Sunset in Bellingham

Making it to Bellingham, WA just before sunset, I was able to get some images of the former Great Northern depot, and capture a bit of train action, as well. (Click on the photos below to see them in a larger format.)

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A mixed freight consist led by BNSF 8021 rumbled past the depot.

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Guessing BN 3156/2112 are used as yard switchers.

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King Street Station

This morning I did something very out of character for me. Coming from a state where the largest city has a population slightly over 100,000 people, I tend to orchestrate my travels to avoid really large cities and/or travel through them at night when activity is at a low. Spending the weekend in the greater-Seattle area, I had recently learned that the former Great Northern Railway station, King Street Station, had been totally renovated and remains fully functional as a train depot. Built in 1904-1906, this facility served both the GN and the Northern Pacific railroads back in the day. So I decided to go and check it out. Besides the pictures that follow, here are a few of my learnings from this experience:

1)  The population of Seattle is about 650,000, and I think I saw at least half of them,

2)  A full-size, crew cab pick-up does not fit into the parking spaces in Seattle, and seems to only marginally fit in the road lanes,

3)  The Seattle Mariners play games on Sundays, including today…at Safeco Field…which is located next door to King Street Station…and the other half of Seattle’s population competed for parking!

However, I did survive the experience, and am glad I made the effort. The station is a beautiful structure, and the people working there are very friendly and seem to take a lot of pride in their place of work. The actual passenger depot is in the lower level of the station, which is of granite construction. The upper level is a brick structure, and includes offices and clock tower. (I encourage you to click on the images to view them larger, there is some cool stuff here!)

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Front View of the upper level of King Street Station

Inside the lower level of King Street Station

Inside the lower level of King Street Station

The west wall inside the passenger depot of King Street Station

The west wall inside the passenger depot of King Street Station

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Rear view, looking from southeast to northwest

Amtrak Cascades, Puget Sound "Sounder" and Amtrak Empire Builder all service passengers at King Street Station

Amtrak Cascades, Puget Sound “Sounder” and Amtrak Empire Builder all service passengers at King Street Station

The "Sounder" pulls out of King Street Station

The “Sounder” pulls out of King Street Station