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Date: 09/27/11 04:06

Author: Brian894x4

I thought I’d post this in the steam section since this partly relates to the new Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation facility that is about to break ground in the next month or so.

For those that may be interested, the Oregon Pacific Railroad Yard, in Portland, Oregon has been the hub of construction activity in recent years and that’s about to dramatically increase in the next few months.

In the recent past, the nearby MLK Viaduct project and the City of Portland Streetcar overpass construction impacted OPR operations through the existing OPR yard. After that, parts of what will later become the OPR yard was constructed on existing ORHF property to allow the temporary storage of the Holiday Express consist.

Now, the beginning of even more changes. Due to the combination of Trimet’s Milwaukie Light Rail project, realignment of Water Ave, ORHF’s new home relocation and other area projects, the existing OPR yard will have to be completely relocated and rebuilt by early next spring. While the major construction will take place early next year over a few week period by a contractor, early phases of the construction and salvage of the existing yard by the OPR crew, has begun now.

Below are some photos showing where the yard is now, what tracks have been removed recently and giving an idea of what's in store for the near future.

Photo 1: OPR train of empties in Milwaukie just prior to departure for the OPR Yard. We took the below photos from this train.

Photo 2: Just north of the Caruthers St. crossing, northbound into the south end of the existing OPR yard. By this time next year, most of what you see here will all be gone. Replaced in the future by a MAX station and an at grade MAX crossing of a single OPR mainline with the new OPR yard starting north of here.

Photo 3: Just north of the above location. Far right hand track used to be the OPR outside runaround track until a few weeks ago. This track had to cut back sooner than expected due to it being discovered that it was in the way of the ORHF complex. This removed the ability of the OPR to run around its trains in the yard for the time being. OPR crews plan to realign the track and create a new run around when resources and time allows.

Center track is currently the only through track in the yard, navigable only by OPR switcher engines. Track on the left is the lead into part of the new yard where the ORHF passenger cars are currently stored and is not currently in use.

The area on the right behind the building is the future home of the ORHF complex.

Brian McCamish
Oregon Pacific Railroad

Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/11 12:27 by Brian894x4.

Date: 09/27/11 04:07

Author: Brian894x4

Photo 4: Passenger cars on the far left are privately owned and used as businesses. They will be relocated to near where the current ORHF passenger cars are stored now, by early next year onto their own track as part of the yard reconstruction.

More view of the outside track being taken up. This track had to be removed when it was discovered that the planned ORHF complex building would be located inside this track’s right of way. OPR crews will eventually shift the existing outside track to the left and join up with the existing center track.

Photo 5: A view of the new ORHF home property as seen from the OPR yard, with the brand new MLK viaduct in the background. Area has been cleared but no construction activity yet. Ground breaking apparently taking place in late October. Lots of work to be completed in the remaining time before the groups are scheduled to leave Brooklyn.

Photo 6: Continuing north through the old OPR yard, the center track is the existing OPR mainline and only current through track. Tracks on the left are leads into the new OPR yard track where ORHF cars are currently temporarily stored. Grade at right is the old OPR runaround track that was recently pulled up.

Overpass in the background is the brand new Portland Streetcar double track bridge that flies over the UP mainline, OPR yard and down towards OMSI and eventually connects to the new Trimet bridge over the Willamette who’s construction has just recently begun.

Brian McCamish
Oregon Pacific Railroad

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/11 12:32 by Brian894x4.

Date: 09/27/11 04:08

Author: Brian894x4

Photo 7: Track on right is the remains the outside runaround track. Center track is the existing OPR mainline and track on left is the temporary track into part of the new OPR yard, not currently in use.

Photos 8 and 9: Continuing down the OPR mainline, this is about the middle of where the new OPR yard will exist as of early next year. Part of the yard was already constructed and is currently used to temporarily store ORHF’s holiday express passenger cars on their current temporary property.

The switch in the foreground used to be a lead into the old Portland Traction Company shops, which still exist, but used by another business. North of that is the UP/OPR interchange.

Brian McCamish
Oregon Pacific Railroad

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/11 12:34 by Brian894x4.

Date: 09/27/11 04:19

Author: Brian894x4

Photo 10: The UP/OPR interchange consists of a north and south interchange leg. Several years ago, the south interchange leg was removed from service and all interchange was done through the north leg. Because the OPR currently has no ability to run around its trains due to having to remove track for the ORHF facility, the south interchange had to be placed back into service. This allows the OPR to bring in empties past the interchange switch, then push them up into the south interchange leg and cut them off.

