Last Update:  November 28, 2007
So far, support for the proposed project has been significant  from the Sellwood Community, Oaks Amusement Park and
other community leaders and businesses.

The current hurdle is obtaining the land for the museum site.   The Oregon Pacific Railroad proposes that the same property
that the City proposed for the site some 50 years ago, be used today.  The property that the museum was originally planned
to occupy is still a vacant lot  and is still owned by the City of Portland.   As undeveloped property that was the site of a land
fill, building the museum would have minimal impact.

METRO and the Oregon Pacific Railroad have worked together over the last few years to allow the construction of the
Springwater trail.   Much of the trail was built over Oregon Pacific Railroad right of way, through the cooperation of the OPR.
However, the trail is not complete and METRO would like to use a final piece of OPR property near Sellwood, to complete the

This property holds significant historical value to the community, being a stretch that the OPR is currently using for its railroad
and having been unchanged for some 100 years.   However, the OPR is willing to trade this property to complete the
Springwater trail for the above mentioned land to build the museum on.     This would be a win-win situation for the City of
Portland, METRO and the community at large.

Once completed, the community would get to enjoy an uninterrupted Springwater trail system that would be continuous from
East Portland to Boring.   The community would also get its first railroad and transportation museum and rare and historical
equipment could saved.   Tourism, recreation, and community vitality would increase in the area.

The Oregon Pacific Railroad is hopeful that a deal can be reached between METRO, the City of Portland and the OPR so
that all of these projects and dreams can be realized.
The Oregon Pacific Railroad proposes to continue a dream that began some 50 years ago, but was never fulfilled.   
To build a transportation and railroad museum near Oaks Park and the community of Sellwood.  The museum was
originally proposed by the City of Portland and was going to be called the Oaks Pioneer Transportation Museum.    
Today, the Oregon Pacific Railroad would like to finally complete that project, reviving the name of the museum and
the original planned site near Oaks Amusement Park.    If completed, the museum will feature numerous historical
railroad and transportation equipment from around the Pacific Northwest and preserve that important history for
current and future generations.

The museum would be open to the public and would be funded by private donations.
The History
The dream of a Portland railroad and transportation museum began in the mid to late 1950s, when two large steam
locomotives, the SP 4449 and SP&S 700, were donated to the City of Portland.  The City of Portland proposed that the
locomotives be incorporated into a new transportation museum at Oaks Park.   The location selected was the site of an old
dump, just east of the Oaks Amusement Park.   The Portland Traction Company Railroad ran through the area and would
have been ideal to bring rail and historical equipment to the museum.   

Unfortunately, as time went along, the dream never materialized.  The two locomotives were placed near Oaks Park, but
would spend the next several decades exposed to the elements and deteriorating while on park display.  Fortunately, they
were later rescued and restored to operating condition.  

Today, the railroad that passes through Oaks Park, is called the Oregon Pacific Railroad and is owned and operated by
Richard “Dick” Samuels and his family.   The old land fill property was never developed and remains pretty much as it did
when the City of Portland first proposed the museum almost 50 years ago.

Mr. Samuels has always been interested in preserving our history and local heritage, having grown up in the area and always
being interested in railroading.    When the opportunity came to save the Portland Traction Company's remaining railroad
operation from Milwaulkie to East Portland, Mr. Samuels recognized that the 100 year old railroad was an important part of
Portland's heritage.    Not only could the line be saved and become viable again, but local businesses could continue to count
on cost effective transportation.   Truck and vehicle traffic congestion in the area would remain lower, and one of the
country's most historical railroads could remain operating much as it has for half a century.

After operating the Oregon Pacific Railroad for some 20 years, Mr. Samuels has amassed quite a collection of local historical
railroad equipment.   In addition, Mr. Samuels has hosted numerous public excursions on his railroad, including recent
excursions with the City of Portland's SP 4449 and SP&S 700 Steam locomotives.  

A railroad museum on the Oregon Pacific Railroad would be a natural progression for a company and a family who take the
preservation of our local railroad and transportation history seriously.   With a large rail fan base, numerous historical
equipment, and two of the world's largest locomotives, the City of Portland desperately needs a railroad and transportation

Mr. Samuels and the Oregon Pacific Railroad have the perfect solution.   Finish the dream that was begun almost 50 years
ago to build the Oaks Pioneer Transportation Museum.   And do it using private funding, while preserving history for the
whole community to see and enjoy.

With the city's large steam locomotives eventually being moved and stored at a site approximately 3 miles from Oaks Park, a
rail museum, near Oaks Park, open to the public, displaying other historical equipment would create a high tourism draw from
rail fans all over the country.    Rail tourists could visit both museums and displays in the same afternoon and even tour Oaks
Amusement Park and other local sites, bringing much needed tourist dollars to the local community.
The Proposal
The Latest News
While METRO is receptive to getting part of the Oregon Pacific Railroad right of way,  the City of Portland does not appear to
want to support the museum and is currently not willing to trade the land it owns out of environmental concerns.  The OPR
has tried to assure the city that environmental impacts would be minimal, but the city is unwilling to see the lot developed.

At this point, negotiations are on-going.  The Oregon Pacific Railroad and much of the community would love nothing more
than to preserve this important history for future generations.   It's hoped that the City of Portland will reconsider its position
and see this proposal for what it is.   A gain for everyone in the community.
The general area where the museum is being proposed.  Note that this is not an official photo or plot and is only meant to show the rough
general area of land the OPR would like to aquire for the proposed museum site.  More pics on the
OPR's East Portland Branch Page.
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