In 1911 a permanent brick building was built to service the area of Toppenish. Mouse over to see the first wooden depot in the 1880s.
A brief history The present Toppenish railroad depot was built by the Northern Pacific Railway in 1911, replacing the earlier wooden depot. For 50 years it served as the transportation center and commerce hub of the community. The railroad had become the most effective means to transport both passengers and freight over long distance. But as automobile, bus and airplane service increased after WWII, railroad transportation and freight declined and in 1961 passenger service from Toppenish was discontinued. When the Railway Express Agency went under, the depot was no longer used and boarded up in 1981.
A local passenger train arrives from Yakima. The Yakima Republic newspaper is delivered to the local paper boy daily (note the horse and cart labeled “daily papers”). A velocipede awaits for use by maintenance personnel. Behind, seen through the portico is the Toppenish Hotel which services the depot.
n 1989 a group of railfans approached the city and the railroad about leasing the depot as a railroad museum. The Yakima Valley Rail and Steam Museum Association (YVR&S) was formed to accomplish this goal. With the city’s help the depot was leased in 1990. The Fort Simcoe Job Corp was able to refurbish the damaged plaster ceilings. Many hours of volunteer work resulted in the replacement of the electrical systems, stripping of the paint from the oak trim, and the beginnings of the museum displays. The museum had its grand opening on July 4, 1992. In 1993 the depot and adjacent freight house were purchased from the Burlington Northern Railroad. In 2000 the museum division was renamed the Northern Pacific Railway Museum. Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the interior of our depot.