Skip to main content
Saturday, October 8, 2016 was dedication day for the Railway Education Center (“REC”), the third phase in the development of the Railway History Center campus in Snoqualmie. While some work remains to be completed, the building is enclosed, the heat is on, the restrooms work, and at the dedication everyone could tour the building!  

The event was modest and straight-forward.  It included a special train ride; dedication speeches by Washington State Representative Chad Magendanz, Snoqualmie Mayor pro tem Bob Jeans, Museum Board President Dennis Snook and Museum Executive Director Richard Anderson; and refreshments consisting of hot cider, cake, and cookies.  During the event, many of the more than 200 guests posed along the front of the Railway Education Center for a group photo.

Museum staff and a number of guests added a special touch: period clothing. Even Deputy Director Jessie Cunningham and Executive Director Richard Anderson participated, each wearing their own representation of early 20th or late 19th Century attire! (Usually only Registrar Cristy Lake and Marketing Manager Peggy Barchi participate.)

Highlighting some of the important points concerning this latest phase, Executive Director Anderson said, “This third phase of the Railway
History Center is actually critical mass for the Museum.   This latest facility allows the Museum to
operate exhibits independent of train operation, and allows extended visits
with train operation.  With this new
facility, the Museum will be able to expand the size of audience and
significantly increase the length of visit. 
These factors are important not only to the success of the Museum, but
increase its economic impact in the community.”

He continued, “The Museum has been developing what
came to be known as the Railway History Center for most of its history.  The more concerted effort has taken place over
the last fifteen years, with active construction beginning about 11 years
ago.  This latest effort called the
Railway Education Center, is the third phase, and actually completes the
original museum scope envisioned 60
years ago. And What
makes this project and the museum successful?  It certainly
isn’t one or two people, it is a diverse team and includes trustees, staff and
volunteers.  So whether it is a trustee
who makes a substantial financial contribution, a volunteer who contributes
material to the library, or a staff member who fills out a grant application,
all of the team members are vital to the project success.  But there is another important element:
community.  The City of Snoqualmie and
its current and former mayors and council, it is the community members, it’s
the county, and the State.



“And what makes this project and the museum successful?  It certainly isn’t one or two people, it is a diverse team and includes trustees, staff and volunteers.  So whether it is a trustee who makes a substantial financial contribution, a volunteer who contributes material to the library, or a staff member who fills out a grant application, all of the team members are vital to the project success.  But there is another important element: community.  The City of Snoqualmie and its current and former mayors and council, it is the community members, it’s the county, and the State.”



Anderson added, “I have personally been working on museum development for the Northwest Railway Museum since I accepted
this job almost 22 years ago.  I believed
in the Museum’s mission then, and I continue to believe in it now.  It encompasses a vision that is not a library
or an exhibit hall, not a steam train or a railroad bridge, it isn’t a book or
a locomotive, and it is neither a short experience nor a long one.  It is all of these things that together
present a cohesive and compelling story about how the railroad shaped
settlement and development in the Pacific Northwest.  Thank you for being here today to help us
celebrate this achievement, and welcome to the Railway Education Center.”