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LATEST NEWS & EVENTS on the OREGON PACIFIC RR  2012
Copyright © 2004-2011 All Rights Reserved
2011 - a Year in Review    2012 - Looking Forward

Update: January 2, 2012

2011 was yet another extremely busy and eventful year for the OPR.    The following are just some
of the many highlights and events that occurred over the past year.

The year began as the OPR and its crew undertook a major project of reconstructing the Johnson Creek Trestle on the East
Portland Branch.  This project was done entirely by the OPR's own crew and involved replacing the entire upper deck of the
trestle.

By early spring, the OPR would welcome another piece of vital equipment, a new Swingmaster Speed Swing, which was
delivered via flatcar.  The Swingmaster was immediately put to work in other projects throughout the rest of the year and will
continue to play a major role as the OPR is constantly upgrading and maintaining it's railroad and equipment.

Beginning in the spring and continuing through the fall, the OPR undertook the project of upgrading 4 major crossings on the
East Portland Branch, with all new track, ties and crossing panels.   Additional work included the relocation of a switch and
preparation for a future additional siding and crossover track in the Sellwood area.

In mid Spring, the OPR was involved in yet another TV/movie production with the filming of an episode of TNT's Leverage.   
OPR No. 100 and OPR caboose No. 11 as well as passenger cars from various owners associated with ORHF were used in
the one day production.  The scene was shown on an episode called "The Van Gogh Job" later in the summer.

The OPR's brand new GMD-1 No. 1413 was invited to attend National Train Day at Portland's Union Station.  Chris
McLarney's restored UP caboose, which is stored on the OPR, also attended.   Tours were given of the 1413 by OPR crews
throughout the day.

2011 would mark the year that the Union Pacific would retire it's historic SW 1500 fleet.   While this does not adversely affect
the OPR, it's a significant milestone, since the historic SW 1500s were operated over the OPR's East Portland Branch during
the final years of the Portland Traction Company and the SW 1500s often interchanged with the OPR on both branch lines.

During the summer months, the OPR hosted several charters as well as a major 4th of July Speeder Event, where privately
owned speeders were allowed to operate over both branch lines.

The famous "Oaks Park Station" of the OPR was renamed "The Oaks" Station to accurately reflect its historical heritage and
its original station name when it was operated as a trolley stop for Oaks Park between 1905 and 1957.

In July, the OPR began a major project to custom build a brush cutting machine as an attachment to the new Speedswing.
The brush cutter will be very large in size utilizing the engine of a bobcat excavator to power the brush cutting head.
The project is still in the works.

Walter Bebee's family was given an opportunity to come out and ride the OPR, pulled by the No. 1202, Mr. Bebee's namesake
locomotive.   Mr. Bebee was a good friend and mentor of Richard Samuels throughout his early adult life.

In the late summer, the OPR made the decision to not restore the No. 187, a rare EMD NW5 in storage on the OPR since the
early 1990s.   Because of numerous other projects, limited resources and more active locomotives that are actually needed, it
was decided not to put resources into restoring the NW5 and it is currently up for sale.

The OPR No. 900 caboose was repainted in preparation for the Holiday Express.   New wood siding was also added by the
crew.   The caboose may undergo additional refurbishing when the nicer weather returns in 2012.

Late summer and early fall, marked major changes for the OPR yard as crews prepared for the construction of the ORHF
complex next door as well as the relocation of the OPR yard in the spring of 2012.  These changes had a direct and major
impact on the OPR as the OPR lost its runaround track and now has limited switching ability inside its yard.  This will all
change in 2012 as a brand new yard is hopefully constructed to replace the old yard which will be removed to make way for
the new Trimet Milwaukie Light Rail Line.

By October, the OPR announced that it had purchased a historic former Southern Pacific Business Car, the "Santa Rosa".
The car would be shipped to the OPR in November and is currently stored on the East Portland Branch.  Plans are to use the
car on public and private excursions on the OPR beginning in 2012.

The OPR attended the public ground breaking of the new ORHF facility, located directly next to the OPR yard.
The new ORHF facility will have a direct impact on the OPR as ORHF equipment, including the steam locomotives that will be
stored and displayed there, will interchange with the OPR.

2011 saw major updates to the OPR website as new pages were added as well as many hundreds of valuable and rare
historical photos from the Samuels family and elsewhere were added to the website.   Stay tuned for even more major
updates, articles and photos in 2012.

The OPR crew replaced hundreds of ties on the East Portland branch in preparation for the Holiday Express Event.  This is in
addition to many hundreds more replaced on the Molalla Branch and East Portland Branch for normal servicing.   Additional
track work including major realignment and track work in the OPR's old yard to accommodate the large steam locomotives and
allow them to interchange onto the OPR.

Finally, the year was rounded out with the annual Holiday Express, hosted by ORHF, on the OPR's East Portland Branch.
This year's event included both of the steam locomotives as the SP&S 700 pulled trains one weekend, while the SP 4449
pulled trains the following weekend.    The event appears to be a success as trains were largely sold out, especially on the
second weekend.

2012 promises to be a busy year, full of major challenges and events.

Among just some of the MAJOR expected events to impact the OPR in the coming year is the reconstruction and relocation of
the OPR yard.

