Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ghosts of Wellington on the Iron Goat Trail - Skykomish, Washington

In the late 1890s The Great Northern Railway completed a rail line through the mountains of Washington State that cut through Steven's Pass deep in the Cascade Mountains, linking Seattle with the Mid-west.  Engines had to labor up the mountain pass through switchbacks, sharp curves, and steep grades with the assistance of helper engines as well.  A tunnel that emerged on the western side of the pass at Wellington eased the burden on the engines, however one thing that the railway had a hard time conquering was the winter. 
Tons of snow would hold up trains on their travels through the Stevens Pass as the passage would become over burdened with the accumulations coming off of the mountains.  It was in March of 1910 that the winter weather in the pass would show the Great Northern Railway exactly what it could be capable of.  Read the full story>>

The destructive power of the Wellington avalanche can be seen in this photo taken shortly afterward.  Workers can be seen working through the mangled train cars, trees, and snow looking for survivors.