In Seattle, the Milwaukee Road called Union Station home. The famous trains named Columbian and Olympian called there until 1961 when the passenger trains were cut back to Deer Lodge. Eventually the last Hiawathas would never make it further west than the Twin Cites. Union Station still served the Union Pacific, but there was another way out of town as well.
Just across the street from Union Station, the NP and GN called King Street Station home. Famous trains called here as well, and to some extent, at least one still does. The North Coast Limited and Empire Builder were just some of the top of the line passenger trains that left from the sheds of King Street. Unlike the Milwaukee Road, UP, and NP, the GN left town heading north out along the Pacific coast. At Everet the line to the Midwest turned east and headed over the Cascades and Stevens Pass. It was there that the GN had a small electrification project of its own, and varnish like the Empire Builder was headed by powerful electric locomotives until the advent of dieselization.
Amtrak's Empire Builder still leaves King Street on a daily basis, still in close proximity to Union Station and the haunts of old Olympians. Just like the original Builder, she heads north and the modern streamliner rolls through the ever expanding Seattle area and small coastal towns along the shores. In the photo above at Mulkiteo, a beautiful winter morning is at hand along the old GN main. The air is crisp, the leaves have turned, and fresh snow tops the distant mountains. This is still the other way out of town, although for rail passengers heading to the Midwest for holidays and family, it is also pretty much the only way out. How times change.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all.
Author's note: it is possible to leave King St. on a southbound Coast Starlight or Cascades for points south, and eventually east, if desired.
Lost Rail is pleased to share a first publication. This is a collection of photographs taken over the course of a year spent in the Palouse. The photos are broken into the distinct and beautiful four seasons of the country. Photos are sourced from the pages of this blog as well as others taken around the Palouse and Inland Empire of Washington State.