The History, Achievements & Activities Of The W.S.R.H.S.


   The Washington State Railroads Historical Society's history is as old
as the railroads that were built in Washington State.
The history of railroads in Washington began in 1868 when Dr. Dorsey Baker
incorporated Washington's first successful common-carrier
rail line between, Walla Walla and Wallula. The Northern Pacific Railroad
followed in the mid 1880's when it completed the first Northern
Transcontinental line through the town of Ainsworth later to become Pasco.
Railroads were among this nation's earliest heavy industries and played a
significant role in the economic and social development of the United States
and the Pacific Northwest.
Before there was company's like Boeing or Microsoft there was the
Northern Pacific, Great Northern, and the Milwaukee railroads.

   In 1990 the Washington State Railroads Historical Society was formed,
and dedicated to preserving Washington State rail history.
The Society started with as few as ten members and
over the years it has groan to over a hundred.
The Society is a nonprofit C-3 organization and has a set of bylaws by which
it operates, a board of officers that are elected each year by the membership.
The board is made up by the President, Vice-President, Treasurer,
Secretary, Historian, Director at Large, and Past-President.
The society also elects a Safety-Officer each year to watch over work projects.
In 1998 the society opended it's first museum at 122 North Tacoma Ave,
in Pasco, Washington.
Work is under way to inlarge the museum and some day to move it across
the street into the old Pasco Depot.

   The WSRHS over the past few years has obtained rail equipment
from around the state.
The society played a key roll in the movement of the Great Northern
locomotive # 2507 that was moved from MaryHill State Park to Pasco by
barge by supplying man power and setting up the shipping to the
Port Of Pasco.
The group that owned the engine soon after the move went under
and the WSRHS took over the project.

The society and it's members have moved two cabooses, one from Spokane, WA.
and a second from Standfield,Oregon.

Along with returning the states oldest locomotive from Nome, Alaska
with the help of Lampson Crane Company and The Crowley Marine Co.

Activities & Accomplishments:

  • The Society helped advise the City of Pasco and the State DOT in
    the choosing of the location for the new Pasco, train-bus depot.

  • The Society is working with the Washington State Historical Society to
    find artifacts for the new Washington State Museum
    in Tacoma, WA.

  • The Society has chaired sessions at the Heritage 94 & 95 conferences
    sponsored by the Washington Heritage Resource Center for the
    State's history and heritage community.

  • The Society has republished the accounts of a former Northern Pacific
    road-master who was born in 1863.

  • The Society has collected the original records from the Northern Pacific
    Ice Plant in the Pasco rail-yards.
    These will be indexed and archived to show the details of the plant's operation.

  • The Society maintains photo, book, and artifacts collections.

  • The Society maintains a Railroad history display at the Benton-Franklin
    County Fair each year.

  • The Society gives tours to public groups and schools

  • The Society in the past has sponcered a Santa Train for the kids at Christmas.

  • The Society at present operates a museum, that is open on (Saturday's only)
    to the public from May to December, each year.

  • The Society is working to build and the develop the:

    "Washington State Rail Museum"

    Questions and Comments to The WSRHS:        

  • Return to WSRHS Home Page.