Coal Car Restoration

Renton History Museum Welcomes Back Its Newly Reconstructed Coal Car

Completed coal car at CRCThe historic reconstruction of the museum's coal car is complete.

The eight-month project, funded by 4Culture, ended on August 26, 2008, when the coal car returned to Renton from the Conservation and Restoration Center of the Northwest Railway Museum (NRM) in Snoqualmie, Washington.

Renton History Museum staff and volunteers installed the coal car in the museum's main gallery as an integral part of the When Coal Was King coal mining exhibit. Having been reconstructed and correctly re-engineered in some areas, the coal car now serves as a tangible reminder of Renton's coal mining roots.

Coal car arrives at RHMThe rescue of the coal car is the result of a constructive partnership between the Renton History Museum and the Northwest Railway Museum. When it was determined in late 2007 the coal car had seriously deteriorated, the museum called upon the skills and knowledge of the NRM staff to help return it to its original shape.

Thanks to a grant, NRM staff were able to properly reconstruct the car's physical characteristics by researching how coal cars were designed, built, and used in the mines.

Photos of the project can be found on the museum's Flickr album.

January 25, 2008: Coal Car Moved to NW Railway Museum
February 11, 2008: Research of the Car's Construction Begins
February 25, 2008: Research Continues, Coal Mine Cars in Use
March 10, 2008: Idiosyncrasies & Anomalies
March 14, 2008: The Deconstruction of the Coal Car
April 8, 2008: Coal Car Commemorates Miners' Contributions
May 20, 2008: Douglas Fir Was the Best Choice
May 30, 2008: Reconstruction From the Bottom Up
June 2, 2008: The Load-Bearing End Anomaly is Remedied
July 16, 2008: Historic Reconstruction Nearly Finished

Project Partners

RHM logo      NWRM logo

Grant Funding Provided By

4Culture logo

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