Photos 11 and 12: Show the north leg of the UP/OPR interchange to the UP mainline connection. Track dead ahead was recently removed and was the last of the original Portland Traction Company mainline north of the yard where the old PTC mainline entered the old PTC yard from the north. Until recently, this track existed up to a bumper next to the electrical box. It was removed as part of the new upcoming yard reconstruction.

Additional challenges over the next year will be the upcoming Sellwood bridge project and a major culvert project at Oaks Bottom begin next year which will have further impact on OPR operations on the East Portland Branch.

A lot of stuff happening at the same time for a railroad with somewhat limited resources. The priority always is and will continue to be, to keep the trains running for the freight customers. One way or another.

Thanks for looking.

Brian McCamish
Oregon Pacific Railroad

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/11 12:40 by Brian894x4.

Date: 09/27/11 07:37

Author: steam290

What is the history and heritage of all the coaches pictured at left? The Empire Builder Great Northern coaches are obvious, but what about the rest? Are those SP daylight coaches at the end?

Date: 09/27/11 08:14

Author: Cumbresfan

Thanks for the pictures. I asked about the ORHF site on another thread.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/11 08:39 by Cumbresfan.

Date: 09/27/11 12:50

Author: dcautley

Thanks, Brian.

Even those of us involved with the other parts of the project don't always have a clear picture of "the west end" <grin>.

Date: 09/27/11 13:19

Author: CPRR

So there will be a power main tower in the middle of the proposed development?

Date: 09/27/11 15:04

Author: nycman

Brian, thanks for posting those. A lot has already happened in the complete reconstruction of that area, eh? I did not know that the streetcar flyover had been completed. You should archive these somewhere because it won't be long before all the rest of the changes get going. I can't answer the question about ALL the coaches, but the SP ones are part of the Holiday Express consist that the ORHF operates every year, and this year will take place Dec. 2-3-4 with SP&S 700 advertised as the power, and Dec. 9-10-11 with SP 4449. The SP cars are owned by one of the many groups that make up the ORHF and I'm not sure which one. Someone will undoubtedly clarify that.

Date: 09/27/11 18:10

Author: Cumbresfan

So there will be a power main tower in the middle of the proposed development?

If you are referring to the power pole in Photo 5, power line relocation is fairly easy compared to what was required earlier (demolishing and relocating the overhead highway).

Date: 09/27/11 21:06

Author: dcautley

I can't give you the correct history of each car, but the ownership of the Holiday Express cars is:

Mt Hood -- (GN Paint) -- Pacific NW Chapter, NRHS (sleeper / lounge, Ex SP&S contribution to the Empire Builder IIRC)
Plum Creek -- (GN Paint) -- Friends of the SP4449 (lounge)
6200 -- Stainless, lettered for Willamette & Pacific -- PNWC NRHS (Coach, ex SCL I think)
Gordon Zimmerman, Baggage, Daylight SP -- Friends of the SP4449 (Ex UP)
6800 -- Daylight - PNWC NRHS (coach)
Observation -- James Gilmore, Daylight -- Northwest Rail Museum (lounge) (Ex SP, the only "Real" daylight car AFAIK)

All car owners are members of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (ORHF) which runs the Holiday Express.

IIRC == if i recall correctly
AFAIK == as far as I know

Date: 09/27/11 23:01

Author: EMDSW-1

Cumbresfan Wrote:
> So there will be a power main tower in the middle
> of the proposed development?
> If you are referring to the power pole in Photo 5,
> power line relocation is fairly easy compared to
> what was required earlier (demolishing and
> relocating the overhead highway).

NICE post Brian...sometimes I need to look at TO to figure just what is happening on my own railroad!

Portland General Electric will be relocating the power lines on the ORHF site within the next couple of weeks as well as realigning the high tension power lines on the towers in order to get them out of the Water Avenue right of way. They will be placed on monotube type poles.

Dick Samuels

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/11 23:05 by EMDSW-1.

Date: 09/28/11 10:56

Author: DNRY122

Thanks for the photos; this is a part of Portland I've never had a chance to explore. Did any of the old tracks still have "power bonds" at the joints (relics of the days of electric operation)? Earlier this month, I visited one of the few relics of trolley days in Portland: PE 680, Portland Traction 4022, the only surviving ex-Pacific Electric car from the group that went north around 1952, now under a tarp at Seashore Trolley Museum (and not likely to run in my lifetime).

Date: 09/28/11 20:51

Author: asheldrake

It will be absolutely amazing to see the changes this whole area will be undergoing in the next couple of years. Thanks Brian
for your pictures of the current environment. It sure is nice to have the MLK Viaduct project done.......and I would add it is a nice looking structure. Arlen

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