 
(425) 888-3030 

Richard R. Anderson 
Executive Director 


Northwest Railway Museum Programs

The Museum is focused on two important and compatible goals: introduction of an operating steam locomotive program (“steam”) and construction of the Railway Education Center (“REC”).  Staff resources and fundraising efforts are focused almost entirely on these two projects.


The REC is the third phase of the Railway History Center where new indoor facilities already house a portion of the collection and host public programs. This $10 M development is 2/3 complete and remains the organization's top goal. 

The REC will incorporated 5,000 s.f. and provide a classroom, public restrooms, program staff offices, and a library/archives for the collection of published material and small objects. Design began in 2013, site permits were secured in 2014, and construction will begin in 2015.     

This project is valued at more than $1.5 M.

Steam –

The first steam-powered trains ran in 2014 with a locomotive on loan to the Museum.  Now, the Museum's locomotive 924 is undergoing an extensive rehabilitation so this former Northern Pacific six-coupled switcher that was built in 1899 can operate.  It is being converted from coal to oil, and will be receiving a new tender tank.  It will be presented as it appeared in the first decade of the 1900s.  Boiler rehabilitation is being performed by Museum staff, and volunteers are contributing significant effort to many aspects including hot riveting, sanding, tapping, and documentation. 

Steam is valued at more than $600,000.      

Other goals include complete cataloging of the collection, improved collections care, and improving and expanding historical interpretation.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

Steam locomotive rehabilitation - underway

Museum is relying on community support to rehabilitate locomotive 924.  Considering its age, it is in outstanding condition.  However, it needs tubes, firebox repairs, new safety appliances, a new tender tank, boiler jacketing, and a new cab.  Total costs for the steam program will be more than $600,000 and this project will be the recipient of GiveBIG 2015 support.

Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway coach 218 - completed

The Museum has substantially completed rehabilitation of this 1912-built wood coach that served on passenger trains between Vancouver and Spokane. This car is typical of first class wood coaches that operated across Washington State through the late 1940s, and features a mahogany interior with maple flooring. The $250,000 project replaced the roof, repaired the carbody, and performed extensive interior rehabilitation and restoration.  Work was completed in October 2014 and the coach now operates regularly on the Museum's interpretive railway between North Bend and Snoqualmie Falls where the public can travel on board. 


The Northwest Railway Museum is a non-traditional cultural attraction that is unique in the Pacific Northwest. The Museum teaches, preserves, and perpetuates railway history through a combination of static and operating rail history exhibits. Traditionally, visitors received their museum experience by traveling on the interpretive railway between Snoqualmie and North Bend.  Now, the experience is being enhanced by a  more complete museum experience that also includes an exhibit gallery.  This enhancement is called the Railway History Center.

Northwest Railway Museum's Railway History Center is a project to construct a campus featuring exhibition space, collection storage, collection care and administrative offices. The first phase, a collection care facility, was completed in 2006. Phase II is a 25,000 square-foot Train Shed exhibit building, which was completed in 2011. Phase III will be a library, administrative space, and public restrooms and construction is scheduled for completion in 2014.

The library phase of the capital campaign has an objective of $2.5 million; $850,000 has been secured so far.  This third phase of the railway history center will expand the Museum’s full time operation to the exhibit building and allow school groups to visit year ‘round.

The Museum is best known for the Snoqualmie Depot, an 1890-built Victorian-style train station located in downtown Snoqualmie.  This national treasure has been fully restored to its 1890s appearance and serves as the centerpiece of historic downtown Snoqualmie.

The Museum recently completed rehabilitation of the chapel car 5 Messenger of Peace, and 1898-built railway car that served as a mobile church.  The object is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and will be the centerpiece exhibit in the new Train Shed exhibit building beginning in fall 2013.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

12/10/2007 $25,000.00support the Railway History Center Train Shed capital campaign.


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