Northern Pacific Railway Museum

In conjunction with the

Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association


2015 Work/History Weekends


Northern Pacific Railway Museum

Museum Schedule

NP 1364 Steam Engine

Northern Pacific Freight Train

NP 642 Spreader

Education Program


Membership and Donations



April 10-12, June 12-14, October date pending

The second work/history weekend for 2015 was held on June 12-14, 2015.  This event will begin on Friday for those that wish to arrive early.  The "steam crew" regularly works on NP 1364 on Fridays and a few others will be preparing other projects, so for those that want to come early they are welcome to arrive on Friday.  That will provide a little extra time to make new acquaintances and renew old friendships.  The main event is work on Saturday followed by dinner at the depot and the history event on Saturday night.  More work will progress on Sunday for those that want to continue their projects.

The weekend schedule tends to go as follows:

  • members of the steam crew will be working on Friday and guests that can come early may join them.

  • more out of town guests begin to arrive Friday night and friendships are renewed

  • work begins around 8:30 on Saturday morning

  • most workers take lunch around 11:30-12:00

  • local museum members produce a dinner potluck about 6 PM.  This occurs under the east portico of the depot

  • the history portion of the weekend follows after dinner with a Northern Pacific relevant history program.

  • Many out of town volunteers are put up at museum member's residences.  Others may elect to stay in our refurbished 1908 caboose.  RV parking with electrical and water hookup is available for those that bring their RV's.

  • Sunday work usually begins at 8:30 to 9:00 AM and continues as long as people wish to work on the various projects

Previous and ongoing work projects have included the stenciling NP 50409 (drop bottom gondola), rebuilding our double trussrod boxcar, work on new spur lines into the depot yard, restoration work on NP 1238 wooden caboose, prep work on NP 588 passenger car, lowering of the old REA room door, stenciling SCCX 715 (Shell Oil tank car) and cataloguing of the Joe Caron slide collection.  Journal boxes have been repacked and speeders have been cleaned and repainted.  The decking was applied to the tender of NP 1364.  Various signs have been sandblasted and repainted.  A semaphore signal was made operable.  Work has been done on new museum displays.  The gift shop has been improved.  Old NP blueprints in our archive are being catalogued. Our 1940 Ford REA truck was dismantled in preparation for its frame off restoration.  Track has been laid.  Several rail crossings have been installed.  Work has been carried out on the HO model layout in the upstairs of the depot.  The main gate was modified to accommodate the new loading dock spur.  There has been a wide variety of projects so that members and guests have been able to select projects that fit their interests.

There have been a variety of history programs.  These have included the following:

  • April 14, 2007: Dave Sprau, retired NP dispatcher, presented his talk on the railroad's "Crossing the Cascades".  

  • June 9, 2007: Gary Tarbox, president of the Northern Pacific Railway Historical Association,  presented "Steam Power on the North Coast Limited" including our steam engine NP 2152

  • September 8, 2007: Gary Tarbox presented "Steam across Montana" with photos of the SPS 700 steam trip traversing the old NP mainline

  • October 6, 2007: Jim Frederickson, retired NP dispatcher. photographer, and author of "Railroad Shutterbug", "Steam to Diesel" and "Railscapes" presented his program on Stampede Pass

  • April 12, 2008: Doug Shearer presented a slide show on the history of the Northern Pacific Railroad Museum

  • June 14, 2008: Fred Fisher presented his program, "Roslyn, Coal Mines and the NP".  Fred was born in Ronald in 1929 and moved to Roslyn at age 3.  He worked in the NP's Northwestern Improvement Company store for a year and contracted with the NWI to cut and supply mine timbers. 

  • September 13, 2008: Jack Christensen, retired NP/BN engineer told many tales of Stampede Pass including stories of pushing our Mann-McCann spreader with a W-3

  • October 11, 2008:  Rick Leach presented a potpourri of slides covering various NP topics.

  • May 16, 2009: Jack Christensen presented his program on the Northern Pacific's transition from steam to diesel.

  • June 13, 2009: Doug Shearer presented the program on "A Pictorial History of the Northern Pacific in Toppenish", featuring a number of recently acquired photos of the railroad in the community.

  • October 10, 2009: Bruce Butler presented a potpourri of slides of the Central Washington Branch of the Northern Pacific where he currently functions as an engineer.  He had old slides of the Milwaukee as well as stories of his time as a telegrapher for the Northern Pacific.

  • April 11, 2010: Kent Sullivan presented his program on the Snoqualmie Branch of the Northern Pacific.

  • June 12, 2010: Ken Johnson presented a history of NP wooden cabooses including pictures of our NP 1238 previously unknown to the museum members.

  • September 18, 2010: Chuck Soule presented his program, "Northern Pacific Railroad: Early Tacoma Facilities, 1873-1908".

  • October 9, 2010: Kent Sullivan presented his program "Train Sheet Treasure Trove"

  • April 9, 2011: Kent Sullivan presented part I of his 3 part slide tour of the Northern Pacific's link from Puget Sound to Canada, circa 1955. Kent has brought together rare photos of businesses that the railway served, as well as action on the Sumas Line and connecting branches. Part one focused on Sumas, Bellingham, and Wickersham in Whatcom county, including the several other U.S. and Canadian roads that also operated in the area.

  • June 25, 2011: Kent Sullivan presented part II of his 3 part slide tour of the Sumas Line and connecting branches.  Part II covered Sedro-Woolley, Darrington, Arlington, and Snohomish.

  • October 8, 2011:  Kent Sullivan presented Part III of his slide tour of the Sumas Line.  This episode covered the southern portion of the line from Everett to Lowell and the interrelationship of the NP, Milwaukee and GN railroads.

  • June 2, 2012: Bob and Frank Culp of the Lake Whatcom Railroad presented the history of the Lake Whatcom Railroad and their locomotive, NP 1070.

  • April 27, 2013: John Phillips III presented some of his slides on Stampede Pass and a random collection of NP slides on various topics

  • October 4-6, 2013: NP veterans Phil Hostetler, Tom Marak, Jack Kays and Carl Brown provided a very entertaining and informative evening as they reviewed old photos and reminisced as old memories were rekindled.

  • April 11-13, 2014: Dan Bolyard presented  "Railroading in the Big Bend". This included a series of images showing railroading in Central Washington, covering the Central Washington Branch, Adrian Cutoff, the Grand Coulee Dam construction railroad, Connell Northern, Ritzville Branch, and a few other things from some competing lines.

  • May 24, 2014: John Phillips III presented "Snow Removal in the Cascades"

  • April 11, 2015: Robert Smith, local 89 yo farmer reminisced about his farming and Korean War experiences and the railroad involvement.

  • June 13,2015: Doug Shearer presented "Northwest History as Told by the Freight Car Project"

     If you have questions or wish to participate please RSVP to or telephone Doug Shearer at (509) 854-1971.

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