The continued building of the ORHF complex and the relocation of the steam locomotives and equipment from the Brooklyn
Roundhouse, to the new ORHF facility via the OPR.

The city of Portland will be undertaking a major project of adding a huge culvert under the OPR mainline and springwater trail,
north of Oaks Park.  This project will close the Springwater trail and require the intermittent closure of the OPR's East Portland
Branch during the construction period of late spring, early summer.

2012 will also mark changes for the OPR's locomotive fleet.  The No. 1202, which has been a mainstay for the East Portland
Branch will likely be relocated to the Molalla Branch as a back up engine, while the 1413 takes over the role as the primary
engine for the East Portland branch.

2012 will likely mark the beginning of construction work on the multi-year Sellwood bridge replacement project.   Because the
current Sellwood bridge crosses over the OPR, the new bridge will as well and this project will directly impact OPR operations.

Major track equipment, such as the Jackson Tamper, which had spent the last several years working and upgrading the East
Portland Branch, will be relocated to the Molalla Branch in 2012 as the crew prepare major upgrades and repairs for that
branch beginning in 2012 and beyond.

The OPR looks forward to a busy year, but as always, its crew is ready to take on any challenges and train service to the
customers of the OPR and the public will continue.

Stay tuned to this page for the latest updates, news and events of the upcoming 2012 year.
Metal Theives Caught in the Act on the OPR

Update: January 7, 2012

On Friday,  January 6th, three less than intelligent individuals attempted to steel the remains of an old OPR excavator that
was stored in the East Portland Yard in preparation for future scrapping.   The suspects trespassed into the OPR yard and
began to dismantle the equipment in broad daylight and load it onto their minivan.     Employees from the next door Stacy &
Witbeck Contractors, reported the theft in progress to the OPR.    The OPR crew was already switching in Sellwood and
headed to East Portland, light engine, while calling Police to also respond.

Police arrive at approximately the same time the OPR crew did and the suspects were still on scene committing their act of
theft.   At least one suspect had a warrant and was arrested.  The other suspects were trespassed and prosecution was
referred to the DA.

Metal theft is a constant issue with the OPR as well as other railroads and businesses.   The OPR prosecutes all theft and
crime committed, to the fullest extent of the law.    Also, the OPR wants to remind everyone not to trespass on railroad
property without express permission.   This especially includes the East Portland Yards and Milwaukie Shops area as well as
the storage areas and yards of the Molalla Branch.

Very special thanks to the employees of
Stacy & Witbeck for being diligent and notifying the OPR of the theft.  Also to the City
of Portland Police for quickly responding.
Johnson Creek Floods, OPR Johnson Creek Bridge Being Watched

Update: January 20, 2012

On Thursday January 20th, Johnson Creek reached flood stage.   The OPR has a trestle that passes over Johnson Creek on
the East Portland Branch's AmeriCold spur.   While it is not expected that the bridge will be impacted, it is being watched as
high water has damaged the trestle in the past.   Here is a photo taken by Richard Samuels of the high water level at the
bridge.
East Portland Yard Reconstruction Prep Work Continues

Update: January 20, 2012

The prep work needed prior to the major East Portland Yard Reconstruction continues.   The main phase of the relocation
and reconstruction of the OPR yard will take place later this spring.  Meanwhile, OPR crews are removing the remaining
sections of unused track, including switches and rail that will be used elsewhere on the line.

Shown here is the remains of the former middle yard track that most recently came off of the ORHF spur.   The rail and switch
were removed.   They will be used for a new siding and crossover that will be located in Sellwood near 11th street.
1951 Portland Traction Company Time Tables Found

Update: January 20, 2012

Two historic and rare time tables were recently located.   They were in perfect condition and list the time tables for the Oregon
City Division and Bellrose Division trolley systems.   Check out our
Portland Traction Company history page for a lot more
information and photos!

The brochures are one page front and back for each division.   The Oregon City division time table is larger in size.
Oregon City Division
time table
Bellrose Division
time table
Washout Affects the Molalla Branch (now back in service)

Update: January 22, 2012

On Friday January 20th, crews were preparing to take a train from Liberal to Canby when they ran across a major washout on
the Molalla branch near the Molalla River bridge.   The washout did not damage the track, but enough of the road bed next
the track was washed away that crews did not feel it was safe to attempt to go through.    The train was taken back to Liberal
and crews spent the rest of Friday lining up equipment, rock and preparing to fill in and repair the washout first thing on
Monday.    The washout is along the Molalla River and was likely caused by the recent flooding due to the heavy rains and
snow melt.   Photo by Tim Samuels.   
Check out our full photo essay of repairing this washout!
Chris Fussell Photo of OPR Train at East Portland with ORHF Complex in View

Update: January 30, 2012

On Saturday, January 28, 2012, Chris Fussell took this photograph of an OPR train coming into the East Portland Yards.  In
the foreground is the ORHF complex, still under construction, with a pile driver on the ORHF property driving piles in
preparation for the new building and track, which will house the SP 4449 and SP&S 700 steam locomotives owned by the City
of Portland.   Photo courtesy of Chris Fussell.
New Then & Now Photo of the East Portland Yards

