All Over The Map: Old steam locomotives hidden all over Washington

May 1, 2020, 5:55 AM | Updated: May 4, 2020, 9:05 am

When KIRO Radio reported in April that an old steam locomotive that once graced Woodland Park Zoo in Seattle was for sale in Oregon, a flood of listeners responded with comments that there were plenty of other locomotives still on display in the Evergreen State.

With help from those listeners and from city officials and museum staff in various communities, a non-comprehensive list and gallery of images was compiled. Until the pandemic subsides and statewide travel is more safe and practical, take a steam-powered journey down the rail right-of-ways of the mind!

Old Number Six in Newhalem just off Highway 20

This locomotive belongs to Seattle City Light. According to an old brochure:

Old Number Six, a Baldwin steam locomotive, played an important role in the construction of the Skagit Project. It operated on Seattle City Lights’ Skagit River Railway, which ran 23 miles from Rockport to Newhalem, and later extended to Diablo. The railroad, under construction in 1920, was built to carry construction materials, equipment, and workers to the towns, dams, and powerhouses. Starting in 1924, it also transported tourists visiting the area. By 1940, the U.S. Forest Service had developed a passable road to Newhalem, but travel to the area by passenger car was not common until after World War II when the road was improved as part of the state highway system. The locomotive operated until the railroad was removed in 1954.

The Tollie in Shelton in front of the US Post Office

This “Shay” or special logging locomotive was first displayed in Brewer Park in Shelton on May 1, 1959. Jan Parker of the Mason County Historical Society writes:

‘Tollie’ was one of 20 Shays built in 1924. Known as the ‘Ed Elliott’ during its working life, it was renamed ‘Tollie’ after the wife of Sol Simpson, founder of the Simpson Logging Company. In logging’s early days, Mary ‘Tollie’ Simpson acted as doctor and nurse when men were hurt, and her thoughtfulness in times of need was remembered fondly by the families of victims. A Simpson Company pamphlet printed for the dedication explained that ‘Tollie is an appropriate name for this monument locomotive, now dedicated to the workmen and to a gentle and considerate woman who helped create the Shelton we know today.’

Northern Pacific #1354 in Pasco in Volunteer Park

Northern Pacific locomotive #1354 is a 1902 Baldwin S-4. It was moved to Volunteer Park in Pasco in the summer of 1956 and formally dedicated on July 21, 1956.

Great Northern #1147 in Wenatchee in Riverfront Park

Great Northern locomotive #1147 was first displayed in Wenatchee in what’s now Riverfront Park in September 1956. It was built in 1902 by Baldwin, and is considered by some a “sister” of the locomotive that was previously displayed in Seattle.

Other steam locomotives in Washington include Union Pacific #2537 in Walla Walla’s Jefferson Park, built by Alco in 1918 and dedicated in 1961; Puget Sound and Baker River Railway locomotive #2 in Sedro-Woolley along Highway 20, built in 1913 by Baldwin and first displayed around September 1957; a Shay locomotive from Long Bell Lumber Company in Longview near the public library in the Town Civic Center; and Great Northern #2507 in Wishram, built by Baldwin in 1923 and originally displayed at Maryhill in September 1966.

There are also significant collections of locomotives and other equipment at the Northwest Railway Museum in Snoqualmie; the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad and Museum in Elbe; the Lake Whatcom Railway in Wickersham; the Chehalis Centralia Railroad & Museum in Lewis County; and the Inland Northwest Rail Museum in Reardan, northwest of Spokane.

Did we miss one? Please let us know in the comments or send an email via my contact information (below).

You can hear Feliks every Wednesday and Friday morning on Seattle’s Morning News and read more from him here. If you have a story idea, please email Feliks here.

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All Over The Map: Old steam locomotives hidden all over Washington