New train shed is taking shape

Steel columns have been installed for the construction of the Northwest Railway Museum
Steel columns have been installed for the construction of the Northwest Railway Museum's new train shed at their Stone Quarry Road Campus. It will be home for the museum's oldest and predominantly wood built transportation artifacts.
— image credit: Allison Espiritu/Snoqualmie Valley Record

The Northwest Railway Museum's 25,000-square-foot train shed is now taking form after subcontractor CHG Building Systems erected steel columns on Tuesday, Dec. 22.

The $4 million project is the second phase of the museum's Stone Quarry Road campus.

The new train shed will be a fully enclosed exhibit building, storing the museum's collection of locomotives, coaches and freight cars.

Priority for storage in the shed will go to the oldest cars, and those predominantly built of wood, including the 1898-built Chapel Car 5, better known as "Messenger of Peace;" The White River Lumber Co. caboose 001; and Northern Pacific Railway steam locomotive 924.

"The caboose was this year's winner of the J.D. Spellman Award for Achievement and Preservation," said Richard Anderson, executive director at Northwest Railway Museum. "It was taken completely down to its individual boards and was reconstructed."

To give visitors of the museum a sense of how railways operate, the museum will be installing a number of windows in the building. Special glass helps keep ultraviolet rays out of the building, safeguarding the artifacts.

Anderson said design will help blend the new building with its environment.

The shed is expected to be finished and turned over the museum in late March. A dedication is planned for August.

The project has been in development for five years.

In 2005, CHG helped build the museum's Conservation and Restoration Center, or CRC. That facility is used to restore, preserve and sometimes rebuild rail cars and artifacts.

Work is ongoing in the CRC to renew cars from the wheels up.

"We're creating something from scratch to have it appear as it once was," Anderson said.

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