The Toppenish railroad depot was built by the Northern Pacific Railway in 1911. For 50 years it served as the transportation center of the community. As automobile, bus and airplane service increased, railroad transportation declined and in 1961 passenger service from Toppenish was discontinued. In 1981 the depot was no longer of use to the railroad and it was boarded up. In 1989 a group of rail fans approached the city and the railroad about leasing the depot as a railroad museum. The Yakima Valley Rail and Steam Museum Association (YVR&S) was formed to accomplish this goal. With the city's help the depot was leased in 1990. The Fort Simcoe Job Corp was able to refurbish the damaged plaster ceilings. Many hours of volunteer work resulted in the replacement of the electrical systems, stripping of the paint from the oak trim, and the beginnings of the museum displays. The museum had its grand opening on July 4, 1992. In 1993 the depot and adjacent freight house were purchased from the Burlington Northern Railroad. In 2000 the museum division was renamed the Northern Pacific Railway Museum .