Author Archives: Shelissa Griffin

New Models by Randy German

New models and a rustic kit bash by master modeler Randy German are now on display at the Bellingham Railway Museum. These are an addition to the models in his collection that are already on display. We have now been lucky enough to complete the collection and are so excited to be able to share them with the public.

In the 1990s Randy German began to build models based on the trains and equipment used in the Northwest lumber industry in the early 1900s. Randy had experience earlier in his life with mechanics, engineering, and with fabrication while working on motorcycles and other projects (including an electric car designed and built with a friend). Randy used his ingenuity and skill to fabricate any of the parts he needed to create his scale models whether they be castings or machined parts. Randy built most of his models without plans and only by looking at small black and white photographs of the early trains and equipment.

Here are some photos of the new additions:



Come see the rest on display in the museum now.

Fun With the BRM at the 7th Annual Whatcom Safe Kids Safety Fair

Bellingham Railway Museum Volunteers Dave Baker, Fred Dodds, Helmer Sieber, and Rich Clearman represented the museum at the 7th Annual Whatcom Safe Kids safety fair on Saturday June 11th, 2016. It is estimated that more than 1000 adults and children were in attendance. We brought one of our speeders out to the event and provided railroad safety items and information that was provided to us by a representative of BNSF. It was a great, although blustery day and we jump at any opportunity we have to promote train safety.

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Volunteers Dave, Rich, and Fred with the speeder. (photo by Helmer Sieber)

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Fred cleans the windows on the speeder in preparation for visitors. (photo by Helmer Sieber)

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The team sets up for the day. (photo by Helmer Sieber)

I am also including more photos from the day that were provided to me by event coordinator Erica Littlewood Work (of the South Whatcom Fire Authority) and thank her for including us in this wonderful event for children and families.

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Did you attend the event? What did you think?

Building a Mountain – Lionel update

What do you think of our new mountain so far?

Styrofoam sheets build the base of the mountain around the tunnels.



Mr. Pagano uses a hot wire foam cutter to make cuts into the Styrofoam. This helps make a messy and slow job less messy and much quicker than using a knife or saw.



Layers are secured using foam board adhesive.



Mike Pagano and volunteer Tom Griffin work on the new Lionel exhibit mountain.


Mr. Pagano adds some color using ground foam and paint.


Leave a comment and let us know what you think.



Next Steps – Lionel update

Mr. Pagano on deck! Time to test all the things! Weed out what works, what doesn’t, and what can be fixed. Testing accessories is a fun time. We hear a lot of ooohing and ahhhing from that corner of the museum. We decide to add a beautiful lighthouse to the layout. It will replace Lady Liberty from our old layout. The lighthouse has a light and sound feature and is inspired by the Cape Hatteras lighthouse in North Carolina. The real lighthouse stands a whopping 208 feet tall and takes 257 steps to climb to the top. Here is a link to more information on the Cape Hatteras lighthouse:


Here are some more photos of the progress on the layout exhibit.




Beginning Stages – Lionel update

Prep work has begun at the museum to allow Mr. Pagano to start working his magic on our Lionel Layout exhibit. That means cleaning everything out from under the layout and starting to remove items from the layout. This is the boring part. It also means creating adequate work space. All parts and pieces, cars and buildings get laid out on tables. Here are some photos of the progress.



Since it’s founding by Joshua Lionel Cowen in 1900, Lionel Manufacturing Company near City Hall in New York City has been delighting train lovers around the world. We hope we at the Bellingham Railway Museum can delight you with our new Lionel exhibit when it is completed.

Temporary Closure

The Bellingham Railway Museum will be closed July 5th through July 18th 2016. We will reopen Tuesday, July 19th. During this time we will be doing an exciting update to our Lionel layout exhibit and working on other projects and maintenance at the museum.

We apologize for the extended closure. We ran into some unexpected delays. Thank you for your patience during this closure. Please call the museum with any questions you may have.

We plan to take some photos of our projects and share them with you.