Call for local knowledge

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by TrainNut, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Hey all,
    I'll be visiting the coastal corridor in Oregon, between Astoria/Portland and Roseburg soon and I was looking for any local knowledge of anything having to do with trains. Static displays, backyard RR's, good hobby shops, trolley rides, dinner cruises, scenic RR features, etc. Any and all info is appreciated. Thanks!
  2. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I've found the Mt. Hood RR and the Astoria trolley so far.
  3. KentBy

    KentBy GN, NP, SP&S

    I have gone on the Mt Hood RR.

    Last summer. It was OK, but was very short and the scenery is not the great.

    I want to do this one next year.

    The web site said that the heisler is down, but the picture on the web site show a older GN diesel.

    When will you be in the Portland area?

  4. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Good to hear about the Mt. Hood RR. It was 60 miles too far east anyways.
    The other one however seems like it would be perfectly located as it is in Tillamook county and we want to make a stop in Tillamook for some cheese. I'll have to check their site a little closer to make sure they will be open. I also found the traction museum in Salem but it seems they have been closed since October for the winter.
    PM'd you about when I'll be there.
  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    Three out of four of Oregon's coastal branches are embargoed at the moment. The A-Line is out of service somewhere west of St. Helens on account of a washout and lack of traffic in Astoria. In Astoria there is the aforementioned waterfront trolley and boardwalk. Also in Astoria is the old SP&S brick station that was used for the Lewis & Clark passenger excursions a number of years ago. There is also a steam engine there being restored, though I don't have more information handy at the moment. It's located towards the west end of town near the Red Lion Inn. I don't recall if there are any remnants of the trestle over Youngs Bay but a good chunk of the right-of-way of the Seaside Branch is visible along Highway 101 towards its namesake city.

    The Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad is also embargoed due to a washout dating back to last December. The line is the topic of debate in the Oregon legislature and its future is much up in the air. The museum that operates in Tillamook is isolated now because of the washout. I believe the Great Northern F-unit pictured on their web page is owned by Doyle McCormack and is also stuck out there pending a truck ride back to Brooklyn.

    The Portland & Western's Toledo Branch is the only active line to the coast at the moment. I'll have to dig to find operations information for you. It is freight-only.

    The Coos Bay line was embargoed a year ago by RailAmerica and the STB has since ruled this to be an illegal abandonment. A forced transfer is being proceeded with by the Oregon Department of Transportation to acquire the line and name a new operator on behalf of the state.

    The best railfan experience is in the Willamette Valley. Spend a day riding the Portland Streetcar and Tri-Met MAX and you'll see so much of the city. The new DMU-equipped WES line from Beaverton to Wilsonville is slated to open in February should Colorado Rail Car not further screw over Tri-Met. There are also a number of railfan spots throughout the metropolitan area that are worth checking out. My favorite is watching the action across the river from the 30th floor of the Bancorp Tower in the Portland City Grill. If being trackside is preferable there almost always seems to be a railfan crowd hanging out at the Vancouver (Washington) Amtrak station, just up I-5 from Portland.

    Of course, another great option for a train ride is a day trip on Amtrak in to Washington. Even if you don't get to stay long the train trip alone is worth the fare. There are plenty of round trips from Portland to Seattle and one could even turn back at Centralia without missing any of the experience.
  6. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    I happened to see part of the Mt. Hood RR during a bus tour out to Mt. Hood. I believe it may be the only tourist RR in the country that does a freight set out or pick up along the route (for the wine making business, I think).

    Here's one of their locomotives

    One of their trains rolls by:

    An example of the area's scenery (Hood River):

    Have a good trip!

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