The Northwest Railway Museum is a popular spot for train enthusiasts of all ages. It consists of three locations. These are the 1890 Snoqualmie Depot, the Railway History Center, and the Centennial Trail Exhibit. The museum has both educational and pure fun programs and events. These include the Wine Train, Day Out with Thomas, Railroad Days Festival, a variety of tours, and other annual events. The Centennial Trail Exhibit is the only place that never closes. This is because it’s on a public walkway about a mile from Snoqualmie Falls.
The Snoqualmie Depot is located at 38625 SE King Street in Snoqualmie. It is open 7 days a week from 10 AM to 5 PM. The exceptions are Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Moreover, there’s no admission charge. Donations are welcome to keep up the 19th century architecture.
During the Day Out With Thomas and the Santa Train events, access to exhibits may be limited or unavailable. See the Northwest Railway Museum website to find out more or to book a special train.
The historic Snoqualmie Depot is the oldest continuously operating train station in the state of Washington. So the building is itself a historical artifact which contains historical artifacts such as train cars and original tracks! When it was originally constructed, the building was considered unusually elaborate for a small town like Snoqualmie. The building underwent many renovations over the years and gradually looked less like a train station. When Burlington Northern abandoned the line in 1975, it donated the building and several miles of track to the Northwest Railway Museum.
The Depot was originally built in 1890 and remodeled in 1981 to reflect the original aesthetics. Visitors traveling on the Snoqualmie Valley Railroad purchase their boarding passes at the original ticket window. The railroad history exhibits are located in the former gentlemen’s waiting room and freight room. A railroad history-themed gift shop (The Depot Bookstore) is housed in the former ladies’ waiting room. Public restrooms occupy a portion of the original freight room. These replace the privy originally located just to the east of the structure.
The Railway History Center
The Railway History Center is open to drive-up visitors April – October, Thursdays through Sundays, 11am-4pm. In addition, regularly scheduled trains departing from the Snoqualmie and North Bend Depots stop here.
The History Center is located at 9320 Stone Quarry Rd in Snoqualmie. It includes the Train Shed Exhibit Building and the Railway Education Center. The Train Shed Exhibit Building features locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars and maintenance equipment. The Train Shed contains these along with multiple exhibits which teach visitors about the role and impact of railways in Northwest development.
The Railway History Center is a more traditional museum with exhibits, artifacts, and other visual information in a climate controlled building. It also features a reading room with public access along with non-circulating material.
Train Shed Exhibit Building
The Northwest Railway Museum’s Train Shed Exhibit Building is a 25,000 sq. ft. structure. It houses locomotives, passenger cars, freight cars, and maintenance-of-way cars. In here, visitors witness the large motor vehicles while learning the role of the railway in the Northwest development. 1/3 of the Northwest Railway Museum’s large artifacts are located in this building. Award-winning exhibits located here are “Wellington Remembered”, “Railroad Changed Everything”, and “Railroad Built the Pacific Northwest” exhibits.
Railway Education Center
Opened recently in 2017, the Railway Education Center was created as a space to preserve and access historical documents such as engineering records, books, and photographs. Students, researchers, and interested parties with prearranged appointments may view these non circulating documents in the public accessible reading room.
Northwest Railway Museum Locations
The Northwest Railway Museum includes the Snoqualmie Depot, the Railway History Center, and the Centennial Train Exhibit. The Centennial Trail Exhibit is on a public walkway visible from Highway 202 in Snoqualmie, is free, and never closes.
Historic Snoqualmie Depot
Open every day 10-5 except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years Day.
Railway History Center
Open 11-4 to drive-up visitors April thru October Thursdays through Sundays.