Snohomish Now and Then: A train station here?

[singlepic id=254 w=550 h=386 float=none] J.Craig Thorpe Rendering (Click to Enlarge)

We are flipping the adjectives of our blog title this month over our excitement to be sharing with you a future idea for the Centennial Trail Station and Interpretive Center at First Street.

The original watercolor rendering by J. Craig Thorpe was unveiled this past weekend as part of the celebration marking the first train to reach Snohomish 125 years ago on September 19, 1888. Snohomish City Council Members unanimously approved to commission Thorpe to produce a conceptualization of what a station in downtown Snohomish might look like after some 70 years without passenger train service, although freight service continued to mid-1990s. The station could accommodate plans for the return of an excursion train to Snohomish.

The Eastside TRailway Alliance was formed in 2012, joining the cities of Snohomish and Woodinville, along with various groups and business, including wineries. The Alliance is committed to both rail and trail development and is devoted to seeing the Eastside Rail Corridor improve and expand for public benefit – in other words, building upon the same rail route that was established 125 years ago.

Working with the new rail operator Eastside Community Rail, the Alliance is developing plans to establish a Taste of Washington excursion train. Over the horizon may be commuter rail service, from a station south of the Snohomish River, connecting our city to Bellevue to the south and Everett to the west. Modern self-propelled rail cars, called “diesel multiple unit” (DMU), are as quiet as buses, one of which is pictured in the rendering.

[singlepic id=253 w=260 h=173 float=left] J. Craig Thorpe is a well regarded local artist of landscapes who has been commissioned by Amtrak for original art over the past two decades. Our neighboring city of Skykomish to the north commissioned Thorpe to create a vision for its Town Center expanding on its history as a Great Northern town. The Mayor of Skykomish testifies have a picture of the vision is a valuable ‘marketing tool with local businesses, residents, possible investors, other stakeholders and legislators,” according to Thorpe’s website.

Snohomish’s newspaper The Eye published a headline on April 23,1887 that read: “LET ‘ER BOOM! Unbridled enthusiasm anticipating the arrival of the train the following year. With this concept of our future train station in mind, I say, “Let‘er Boom Again!”

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Published in the Snohomish County Tribune, September 18, 2013

Video: LET ‘ER BOOM: 125 Years Later!

Snohomish’s newspaper “The Eye” followed the progress of the track laying crews as they moved north toward Snohomish preparing the way for the arrival of the Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad. It was an exciting time, as it is again with the revival of the dormant rail corridor, especially between Snohomish and Woodinville with the formation of the Eastside TRailway Alliance earlier this year.

“Let’er Boom Again!” a headline might read today, if newspapers were keeping its eye on what’s happening in the community these days.

A weekend of events celebrating the 125th Anniversary of the Lake Shore Road, September 14 & 15, 2013, intends to draw attention to the regional benefits of reviving rail service south of Snohomish. The community party hopes to make news!

  • Saturday, September 14th, a Symposium of Speakers, a Musical Interlude and a Free Lunch will be held at AngelArmsWorks, 230 Avenue B in Historic Downtown Snohomish — doors open at 9a for this FREE event!
    Follow this link to learn more and to save your place.
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  • Sunday, September 15th, the celebrations begin at 11a in both Woodinville & Snohomish!
  • Download an Official Schedule of Events.
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    Featured is a special VIP caboose departing from Woodinville, north bound to Snohomish, at noon — following proclamations and remarks at 11:30. Included aboard the historic, sure to be swaying, caboose ride will be Snohomish Mayor, Karen Guzak, Woodinville City Council-member, Les Rubstello, and State Representative Luis Moscoso among others.

    The Pacific Railcar Operators will be running small rail cars, called Speeders, along the picturesque rail route between Woodinville and Snohomish as well. Barely to mention live music, food, even mini train rides for the kids!

    Three years ago, a rail operator promised the return of the Dinner Train, this time running between Woodinville and Snohomish, a promise that created quite a town buzz which reminded me of the newspaper accounts from the 1880s, and I wrote this story “Rails Over the River” about the arrival of the first train into Snohomish on September 19, 1888 — the event we are celebrating this September — and the forming of the Eastside TRailway Alliance with its goal of creating an even better excursion train.

    Let ‘er Boom Again — 125 Years Later!