Update: January 30, 2012

Below are two shots taken between 25 and 30 years apart, looking north in the OPR's East Portland Yards, near the UP
interchange.    The left photo was taken sometime in the 1980s by Richard Samuels, showing the Portland Traction Company
Yards and Southern Pacific Interchange.   Photo on the right shows the massive changes have occurred since then.   The
track shown on the left in the new photo is actually brand new track that was layed several years ago and not related to the
original yard, which was entirely removed after the first photo was taken.   Check out our other Then & Now photos on our
Then & Now Page.
Last Update: June 20, 2012
Photos of PRTD Gresham and Nearby aded to the Then & Now Photo page

Update: February 7, 2012

A few days ago, OPR volunteer Kevin Novak went out and rephotographed a number of photos that are up on our Portland
Traction Company history Page.   Those new photos, compared to the old photos have since been added to our Then & Now
page as a substantial update.   Check it out...

Then & Now Page.
Molalla Branch Washout Repair Photo Page

Update: February 20, 2012

A section of right of way along the Molalla River on the Molalla Branch washed away during heavy flooding in late January and
threatened to wash away the track.   Crews spent several days repairing the damage and here is a photo page of the
emergency repairs.

Photo Page of Molalla Branch Wash Out Repairs
OPR East Portland Yard Reconstruction Project Almost Underway

Update: March 1, 2012

The relocation and reconstruction of the OPR East Portland Yard, as part of the Milwaukie Light Rail Project will begin in the
next few weeks.   Stacy and Witbeck have the contract to relocate and built new track for the OPR.    The first phase of the
reconstruction will likely involve adding spur track that branches off of existing new track that was laid several years ago in
preparation for the yard reconstruction and now houses the ORHF Holiday Express Train.    Stay tuned for progress reports
and photos as they become available.
Santa Rosa Business Car Having Major Electrical Repairs & Modifications Completed

Update: March 1, 2012

The Santa Rosa Business car was purchased by the OPR late last year and has been housed in the Milwaukie OPR shop
yard undergoing repairs, cleaning and modifications.   This week, the Santa Rosa was moved into the OPR shop for the first
time and over the drop pit, located behind the shop, to allow for major electrical modifications.   These mods will allow the
Santa Rose to be fully self contained and operational for the upcoming 2012 excursion season starting later this spring.
Crossover Switch Construction in Progress on the East Portland Branch in Sellwood

Update: March 1, 2012

The OPR is currently working on installing a crossover track and switch on the East Portland Branch in Sellwood near the 11th
Street Crossing.   The crossover is historically significant, because the Portland Traction Company had a crossover in nearly
this exact location.   The crossover is being installed to allow trains to enter the newly expanded siding that extends from near
13th street to almost 9th street, when complete.    The new extended siding and cross over switch will allow locomotives to run
around trains (something that is currently not available anywhere on the East Portland Branch) and allow for needed
additional car storage.    Additional plans may include an extension of the siding into newly acquired OPR property located
near 9th street.
OPR East Portland Yard Reconstruction Project Almost Underway Update

Update: March 14, 2012

Stacy and Witbeck crews began delivering supplies for the start of the new OPR reconstruction several days ago.   The
project should begin late this week.    These photos by OPR owner Richard Samuels, shows crews unloading ties next to
Water Ave.
Slide Closes East Portland Branch for Part of a Day

Update: March 14, 2012

On the morning of March 13th after heavy rains and some snow in the Portland area, a slide blocked off part of the OPR right
of way near the Ross Island Bridge.   OPR crews were able to clear the tracks and get them back in service in just a few
hours.   Photos taken by OPR owner Richard Samuels.   The last photo showing the remains of the slide being dumped in the
East Portland Yards.
New Track Being Added to the East Portland Milwaukie Shop Yard

Update: March 14, 2012

With the expansion of OPR equipment, cars and locomotives, storage space is now at a premium.  Additional track is currently
being expanded in the Milwaukie Shop Yard.     The new space will be used to store OPR volunteer Chris McLarney's restored
UP caboose so that it will remain close to the parking lot and close to a source of electrical power, while the Santa Rosa can
also be stored in a separate track and just as easily accessible by visitors.
The Last Remains of the Sellwood Carbarn to be Torn Down Soon

Update: March 14, 2012

The last remaining wall of the former Sellwood Carbarn that once belonged to the precidesor railroads of the Portland
Traction Company and was built around 1902, is slated to be torn down starting later this week.     The Carbarn was last used
as a plastics factory and was a shipper for the Portland Traction Company and later the OPR.   The carbarn, located near the
13th street crossing, was sold off in 2003 and by 2005 was mostly torn down to make room for condo development.   The
developers, DR Horton, said that they would leave one brick wall that was facing 13th street, up as decoration.   However, it
has since been determined that it would be too costly to try to stabilize the wall and a decision was made to tear it down.    The
project is expected to affect OPR rail traffic which will have to operate on an alternate schedule while work is being performed
near the tracks.
From left to right:  A photo of the car barn taken by Brian Sopke in 2000.    Photo of the remaining wall still standing next to the new condo
development in 2007.    This brick wall is what is going to be torn down.
The Last Remains of the Sellwood Carbarn Almost Gone

Update: March 16, 2012

Crews began tearing down the last wall of the old car barn today and by late afternoon were almost done.   Only the skeleton
frame of the wall remains.   When developers left the wall in place as decoration, they installed steel beams to shore up the
wall, but the beams were not connected to the masonry and thus provided no support.   Without further costly reinforcement,
the wall had to come down.
OPR Yard Reconstruction Delayed, Supplies Delivered on Site.

