In this historic photo from the Northwest Railway Museum, volunteers work on construction of tracks for the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad, shuttling visitors from North Bend and Snoqualmie to the Falls and back for 50 years now. Courtesy Photo

Train museum celebrates Memorial Day, 60th anniversary, and 50th year of train rides in one big weekend

Fifty years ago in May, the Northwest Railway Museum began offering a new, old experience, train rides in the Snoqualmie Valley. Train transportation changed everything when it first arrived in Washington and the museum’s mission is to give visitors the experience and excitement of a working railroad while showing them “How the Railroad Changed Everything.”

As part of its mission, the museum operates the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad, a five-mile common carrier railroad program that allows museum visitors to experience a train excursion aboard historic railroad coaches through the Upper Snoqualmie Valley. Train excursions depart from both the Snoqualmie Depot and the North Bend Depot. Passengers may disembark and catch a later train back to their depots.

All train excursions include a stop at the Railway History Center for a 30-minute visit in the Train Shed Exhibit Building. Passengers then reboard the train and continue west to the crest of Snoqualmie Falls with views of the scenic lower valley. The train then goes back east with a stop at the Snoqualmie Depot.

The museum celebrates its 50th anniversary of offering train rides, as well as its own 60th anniversary on Memorial Day weekend. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of train rides, the museum hosts a ribbon cutting ceremony, 10 a.m. Sunday May 28, at the Railway Education Center in the museum’s History Campus.

During Sunday’s celebrations, riders on all three trains of the day will stop at the campus for refreshments and photo opportunities. Visitors will receive commemorative train whistles at the ribbon cutting, which will be at 10 a.m.

A special Golden Ticket will be awarded to the first full-fare ticket buyers for each train Sunday; the ticket will let the buyer return to ride the train free in the future.

There will also be a special train on Monday, Memorial Day, with a discounted fare for members of the military — active duty, guard, reserve, retired, and their dependent family members, with current military ID.

Trains depart every two hours beginning at 11 a.m. from the Snoqualmie Depot, 38625 SE King Street and at 11:30 a.m. from the North Bend Depot, 205 McClellan Street.

For more information call the Northwest Railway Museum at (425) 888-3030 or visit

Historic photos from the Northwest Railway Museum show off one of the museum’s all-women train crews. Courtesy Photo

The Kimball Creek Station, as seen in the late 1960s. Courtesy Photo

Train passengers experienced an old fashioned winter’s day in this snowy photo, courtesy of the Northwest Railway Museum.

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