Yakima Valley Museum presented us with this picture, albeit unaware that this locomotive is the 1364. The date of this picture is between winter of 1902 and the winter of 1904. We determined the early date based on the delivery of the 1364 which was July 1902. The later date is based on the replacement of the wood bridge to steel in 1905. The locomotive has a snowplow suggesting this is a wintertime shot.

Brian Ambrose, volunteer for the Pacific Northwest Railway Archive, provided me with a digital copy of the “Bridge Book” that states it was converted to steel in 1905. But in the researching, Other facts about this bridge were found.

In December 17, 1884 the Northern Pacific tracks arrived in Yakima City (now known as Union Gap). Not content to make Yakima City a terminus they moved it 2 miles north and named it North Yakima (Yakima today). Because of pressure from its competitors, Great Northern and Oregon Washington Railway and Navigation, the NP was quick to push on to Ellensburg and eventually Tacoma via Stampede Pass. Therefore in 1885 the NP started building the bridge across the Naches River (below).

Yakima City in 1884 (now Union Gap)

By February 1886 the NP arrives in Ellensburg.  Between Yakima and Ellensburg 3 bridges cross the Yakima River and one over the Naches, all made of wood.  Once the line was completed, revenues would then rebuild the wooden structures with steel at a later date.

Left: Bridge across Naches River 1885 Andrew Gibson photographer

Naches Bridge in 1888 I.G. Davidson

When the NP built the track they displaced the county road from Yakima to Selah. The NP built a new road and built a new auto bridge a few hundred feet west of this bridge.

Disaster strikes, cause and date are unknown.

Somewhere after winter of 1888 to early 19th century the bridge was replaced by another wooden bridge seen above and right. The mason pier remains today as a support for the present day steel bridge.

Disaster strikes on November 17 1906 with a flood on the Naches River. The railroad bridge had been upgraded to steel and was spared any damage. However the 20 year old Wagon Bridge was picked up and floated downstream along with a few workers on board. Click here to read the Yakima Republic article.

The bridge here was built by the Northern Pacific to replace the former county road the track now occupies.

After 20 years the foundational piers had been undermined by scouring and needed repair.

Because the steel bridge stood the flood, future highway bridges in the area  would be built of steel.

Although the steel bridge was spared, the southern approach was breached. This section was replaced with a earthen fill.

To see how we determined that the first picture was the 1364 click —->

1389 Northern Pacific Railway locomotive southbound crossing the Naches River north of Yakima 1906

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