Update: March 16, 2012

Stacy and Witbeck is considering delaying the reconstruction of the the OPR yard by several more weeks as PGE crews will
be on site to installed a new power line tower and relocate power lines.   Water Ave, next to the OPR yard, has been closed
and Stacy and Witbeck are now stockpiling ties, frogs, swtich stands and rails on the closed street.
Oaks Bottom Culvert Project Delayed For At Least Another Year

Update: March 16, 2012

The City of Portland has decided that the Oaks Bottom Culvert replacement project that would have closed a section of the
Springwater Trail and interrupted OPR rail service, will be delayed for at least another year.   The planned closure was to
occur later this spring and would have lasted up to 6 months.   The OPR was going to be required to build a temporary bridge
structure over the culvert work site that would be removed during the week, closing the rail line and reinstalled every weekend
to allow for only weekend rail service.   The project will apparently not take place until sometime in 2013.  
Here is the
City's website on the project.
More Historical Portland Traction Co. Timetables Sourced

Update: March 27, 2012

Several additional timetables dating from the 1940s and 1950s were found, related to the Portland Traction Co. Trolley
System.   Here are scanned copies of brochures from 1948, 1949, 1955 and 1956.    They include the Bellrose and Oregon
City Divisions.   Both Divisions operated on the OPR's existing track from East Portland to the still existing Golf Junction.  From
there, the Divisions split, as the Bellrose Division continued east on existing track to 17th street and beyond on what is now
the Springwater Trail to Lents and Bellrose and at one time as far as Estacada.    The Oregon City Division turned south at
Golf Junction and terminated at Oregon City.   The only remains of this track is the switch at Golf Junction and several car
lengths of track.  The rest was abandoned and removed in the 1960s.   The last time table for the Oregon City Division was
updated in Oct 1957, probably only a few months prior to the trolley service ending and this may be the last public timetable
issued for that division.

For more information, check out our Portland Traction Company History Page.
Oregon City Div
Timetable 1948
Oregon City Div
Timetable 1949
Bellrose Div
Timetable 1955
Oregon City Div
Timetable 1956-1957
Historic Sellwood Carbarn Remains Now Completely Gone

Update: March 27, 2012

The last chapter in the long demise of the historic Sellwood Carbarn has come to a close.  The last brick wall of the structure
was torn down several weeks ago and today nothing remains of the original structure as shown below.   See other news
updates for more information and/or visit our
Portland Traction Company history page for more information and photos.
OPR East Portland Yard Reconstruction Continues

Update: March 27, 2012

The OPR East Portland Yard Reconstruction is about to continue after several weeks of delay.  This week, PGE will be
relocating power poles and adding a new large power tower in the vicinity of the yard.   Over the course of the next few weeks,
Stacey and Witbeck will begin tearing out some existing track in the OPR yard, while maintaining the OPR mainline through
the yard, so that the OPR can continue to interchange with the UP while construction progresses.   Construction of the new
yard is expected to last into June.
Historical Photos of the OPR No. 1413 Found

Update: March 28, 2012

Several slides were recently purchased that were taken of the OPR No. 1413 in 1989.   The 1413 is a GMD-1 that was
formerly owned by the Canadian National Railroad.  Based on the condition of the 1413 in these photos, they were likely
taken very shortly after the CN completely rebuilt the 1413 from the ground up.    The OPR purchased and repainted the
1413 in 2010 for use as a back up locomotive on the East Portland Branch.   At some point in the future, the 1413 will take
over the 1202's duties as the primary locomotive for the East Portland Branch, when the 1202 is sent to the Molalla Branch.
Both photos from slides now owned by the OPR.
Left photo:  Taken by D. Whitnall, June, 1989, Toronto, Onterio.   Right photo:  Unknown photographer, May, 1989, unknown location.
OPR Celebrates 21 Years as a Common Carrier Railroad Today

Update: April 1, 2012

On April 1, 1991, what would later become the Oregon Pacific Railroad Company, was born as an operating common carrier
railroad.   Richard Samuels had already established an operating railroad company in the mid 1980s complete with
locomotives and equipment that operated a scrap and dismantling business in conjunction with his steel fabrication business.   
By the late 1980s, he established the East Portland Traction Company with the intention of eventually taking over the Portland
Traction Company's remaining operations.  On April 1, 1991, the transition officially took place, with the Portland Traction
Company ceasing all operations and the East Portland Traction, owned by Richard Samuels, taking over as the common
carrier railroad.

In 1993, Richard Samuels established the Molalla Western Railroad and took over the Southern Pacific's Molalla Branch.  In
1996, both companies, already owned by the Samuels family, were officially merged and together were renamed the
Oregon Pacific Railroad.

