June 2020
Dear Members and Museum Supporters,
It is with deep sadness that I am writing to you on behalf of the Board of Directors to inform you of our difficult decision to close the Bellingham Railway Museum permanently. This decision was not made lightly and there was much deliberation on the part of our board and staff.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made it impossible for us to continue to operate. To protect the health of our staff and of the community, we closed the museum since March 17, 2020, which has resulted in a huge loss of revenue. Despite the three-month rent waiver from the City of Bellingham as well as tireless efforts of our staff in applying for grants, donations from our members and friends, and cutting our operating costs, we are still short of funds to keep the museum running. Along with the financial situation, our space constraints pose even more challenges for us to make the necessary adaptations to the museum to allow for our staff and visitors to follow the guidelines set by local and state authorities with regards to COVID-19 distancing and safety.

Thinking about all the joy and experiences we have brought to the train enthusiasts, our volunteers, visitors and the community, we are all deeply saddened by this upcoming permanent closure and feel this loss strongly. We have begun the process of closing the museum and are making the transfer of our collections to our beneficiary, the Northwest Railway Museum. I am happy that they are able to preserve and protect the items that we have cared for over the years and that our museum will live on in their care.

I also would like to personally extend my gratitude to the City of Bellingham and to all of our members, volunteers, and supporters. We are so very thankful for the years that we were able to serve you and participate in our community. Please consider reaching out to the museum community at large with your support as they are all struggling during this difficult time and do such important work in our communities. Thank you.

Sincerely,
Shelissa Griffin
Executive Director,
Bellingham Railway Museum