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Wellington

Founded in 1893 at the western portal of the abandoned Cascade Tunnel, this Great Northern station was marked by a hillside snowshed.

The storm preceding the avalanche disaster began February 21, with snow often falling at the rate of a foot an hour and drifts up to 20 and 30 feet high. Two trains, passenger train #25 and mail train #27, had left Spokane heading west on February 21, 1910. When they approached the Cascades, rotary snowplows managed to clear the tracks sufficiently to enable the trains to advance to Wellington by the night of the 24th. The trains were stranded on the tracks at Wellington for several days and on February 28th, the weather warmed up, bringing rainfall. However, early on the morning of March 1, an avalanche swept both trains and the tracks into the Tye River Ravine, killing 96 people (35 passengers and 61 rail employees). Only 22 survived (8 passengers and 14 rail employees). Rescue operations were hampered by renewed snowfall. The disaster prompted a series of improvements along the Stevens Pass mainline including huge concrete snowsheds. The town of Wellington was relocated to a safer position and renamed Tye.

Tye was abandoned in 1929 when the second Cascade Tunnel came into use. The site of Wellington is now a part of the Stevens Pass Historic District, established 1976, and marks the entrance to the Iron Goat Trail. On display here are the two snowsheds, western portal of the abandoned Cascade tunnel, and archeological remains of the townsite. The Iron Goat Trail follows six miles of the original Great Northern Railway from the Wellington site to Martin Creek. The trail was expanded in 2006 to include a trail center and safety rest area, now called the Iron Goat Interpretive Site, in the town of Scenic.

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