SNOQUALMIE, Wash. — A historic locomotive is disembarking from Snoqualmie pass on a 900-mile homecoming journey - and it's hitching a ride of its own.
Locomotive 201 was originally purchased and operated by the Nevada Northern Railway (NNR) in the 1950s. The train was previously located at the Northwest Railway Museum after the NNR shut down in the 1980s. However, the train was removed from the museum's collection almost 20 years ago. Now, the Nevada Northern Railway Museum (NNRY) is bringing the last-of-its-kind train back to Ely, Nev., after nearly 40 years.
"It is with great reverence that the museum is able to transfer this outstanding example of a first-generation [American Locomotive Company] road switcher to the Nevada Northern Railway where it originally operated for Kennecott Copper,” said Northwest Railway Museum President Richard Anderson.
The train weighs hundreds of tons, and can't travel back to Nevada along the railway, according to the NNRY. Neither museum is connected to the general railway system. Instead, the train was loaded onto several trucks which will carry the cars over 900 miles, peaking at top speeds of 25 miles per hour. The museum fundraised $305,000 for the trip.
Locomotive 201 is one of only 38 models of an experimental locomotive that was built by the American Locomotive Company. It's the last train of its kind still standing today, according to the NNRY. After the train arrives in Ely, it will be restored and returned to operation.
The Northwest Railway Museum is also reclaiming a train that ran in the Seattle area for three decades.