Woodinville celebrates 125 years of trains — then and now

  • Written by Terri Malinowski, Woodinville Heritage Society

Casey Jones Special ca1957Photo courtesy of Woodinville Heritage Society. This 1957 photo looking southeast from present-day Woodinville Drive shows a “Casey Jones Special” excursion train using the triangle at Woodinville to turn around on its return trip to Seattle via the Renton Belt Line. To the far right is the DeYoung Feed Mill that operated from 1946 to 1984. In the background are the Woodinville School and old white gym, the NE 175th Street bridge over the Sammamish River, and Hollywood Hill in the distance.Woodinville received its first passenger train service 125 years ago, and the Woodinville Heritage Society will honor that occasion with a community celebration Sunday, Sept. 15.

The event includes a mini-train ride for children, historical costumes, music, speeders, speakers, train presentations and other exhibits. The event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. along the railroad tracks across from the Woodinville Post Office on Woodinville -Snohomish Road. 

The Seattle, Lake Shore and Eastern Railroad ran its first train Sept. 19, 1888 from Seattle to Woodinville and on to Snohomish.

The free event ties Woodinville and Snohomish together just as the rails tied them together 125 years ago. Train service put Woodinville and Snohomish on the map and made them into thriving cities. Today, the Eastside Rail Corridor still connects Woodinville and Snohomish with greater potential to come.

The current operator, Eastside Freight, will run a special VIP caboose from Woodinville to Snohomish at noon. The VIPs on the trip will include the co-chairs of the Eastside TRailway alliance, Rep. Luis Moscoso, and other government officials. 

The Pacific Railcar Operators will also be running speeders on the rail before and after the VIP Train Tour. Speeders are historical motorized vehicles which railroads formerly used to transport crews for track inspection and maintenance. Now private owners will run their speeders for entertainment.

Music performances will spotlight the start and end of the Woodinville to Snohomish trip.

Today, freight service continues under the auspices of Eastside Community Rail and their operator, Eastside Freight, from Woodinville to Snohomish. The Eastside TRailway Alliance formed in January 2013 with the Snohomish mayor and a Woodinville City Council member as co-chairs with the purpose of promoting multi-usage of the Eastside Rail Corridor.

Railroad Depot ca 1912Photo courtesy of Woodinville Heritage SocietyThe Snohomish celebration will be held Saturday, Sept. 14, at Harvey Airfield and the City of Snohomish information center. A Saturday symposium of speakers such as Alfred Runte and regional historian Paul Dorpat, a musical interlude and lunch will provide a historical perspective of the corridor along with an Eastside TRailway Alliance meeting. Doors open 9 a.m. AngelArmsWorks, 230 Avenue B, Snohomish.  This is also a free event but registration is required.

The Woodinville Heritage Society and the Snohomish Historic Downtown Association are the presenting organizations.

Contact Kathy Cox at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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