I have always loved TRAINS. One uncle was the night stationmaster in Snohomish, where my brother and I were allowed to visit several times. Although the trains did not stop nor even slow down, they appeared to be racing right at us----breathtaking!
Train routes through Kennydale do have quite a history, although almost non-existent today. A remaining section of Burlington Northern continues to carry fuselage sections, etc. to Boeing, recently labeled the most efficient manufacturer in the world. The trains run from Renton northward to a crossing at Lake Washington Boulevard, then going forward enough to be able to back into where the Boeing 737’s are presently turning out like hotcakes. Tracks remain beyond but their tunnels crossing Freeway 405 have been removed. The Boulevard has a new signal light at the train intersection and south entrance into Coulon Park, but is not fully operating at this writing. Those of us who live near Lake Washington Boulevard are no doubt conscious of train crossing whistles and railcars occasionally sitting along Coulon Park. As my original home is located just above highway 405, I have heard whistles my whole life and still find them exciting. That line continued not only to the Winery, but somewhere near Snohomish and most traces of it are long gone.
The other rail line has a more interesting history. It was higher along the hillside, the freeway now covering much of it. This one was built to haul coal from the Newcastle mines when shipping across land and water became too cumbersome. Near what is now NE 28th Street, the tracks swung right to the East, passing through the present Kennydale Elementary School building site, on across along NE 29th through a very over-grown but still visual cut. It then turned along the hill a short way before turning left over May Creek far below. I understand that trestle crossing was one of the highest in the country at that time.
Part 2 of TRAINS will appear in the October Kennydale News
This is the fourth in an on-going series of articles by KNA’s Official historian, Pauline Kirkman.
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