The American Locomotive Company built this “Pacific” type locomotive, a 4-6-2, in 1904 for the Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company. It spent most of its years on Union Pacific branch lines in Eastern Washington and Northern Idaho because of its relatively light weight. In 1955 it was donated to the City of Spokane and was trucked to a display site at High Bridge Park. In June 1978 it was deeded to the IERHS and moved over city streets to the Spokane County Fairgrounds.
Steam donkey is a common name for a steam-powered winch, or logging engine, commonly used in logging operations. They have also been used for mining, maritime, and any other industry that uses a winch. The steam engine gets its name from their origin in sailing ships where they were typically the secondary engine used to load and unload cargo and raise larger sails.
This wooden box car was built around 1889 for the Spokane & Inland Empire/Spokane, Coeur d’Alene & Palouse railroads and is one of the oldest pieces of rolling stock in our collection. Box cars can carry most kinds of freight, both hand-loaded and machine loaded, though due to their slower loading and unloading ability, they began to decline in use.
A recent addition to the museum, this sleeper-buffet lounge car was built by Pullman Standard Co. in 1950 and cost $250,000. Weighing 131,000 pounds and seating up to 37, this lounge car allowed passengers to buy food and drinks to enjoy with comfortable seating and served as part of the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway’s (later Burlington Northern) North Coast Limited. Restoration of this car was the focus of our 2019 and 2020 seasons.
This Railway Post Office (RPO) was created by the St. Louis Car Manufacturing Co. in 1914 and ran on the Great Northern Railroad. This car is now used for storage. RPO’s were first introduced in the United States in 1862 establishing the first permanent route in 1864. RPO trains ran up until 1960.
This turntable served on the Union Pacific Railroad for over 50 years, until Wal-Mart bought out the land causing it to be removed. It was then donated to the museum and is thought of as one of the largest acquisitions in history for the museum.
This car was built in 1918 by American Car Foundry as a standard combination Railway Post Office/baggage car for the Great Northern. It was then converted to a baggage car and lastly to maintenance of way support. It is now used at the museum as a library car holding over 1,500 railroad books, photos, maps and other papers.
This car, #319 was built as a Solarium-Observation car. In 1950 it was rebuilt in the Great Northern shops as a semi stream line baggage car. The upper half was rebuilt to conform with the lines of the 1947 and 1950 Empire Builder trains, the lower half is as it was in 1929, riveted construction and 6-wheel trucks. The museum uses it for storage.
Built in 1918 by American Car & Foundry as a mail storage car for the Great Northern Railroad. This car was off-limits to passengers; only highly trained postal clerks were allowed. These post office cars did more than simply transport mail; they were equipped to handle most back-end postal processing functions. To enforce security, the foreman in charge was required to carry a regulation pistol.
Flatcars are rolling stock that consist of an open, flat deck mounted on a pair of trucks, one at each end. They were often designed to carry extra heavy or large loads, such as machinery. The museum owns three different flat cars that are on display and used when needed. Intermodal freight transport-specific cars may be replacing flatcars soon as they are able to double stack container flats.