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Steam & Excursion > Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation !

Date: 01/08/12 07:57
Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation !
Author: LoggerHogger

The Valley & Siletz Railroad that ran between Independence, OR and Valsetz, OR was quite a collection of used equipment and ramshackle buildings by the 1940's and 1950's.

I will post a few photos here to show what greeted the steam enthusiast during the last decade of steam on the V&S.

The first photo is by Al Farrow and shows V&S #17 at the water tank at the shops at Hoskins, OR. This was a used 2-8-2 from the Clark & Wilson Lumber Co. of Scappoose, OR.

The second photo is by Guy L. Dunscomb and shows the abandoned roundhouse at Hoskins in 1948. When you see the shops they replaced the roundhouse with, you will wonder if they made an improvement.

The 3rd photo is by Guy Dunscomb and shows V&S #57 at the log dump at Independence, OR in 1948. This 2-8-2 had 3 prior logging owners in Washington State before being picked up by the V&S.


Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/12 08:11 by LoggerHogger.

Date: 01/08/12 07:57
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: LoggerHogger

The V&S had a variety of steam power over the years.

In this first view by Al Farrow we see V&S Porter 2-8-2 #55 at the shops at Hoskins, OR ready for her call to duty. Porter only built 8 Mikados and the V&S ended up with this one.

The second view shows the "replacement shops" and V&S 2-6-2 #50 out front. See what I mean about whether they improved their facilities when they moved out of the old roundhouse?

The last view shows the single stall enginehouse that the V&S had in Independence, OR during the days of steam. In the house is V&S 2-8-2 #56 that came second hand from Brooks-Scanlon in Bend, OR. Outside is #57 backing to her caboose to ready her train for the run to the big mill at Valsetz, Oregon.

By the way, the name of the town of Valsetz (and the lumber company there) was derived by combining the railroad name of Valley & Siletz to "Valsetz".


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/08/12 08:10 by LoggerHogger.

Date: 01/08/12 09:09
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: smu

Great photos!! Not much left of Valsetz. It was a company town with a lake. The lake is gone also. I worked with a lady at the Salem Bureau of Land Management(BLM) Office who was born in Valsetz, OR. I only went into this part of the Coast Range a few times. The BLM has a site west of Valsetz called "The Valley of the Giants". The giants would be the trees. A few of the big ones never got cut down and they are huge now. They are very impressive! This site is one of the most remote places on the Salem BLM District. It takes about an hour, and some, to get into, as you follow the maze of logging roads, trying not to get lost . . .

Steve Utley
Salem, OR

Date: 01/08/12 09:55
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: spdaylight

Another fascinating post Martin . . . keep 'em coming . . . am starting to wonder if you will ever run out of material!!


Date: 01/08/12 10:23
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: patd3985

During the 70's I decided to take a summer off and ride some of the old roads and railroad grades of the Oregon coast range on horseback! It was a very unique experience. I remember towards the end of my trip I was in Toledo, Oregon and I rode through Chitwood, Summit, and down the backroad to Hoskins! I came back into civilization in a small burg called Pedee. I found the remains of the old Valley & Siletz to be somewhat still explorable! Thanx for the "wayback", Martin!

Date: 01/08/12 12:01
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: africansteam

Martin, do your production numbers for Porter Mikados include the three built for the narrow gauge International Railways of Central America?


Date: 01/08/12 12:29
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: LoggerHogger


No, I was only referring to the 8 standard gauge Porter Mikes that were built for the US. I did an article on all 8 in an issue of Tall Timber Shortlines a few years ago.


Date: 01/08/12 12:42
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: SierraRail

In that third photo, showing #57, the cylinders appear to have been re-worked, similar to what was done to Sierra Railroad #18, to convert it to Super-heated, from soak.

Date: 01/08/12 15:45
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: LoggerHogger

Yes, #57 got the same conversion that took her to superheated and gave her piston valves in the larger chest to replace the slide valves.


Date: 01/08/12 20:46
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: mikel

Always fascinating Martin ! I never realized how rich of a train history there is in the Pacific NW. Keep them coming !

Agree on the 2nd roundhouse, it's definitely a step down from the original ... which is a few steps below a lean-to...


Date: 01/09/12 08:05
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: EMDSW-1

Not to forget...they went out with three GE 70-ton diesels for power at the end. A GE 44-tonner pulled the "sled" during the track removal process. Long live the V&S in our memories!

Dick Samuels

Date: 01/10/12 18:55
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: Auburn_Ed

Never got to see them run, but did find this engine and caboose in 1960.


Date: 05/11/12 13:53
Re: Valley & Siletz Railroad - Quite A Steam Operation
Author: oregonloggingsupply

I remember the Valley and Siletz well. In fact when I first started getting really interested in Northwest logging railroads the Oregon American and Valley and Siletz were my two favorites.
I visited Hoskins and Valsetz numerous times in the 1970's and early 80's. Hoskins was like a step back into time and when we visited the yardmaster, Leonard, always treated us well. One time in 1982 (I think) we rode around Hoskins in the Boise Cascade 44 tonner as it switched the homemade track train that was used to pull up the line.
In the early 90's a fellow came into my shop in McMinnvile named Rose who lived over in Carlton. He mentioned that his sister owned The Fort Tavern at Hoskins and that both of them had grown up there. He later brought in an unbelievable number of great photographs of the railroad that I had never seen before.
Regarding the roundhouse and machine shop. Rose's explanation was that the roundhouse had been empty since the 30's because the railroad considered it a serious "fire hazard". I'm not sure when it was torn down but late 40's seems to be right. Actually the machine shop (Which stood until 1984) was not really the replacement for the round house per se.
Hoskins was something. Random observations included the yard goat, who was a real goat, chained at different parts of the yard for weed control, the bear hanging in the shop onetime we visited, the birds who attacked Leonard if you went anywhere near the "long building" (A dinning hall? We always wondered what was in there). The complete forge and steam loco tools at the ready in the shop, the Western Oregon log cars with the odd PSC trucks, the large collection of speeders from the little Pierce arrow up to the 2 Mac Skagits. The V&S chip cars which were old boxcars with the roofs cut off and lettered by the ubiquitous V&S crooked stencil lettering.
It was pretty obvious that the railroad had little financial support from the parent Boise Cascade. When I first saw it's "mainline" tracks in 1969 I thought it was an abandoned railroad. I didn't realize that 2 70 car freights traveled it every day from Independence to Valsetz.
I've been collecting photos from the V&S going back to the 20's including one where the roundhouse is newly built. Great friends like John Cummings, The late John Labbe, Phil Schnell and Glen Comstock have all added to the collection.
I did a little mini book on Hoskins back in the 80's for a few of the logging conventions. Maybe it's time for a real book.

Lon Wall
Trainmaster Sumpter Valley Railroad

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