Relocating History from Bellingham to Snoqualmie: century-old steam locomotive gets new home at Northwest Railway Museum

On September 21, 2017, the Northwest Railway Museum moved a piece of railway history – the way from from Bellingham to Snoqualmie – with the goal of restoring the nearly century-old H.K. Porter steam locomotive to its former glory.

Decades ago the Permanente Cement Company purchased the engine from the U.S. Navy and then eventually donated it to the City of Bellingham in 1960.

For the last 57 years, the #7 Porter locomotive had been a fixture near the shoreline of Lake Whatcom at Bloedel-Donovan Park. Over the years, though, it fell into disrepair, with some of its components even vandalized or stolen.

The City of Bellingham solicited and received three Letters of Interest from railroad organizations in Washington and Oregon, and ultimately decided on the Northwest Railway Museum.

The steam locomotive will be re-purposed, restored and eventually placed on public display at the organization’s Museum in Snoqualmie as another key piece in fulfilling its mission of interpreting and preserving Pacific Northwest railway history.

“We are thrilled that this piece of Bellingham history has found a permanent home where it will be well cared for,” said Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville.

The Northwest Railway Museum said it is looking forward to having this piece of railway history added to its collection and to eventually placing it on exhibit.

For more information visit.


Crews prepare the steam locomotive for its move from Bellingham to Snoqualmie.


#7 Porter crossing the Snoqualmie River earlier this week. Photo: NW Railway Museum Facebook page.

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