For more history of the OPR, check out our
OPR HISTORY PAGE.
These two Greg Brown photos show the OPR operating in its earliest days.  On the left, Engine No. 100 on the East Portland Branch.  On the right,
Engine No. 801, painted in Molalla Western colors on the Molalla Branch.   Both engines are still faithfully serving on their respective branchlines,
although the No. 801 has since been relettered Oregon Pacific.  The No. 100 will always remain in its historic Portland Traction colors dating to its
original purchase from EMD by the PTC in 1952, due to its extremely historical nature.
Track Construction for the New OPR East Portland Yard Continues

Update: April 7, 2012

Stacey and Witbeck crews ready two new prefabricated switch sections for the OPR yard reconstruction, now underway in the
OPR's East Portland Yard.   Reconstruction is slated to continue through June as the OPR yard is relocated and rebuilt as
part of the Milwaukie Light Rail project.   Stay tuned for more photos and updates as this project progresses.
Several Historical PTC Photos Found

Update: April 9, 2012

A few days ago, two interesting historical photos surfaced of the PTC and predecessor railroads.   The first black & white
photo was taken at an unknown date and appears to show Portland Traction Co. crews working a derailment wreck on the
Boring Branch, near the Harney Street Crossing, west of 82nd Ave.   We're not sure of the age of the photo, but the P. T. on
the car possibly stands for an early version of the Portland Traction Co. corporate name dating to the 1930s.  Interurban No.
1125 appears to be in use as a crew car.

The second photo was taken by G. L. Bolinsky in June, 1966 and is part of the Keith Ardinger collection and used by
permission.   Photo shows the PRTD No. 100 and 200 engines in the PRTD Yard, which was then undergoing reconstruction
as part of the Marquam I-5 Bridge project in the background.  An off ramp to the planned Mt. Hood Freeway was to pass right
over the PRTD yard and track was relocated to make way for pillars.   However, that project was later cancelled.   History
comes full circle as the PRTD Yard, now the OPR Yard, is currently undergoing reconstruction for another transportation
project, the Milwaukie Light Rail.
East Portland Branch Will Be Closed This Week for Track Work

Update: April 9, 2012

The East Portland Branch will be closed the week of April 9th, through Friday April 13th due to track work in the new OPR
yard reconstruction area.   The OPR will be isolated from the UP interchange during that time while crews relocate track and
install piping under the right of way.   The OPR will be using the shut down the period to finish the cross over switch in
Sellwood, near 11th street.   Shippers have been notified and normal traffic will resume over the weekend and next week.
East Portland Yard Construction Continues

Update: April 12, 2012

This week, crews were tearing up some of the rail in the existing OPR East Portland Yard in preparation for installing drain
pipes from the ORHF site.   Currently the OPR is cut off from the UP Interchange.  That will change by Friday, when crews
build a new temporary run through track to allow the OPR to operate and interchange as crews construct the rest of the yard
over the next few months.

In other news (far right photo) neighboring ORHF has taken delivery of its used ties which will be used in it's construction
project of the new ORHF complex.
East Portland Yard and Sellwood Crossover Construction Continues

Update: April 13, 2012

Crews are still working on two critical projects on the East Portland Branch.   Stacey and Witbeck crews which are in the
multi-month long process of rebuilding the OPR East Portland Yard, are now finishing the temporary run through track in the
Yard which will allow OPR trains to continue to interchange with the UP during construction.   The run through track should be
open by this weekend.   New yard construction will continue through June.

OPR crews were finishing installing the crossover switch in Sellwood, near 11th street.   This crossover switch was installed as
part of the rebuilding and redesigning of the siding that ran between 11th and 13th street, but will eventually run as far as 9th
street.   The crossover switch will allow OPR locomotives to run around trains if needed and be able to store cars on both
ends of the siding.    The new crossover switch is actually located in the same location that PEPCo and the Portland Traction
once had a crossover switch, but was later removed.
Photo on left is looking south showing the temporary run through track on the left and a new switch that will connect to the spur where the ORHF
Holiday Express cars are temporarily stored.    Photo on left is looking north at the new crossover switch in Sellwood.
East Portland Yard Reconstruction Update

Update: April 18, 2012

Today, crews removed track inside the current ORHF Holiday Express compound to allow them to install a switch which will
eventually lead to several storage spurs as part of the new OPR Yard.   Mainline OPR Yard track was also removed to allow
for subgrade compacting.
Photos take by Richard Samuels.  Left photo  facing south from inside the current ORHF Holiday Express compound, not to be confused with the
new ORHF Complex currently being built on an adjacent piece of property.   Right photo taken looking north along the OPR main run through track.
East Portland Yard Reconstruction Update

Update: April 20, 2012

New switch installed just south of the ORHF Holiday Express Compound.
East Portland Yard Reconstruction Update

Update: April 24, 2012

New OPR run through track being removed and relaid as part of the new OPR Yard on April 23rd.  The main track is priority
so that OPR trains can continue to connect to the UP interchange during most of the yard reconstruction.
Photos take by Richard Samuels.  Left photo looking north, right photo, looking south.
OPR Conducts First Charter of 2012

Update: April 21, 2012

The OPR conducted the first passenger charter train of the 2012 spring/summer season on Saturday, April 21st.
Approximately 20 people rode the train on the East Portland Branch as part of a birthday celebration.
The OPR continues to offer charters to the public.  For more information, please visit our
Charters Page.
East Portland Yard Reconstruction Update

