Wellington, WA 1893-1929 

site visit 2011


Wellington, WA which later became known as Tye. 

Wellington's infamous claim to history came at the expense of 96 lives lost in an avalanche March 1st 1910. The worst avalanche disaster in United States History.

Two Great Northern Railroad trains were trapped due to weather at Wellington.  Most of the passengers and crew were asleep aboard their trains.  During the night a tremendous avalanche estimated to be a quarter mile in length came down the mountain side striking the trains. Both trains and their passengers were sent 150 feet to the Tye River valley below.  Of the 96 people killed, 35 were passengers and 58 were Great Northern employees.

Twenty-three passengers survived; they were pulled from the wreckage by railroad employees who immediately rushed from the hotel and other buildings where they had been staying. The work was soon abandoned; it was not until 21 weeks later, during late July, that it was possible for the last of the bodies to be retrieved.

Wellington was quietly renamed Tye during October 1910 because of the unpleasant associations of the old name. In the same month, the Great Northern Railway began construction of concrete snowsheds over the tracks where the avalanche occurred.

The depot closed in 1929 with the completion of the second Cascade Tunnel in 1929.  The town was abandoned and eventually burned.

Special thanks to Tim Raetzloff.


Snowshed construction 1910 Wellington  

Looking down the former railraod grade under the Wellington showshed.

A profile of a face on one of the showshed pillars at Wellington believed to have been made during original construction by a worker.    

Coal bin foundation remnants. 

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 Remnant footings of water tank.

A view looking at part of the general area where the avalanche came down the snow shed is just visible through the trees.  In 1910 there were no tree's on this hillside due to fire. 
Opposite side of the snowshed of where the second rail line ran.  
West Portal of Cascade Tunnel. Tunnel began construction on August 20, 1897 and was completed on December 20, 1900
  Coal bin Wellington 

Wellington Hotel  

Wellington water tank.       

Engine house pit wall remnants.
Part of debris field of wrecked trains.

Exposed rebar on one of the snowshed pillars. 

Looking up at the ceiling of the snowshed. 

The rotary and motor house which was 200 feet in length and contained the work pit.  
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King County Railroad Towns


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