History Museums engineers popular train show
August 10, 2010
By Amira Robinson-Lewis
The fifth annual train show, hosted by the Issaquah History Museums, will be conducted Aug. 14 at the Issaquah Train Depot. An array of model trains will be displayed and demonstrated from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
The event will highlight historic styles and models, including a caboose, one operated by hand and an elaborate LEGO train. In addition, the Northwest Pacific Z Scalers will display their small z-scale-model layouts.
The “complex” LEGO-train element will be a play area for children who attend, according to Karen Klein, volunteer coordinator and administrator for the show. Children will be able to put together their own train layouts using Brio trains in a dedicated play area.
Visitors can blow the air horn on a model train and the pump car will be available for supervised trips, Klein said, so attendees may experience the historic operation of trains by manpower.
Klein has been voluntarily coordinating the Issaquah train shows since the first year.
“It’s just a very enjoyable thing,” she said.
The Issaquah Depot will operate its own layout model in the Army car.
The scale model was constructed by Stan Espeseth, a longtime member of and volunteer for the historical society. It represents the Burlington Northern line between Issaquah and Woodinville, circa 1975, according to the history museums’ website — www.issaquahhistory.org.
The railroad arrived in the small settlement of Squak in 1888, and with its arrival, development possibilities “were endless for this small community,” according to the website. The railway was a cost-effective way to transport goods, especially coal.
In 1983, the then-Issaquah Historical Society selected the historic depot building as a worthy restoration project and a committee began working on it. Now restored to an exact replication of the original, it was dedicated in 1994.
Admission to the train show is $2 for adults and $1 for children, with family passes available. The Issaquah Depot is at 50 Rainier Blvd.
Amira Robinson-Lewis is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.