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Ross Fotheringham | profile | all galleries >> Railroading >> Railroad History >> Great Northern, and the Wellington Avalanche of 1910 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Great Northern, and the Wellington Avalanche of 1910


***None of the remains were disturbed, moved or taken from the area during my time here, and I would ask that anyone deciding to visit the site to please do the same. Ninety-six people died in this valley, please treat it accordingly, thanks. ***


For years Iíve wanted to go up on Stevens Pass and check out the old Great Northern grade over Stevenís Pass. When I was in middle and high school, Iíd take the ski bus up to the resort, and you could clearly see the old concrete snow shed, along with other parts of the old grade.

I would always promise myself that Iíd explore the area when the snow melted in the spring, but Iíd never get around to it. On Saturday May 7th, I finally took some time, and explored the area including the remains of the Wellington Avalanche.

For those who donít know the story, on March 1st 1910, two trains trapped by snow in Wellington, the Spokane Local passenger train No. 25 and Fast Mail train No. 27, were swept off the tracks by an avalanche a Ĺ mile wide. There were five or six steam and electric engines, 15 boxcars, passenger cars, and sleeper cars. Ninety-six people lost their lives that day, and it is still the deadliest train accident in North America, and the worst natural disaster in Washington State.

I also made video documentary of the debris field guided by author and historian Martin Burwash.

- Here is a link to that YouTube Video Part 1 -

- Here is a link to that YouTube Video Part 2 -