Seattle Steam Plant

In this forum, users are encouraged to share great places to see in their area. Please be sure to list Name of the venue, City & State, Operating hours, a review and a web link if possible. The intent is so that those planning a trip or visiting your area might be interested in visiting! Pictures of the venue are also welcome.

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Seattle Steam Plant

Post by ToddMiller »

If you want to checkout some nice big engines and stuff the Seattle Georgetown Steam Plant is a good one. It was built to power the electric trolly system backing the day. They offer public open houses on the second Saturday of every month between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., with free guided tours at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. It is getting to be more organized or formal than it used to be but you still get to wander about a lot. There used to be a local model steam engine group that would also meet on those days but the last time I went they weren't there and none of the people running it seemed to know what happened to them. We went about ten years ago and you could really wander around and in the basement were several 7 1/2" and larger scale locomotives. I asked about those this summer and again no one knew what happened to them or whether they were still there. IN any case it is worth visit. ... lant#visit
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Re: Seattle Steam Plant

Post by JackF »

Some members of a local hobby machinists club used to go there and sometimes Lilly would fire up one of the two steam engines. Man, what a sight. You could feel the floor shake on every stroke. The one in your pic is the one she fired up. Lilly was, maybe still is, the caretaker of the plant and opened the door for us. I moved to Idaho and have lost contact.
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Re: Seattle Steam Plant

Post by NP317 »

If I remember correctly, the main electric generators are powered by vertical steam turbines!
Remarkably unusual and functional, the bearing systems especially.
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Re: Seattle Steam Plant

Post by Glenn Brooks »

A brief historical note- I can’t remember if the live steam group was 12” or 15” gauge. The RR was a 1200’ loop on one corner of the power plant property. Years ago I found some orthophotograhy (aerial imagery) showing the track looped around one corner of the property. Around 15 or 20 years ago the elderly couple who owned the two locomotives and rail passed away, and the RR was eventually pulled up and placed in storage. I believe their estate latter sold the equipment to private owners and moved to California. The miniature train group was connected to and part of a larger, informal group of steam plant volunteers and City steam employees and inspectors who restored and maintained the power plant equipment as on the weekends, and during their off hours.
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Motive power : 1902 A.S.Campbell 4-4-0 American - 12 5/8" gauge, 1955 Ottaway 4-4-0 American 12" gauge

Ahaha, Retirement: the good life - drifting endlessly on a Sea of projects....
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