Model Train Museum & Park
The proposed Pacific West Rail Model Train Museum project would construct a museum and park on a vacant City owned property often referred to as Gateway Park. It would showcase one of the largest and most detailed 0-scale working model railroads in the United States – the Pacific West Rail model railroad.
The project would construct a park and 20,000 sq. ft. museum building to house the nearly 4,000 sq. ft. model railroad, along with community event space, a gift shop, and other interactive features. The plans also include other improvements to the City owned property.
The city owned land parcel is located on the southeast corner of Snoqualmie Parkway and Railroad Ave. The land parcel is in the Open Space (OS) District consistent with the provisions of the Mixed-use Final Plan and City zoning. This open Space (OS) District is intended to provide areas appropriate for active and passive recreation and certain institutional uses such as a museum. An institutional use, including museum is a conditional use permitted with the shoreline designation, Urban Floodplain Environment.
In September 2022, model train collection owner, Peter Hambling, presented to the City Council a vision for an interpretive model train museum, featuring his extensive working model railroad (valued at $4 million), to promote a cultural, historical, educational, and entertaining tourism experience. Mr. Hambling also considered other locations, including nearby North Bend and the City of Tacoma, to permanently house the model railroad, which is currently located in his Medina, WA home.
As authorized by the City Council in Dec. 2022, the City approved a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Mr. Hambling, who further developed the proposed park and museum concept. The MOU also required the preparation of a development agreement and lease agreement. The project's development and lease agreements are expected to be presented to the City Council for consideration of approval on Aug. 14, 2023.
Permitting and Review Requirements
If approved, the project would be subject to all land development regulations. Additionally, given the proposed project's proximity to the protected properties in a conservation easement located on the opposite side of Snoqualmie Parkway, there would be careful adherence to archeological standards while also taking into consideration Snoqualmie Tribe feedback and comments throughout the development process.
Please see project FAQ for additional information HERE.
See preliminary conceptual image below . **Please note: this is NOT an approved, final design.**