Great Northern’s historic crossing of Stevens Pass has never been easy. The first two months of 2020 proved particularly harsh as “Old Man Winter” relentlessly pounded BNSF’s Scenic Subdivision with a barrage of winter storms. This provided the perfect setting for capturing trains in punishing arctic conditions.
On the west side, we will visit Skykomish, which lies at the base of the mountain grade. From here, trains dig in for the 2.2% climb across the Foss River Trestle, over the icy waters of Deception Creek, and into Scenic and the west bore of the 7.8-mile-long Cascade Tunnel.
On the east side, trains emerge back into the wintry setting at the east portal of the Cascade Tunnel. From Berne, it’s a stiff 2.2% descending grade to Merritt and Winton as the railroad navigates the foothills of the Cascades. Leaving the snow zone behind, we will tour the former railroad town of Leavenworth, which has been transformed into a Bavarian village decorated in Christmas lights for most of the winter. Bundle up and get ready for a chilling railroad adventure!