Update: April 27, 2012

Stacey and Witbeck crews are now laying the new OPR mainline run through track in the OPR Yard.   Service to the UP
Interchange should be restored by tonight and OPR trains will run on this brand new track while the rest of the yard is
reconstructed over the next several months.
OPR Operates Another Passenger Charter

Update: April 29, 2012

The OPR operated its second charter of the season, giving a train ride to a private family birthday party.   Last weekend, the
OPR operated its first charter of the season.   Charters are available generally year round, although the most popular season
is during the warmer months.  For more information, please visit our
Charters Page.
East Portland Yard Reconstruction Update - ORHF Complex Update

Update: April 29, 2012

Stacey and Witbeck crews have now finished part of the mainline run through track in the OPR Yard.   This track will allow
OPR trains to continue to operate through the yard and interchange while the rest of the yard is constructed.  Eventually, the
mainline run through will be modified and shifted over.  Throughout the build process, service to the interchange will be
intermittently interrupted, but not expected for any extended periods of time.   

Meanwhile,
ORHF's Enginehouse and Complex construction, next door to the OPR is also progressing, with the concrete floor
now fully poured and grading preparations being completed for the new ballast and rail as well as the building.  This project is
not directly related to the OPR, however,
ORHF will interchange with the OPR when the project is finished and the OPR and
Richard Samuels is providing technical advise on the project to ORHF and the contractors.
All below photos were taken Friday April 27th.
Photos generally looking south as crews build out the main run through track.
Photos generally looking north
Ground level photos of the ORHF project, showing the newly graded ROW into the complex from the OPR and the newly poured concrete floor of
the engine house.
OPR Operates Another Passenger Charter

Update: May 14, 2012

The OPR operated another charter, giving a train ride to a private family birthday party.  Charters are available generally year
round, although the most popular season is during the warmer months.  For more information, please visit our
Charters Page.
OPR East Portland Yard Reconstruction Update

Update: May 14, 2012

The OPR East Portland Yard Reconstruction is proceeding as planned.   The old main yard switch was removed by crews and
was given to
ORHF to be installed at their complex next door.   The OPR will straight line the switch on Monday and restore
main line access to the UP interchange.   Currently the contractor, Stacey and Witbeck, is working on building new spurs and
track, while removing all existing track and replacing with new ties and good rail, while maintaining a temporary run through
track to keep the OPR in business.   The OPR is temporarily storing an
ORHF gondola full of used ties at The Oaks Siding.   
The ORHF complex is also making progress as the main steel beams were erected last week.
From left to right:  
(1)
ORHF borrowed Gondola temporarily stored at The Oaks Siding.  (2) Main OPR yard switch removed.  Track will be straight lined by end of
today.  It will eventually all be replace with new rails and ties.  
(3) Temporary OPR run through track at the north end of the old yard, middle of new
yard.  
(4)  ORHF building and track beginning to take shape.
OPR Announces a Public Open House Event on July 4th at The Oaks Station.

Update: May 14, 2012

The OPR is announcing a planned event that will take place at The Oaks Station on July 4, 2012.  The event will be
exclusively OPR and will be an open house showing the OPR's new business car,
Santa Rosa, Chris McLarney's restored
Union Pacific Caboose and the OPR's historical PRTD No. 100 Locomotive.   Speeders will be on hand to give public rides
from The Oaks Station, north to East Portland and back.   The No. 100 Diesel Locomotive will give cab rides south to the Golf
Junction and back.

For more information, check out our July 4, 2012 EVENT PAGE.
OPR Repairs Broken Rail on East Portland Branch

Update: May 11, 2012

Last week the OPR suffered a minor track problem, when a broken rail was discovered between 13th and 17th street on the
East Portland branch.  This section of track, commonly referred to as "the pass" is the oldest original intact section of the
OPR's East Portland Branch, with the oldest original rails and ties.   Some rail having been welded by the Portland Traction
Co. in the 1940s or 1950s.   Crews repaired the broken rail and replaced numerous ties in the area of the broken rail.   
Eventually this track will be upgraded, but it is currently excepted track from 13th street south and is sufficient to operate
freight traffic for now.  Passenger trains are not operated this far south on the line.
East Portland Yard Update

Update: May 11, 2012

Stacey and Witbeck crews continue to tear out old track and upgrade to new track and ties inside the East Portland Yard.
East Portland Yard Will Be Out of Service This Week During Upgrade Project

Update: May 15, 2012

As Stacey and Witbeck crews replace a major section of OPR track and switch at the UP interchange, OPR trains will not be
running through the yard and interchanging with the UP.  Temporary yard track should be restored by the weekend.   This is
all part of the OPR East Portland Yard Upgrade and Relocation Project underway now and expected to last through June.   
OPR service is only expected to be interrupted occasionally and the OPR is working with customers to minimize any impact.   
Below are photos of the main south leg interchange switch being replaced with a new switch, rails and ties.   Current plans
indicate the new switch will eventually connect to the ORHF facility, allowing ORHF to interchange with the OPR.   The old
interchange switch will be used on the ORHF site, where it is needed.   Bottom photos courtesy of Matt Baccitich from Trimet.
OPR East Portland Yard Returned to Service, Project Update

Update: May 19, 2012

As Stacey and Witbeck crews continue the East Portland Yard replacement project.   The former south leg UP interchange
switch was removed and replaced with a brand new switch, which will become the ORHF interchange switch into the ORHF
complex.    The East Portland Yard was out of service to OPR trains while this switch was being replaced.  Temporary service
through the yard and to the interchange has since been restored.

