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McKinstry finds a way to restore early Spokane railway history

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If you have a passion for Spokane railroad history, you’ll celebrate recent plans by a Seattle firm to restore one of the area’s historic train sites.

Seattle energy-efficiency building company, McKinstry, has bought the early 1900s-era electric train shop and yards once used by a railway that ran from Spokane to Coeur d’Alene.

The address of the new McKinstry Spokane office is 802 E. Spokane Falls Blvd., south of Gonzaga inside the University District. Notably, it will call the office the Great Northern Building.

McKinstry has about 50 workers in Spokane now, with roughly 1,600 overall at various locations.

A press release from Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) praised the company’s plan to grow its Spokane location. The firm focuses on building, designing and managing more energy efficient buildings.

The 1900s-era building McKinstry is converting was the shop and train yards of the Inland Empire Railroad Co. which operated until 1919. It became the Spokane and Eastern Railroad Co. That later became the Spokane & Inland Empire Railroad.

In 1929 the railway was taken over by the Great Northern Railroad.


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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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