Major progress on the OPR yard is expected to take place the next two weeks as Stacey Witbeck ratchet up the work level to
get major aspects of the project done with in the next month.   Photos courtesy of Matt Baccitich from Trimet.
From left to right:  
(1)
Subgrade compaction near the future ORHF switch (2) Future turnout to the ORHF facility   (3) With future ORHF switch complete, new track
stills needs to be connected to the existing interchange track.   This was completed Friday 5-18-12.
OPR Conducts Another Private Birthday Charter

Update: May 20, 2012

The OPR conducted another private birthday charter today.   All charter trains leave "The Oaks Station" near The Oaks
Amusement Park and travel to East Portland and back.   For more information, please visit our
charters page.
OPR Finds Another Historical No. 1413 Photo

Update: May 28, 2012

The OPR has found another historical photo of the No. 1413, a GMD-1 that the OPR purchased several years as its newest
acquisition.   The photo was taken by Michael Bannon of the 1413 when it was still owned by the Canadian National on May
20, 1989.  This was likely taken very soon after the 1413 was completely rebuilt by GMD and upgraded to new CN specs.
East Portland Yard Project Update

Update: May 28, 2012

The below photos were taken on May 24th and only show a tiny fraction of the progress of the East Portland Yard project.  
Stacey and Witbeck has intensified work over the week and will continue to do so through June as the project nears
completion by July.
Photos show the ORHF complex spur under construction.
OPR track construction taking place on the right.  When
finished, ORHF will interchange with the OPR prior to entering
the UP.
OPR tail track being constructed next to the ORHF complex.  
This will be storage track used for switching cars north of  
Trimet interlock, to make up for the OPR's future limited ability to
move cars to the south during switching
OPR Crews Help OR&N No. 197 Crew Prepare for the Big Move

Update: June 5, 2012

The OR&N No. 197 is a 1905 Baldwin 4-6-2 that was donated to the City of Portland in 1958 and was on display at Oaks Park
with the No. 4449 and No. 700 before being moved to the Brooklyn Roundhouse where it's been undergoing a multi-year
restoration.   The 197, along with all the locomotives and equipment at the Brooklyn Roundhouse will have to be moved to the
new ORHF facility next door to the OPR Yard.   Because the No. 197 was in pieces while being restored, it was necessary to
assemble the engine as much as possible for the move to the new facility.  The OPR donated it's new Linkbelt 8030 crane and
OPR crew members Brian and Craig Samuels to operate the crane.   When the 197 arrives at the new facility, restoration will
likely continue until the 197 is brought back to operational service.

Photos are courtesy of Scott Gordon
East Portland Yard Project Update

Update: June 5, 2012

Crews are continuing the massive East Portland Yard reconstruction project.   By late last week, crews had finished
assembling significant portions of the south end tail track and several switches.  (first three photos).   By yesterday, crews had
begun to salvage the former UP south leg interchange, which will no longer be used as part of the new yard. (last photo)
New Stabilizing Shocks Being Fitted to the OPR 1413

Update: June 11, 2012

The OPR 1413 is currently being fitted with a custom stabilization shock system to reduce rocking of the engine on certain
sections of the OPR's East Portland Branch.  It was discovered that the 1413 tended to sway on the jointed rail on some
sections of track.  This wasn't a problem on welded mainline track.   The 1413 was originally designed to be used on light
branch line track with its original 3 axle trucks, but has since been modified with 2 axle trucks from a GP9.

The shocks will be mounted to the frame and the middle of the trucks on each side.   This should reduce swaying to
acceptable levels.  Once this project is completed, the 1413 will be put into regular service on the East Portland Branch.
The 1202 was used to move the 1413 into the shop for the modifications.   Richard and Brian Samuels fitting the new shock system.   The 1413
currently sits over the rear outdoor pit so it can be easily moved back into the shop as the project continues.   It's expected to be completed in the
next few weeks.
East Portland Yard Project Update

Update: June 11, 2012

Crews are continuing the massive East Portland Yard reconstruction project.   By last Friday, crews were finishing with the
ORHF interchange with the OPR.   The main yard has been graded down and new rocked roadbed was being laid in
preparation for new track.  Work continues on the south end tail track and turnouts at the south end of the yard.   The ORHF
complex main track has been almost finished and is awaiting final touches and ballasting.   Work continues on additional track
within the complex that runs around the east side of the building.
The ORHF interchange with the OPR being completed.  First three photos are looking north.  Last photo is looking south.
Work continues on the south end tail track and the mainline track through the yard.    Photo on left shows new main yard has now been graded
down and fresh rock road beds are being laid.
Work continues on the ORHF complex with progress being made on the building.  Most main track has been installed and is awaiting finishing
touches and ballast.
Molalla Branch Out of Service Due to Car Accident Bridge Damage

Update: June 12, 2012

Yesterday, a vehicle struck the Canby-Mulino Road Overpass and heavily damaged one of the bridge bents and several
pilings.   The news story can be found on
Koin.com.   According to Koin TV, the driver was attempting to avoid a rear end
collision and swerved to a miss a car, hitting the OPR bridge.   Further information indicates that another car ran a stop sign
near the bridge and forced the driver to swerve to miss the other car and run into the bridge.   The driver was injured and
transported from the scene.  Out of respect for the family we are not naming the driver on our site, but the driver and family
are friends of the OPR and live near the Molalla Branch Railroad tracks.

The bridge will require repairs before the line can be put back into service and its expected that repairs will take at least
several days.  The next train is Friday and its expected that repairs will be completed by then.  

The OPR family and crew sincerely wishes the driver a speedy and successful recovery with their injuries.
The first two photos are of the crash scene taken by the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office.   The last photo is a  wide angle of the bridge taken
several years ago.
East Portland Yard Project Update

Update: June 14, 2012

A quick update of the East Portland Yard Project from yesterday is this photo showing the main track construction well
underway.   Shown here are two storage spurs as part of the main yard, nearing completion.   Stacey and Witbeck crews are
working fast and furious and the yard is expected to be completed as scheduled by next month.
East Portland Yard Project Update

Update: June 16, 2012

Update of the East Portland Yard project including the new ORHF complex.   The ORHF interchange switch and spur from the
OPR into the ORHF complex is now complete and most ORHF track has since been ballasted and tamped.    The ORHF main
track should be inspected by the OPR and put into service sometime next week if all goes well.   The OPR is required to
inspect this track because ORHF is an industry track that interchanges with the OPR and the OPR is responsible to make
sure the track is safe for OPR or UP trains to operate over.

The OPR main yard construction is well underway with substantial progress being made.   See photos for more information.
Looking south at the ORHF building and freshly ballasted ORHF track
Looking north at the new ORHF interchange
track, mostly complete and ballasted, but not yet
in service.
Looking south at the ORHF car storage and
future round table lead track under construction.
Looking north, then south at the main OPR yard
under construction and going well.
Molalla Branch Back in Service

Update: June 16, 2012

The Molalla Branch was placed back into service on Friday after being out of service for several days due to a vehicle
accident that damaged the bridge.   Crews were able to quickly repair the bridge in just a couple of days and the normal
Friday schedule was maintained.   See earlier updates for details on the accident.
OPR Builds Hinges for new ORHF Complex Doors

Update: June 20, 2012

OPR chief fabricator Brian Samuels is currently fabricating brand new hinges, which will be used to hang the historical doors
from the Brooklyn Roundhouse onto the new ORHF Roundhouse Complex.   Heavy duty custom hinges were needed due to
the size and weight of the doors.   The project should be finished by the end of this week and delivered to ORHF.
OPR Makes First Historic Switching Move into ORHF Complex

Update: June 20, 2012

The OPR made the first switching move into the ORHF complex today, when the No. 100 brought a BNSF gondola of used ties
onto the ORHF property that was formerly being stored at the OPR's Oaks Station Spur.   This marks the first locomotive or
train to operate on the new ORHF track.   OPR's Craig Samuels was the engineer and Richard Samuels conducted.   The
gondola was placed on ORHF's new car storage track where the ties will be unloaded by ORHF volunteers.

The Portland Traction Company No. 100 locomotive, an EMD SW1, was used for this historic move, because its the most
historic engine in the OPR fleet and has significant ties to ORHF's mission of preserving the three steam locomotives.  It was
the No. 100 that placed all three steam locomotives in Oaks Park in the 1950s and it was the No. 100 that helped to remove
them in the 1970s and 1980s.    The No. 100 is now the first locomotive to operate on the new ORHF complex.
2012 January - June Archive
ORHF Moves Steam Locomotives from Brooklyn to the New Complex Next to the OPR

Update: July 10, 2012

On June 26, 2012, ORHF made the historical move into its new complex, when all three steam locomotives and other cars and
equipment were moved from the Brooklyn Roundhouse to the new complex next to the OPR.    The move was planned and
conducted, largely in secret.   The OPR No. 100 was on hand to assist in switching the cars and locomotive into the ORHF
complex.   Below are several photos taken during the move.
Office Cars in the Old OPR Yard Relocated to the New OPR Yard

Update: July 10, 2012

Four private office cars that were stored and in active use in the OPR's old yard, were recently relocated into the new yard
and their home track.    The OPR has rented out yard track to two customers for a number of years who store and use several
office cars.   The office cars are an active business with power hook up and access to public streets.   As part of the OPR
yard relocation, the office cars had to be relocated into the new yard.  Stacey and Witbeck and disconnected the office car
spur early during construction to make room for other track work.   To relocate the cars, this spur had to be reconnected for
less than a day.   Temporary track was built to allow the cars to be moved into a new spur constructed specifically for the
office cars at the west end of the new yard so they could be next to Water Ave and public access.   The move went well
without any problems, despite the cars having not been moved in a number of years.   The last three photos below show the
cars in their new location.
Another Birthday Charter

Update: July 10, 2012

On June 30th, the OPR conducted another birthday charter on the East Portland Branch.  For more information about
chartering a train on the OPR, please visit our
"charters" page.