Posts Tagged ‘ORHC’

Our Visit to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (Part of our Fall Focus on #4449)

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Early this month we headed on up to Portland so I (Cat) could bowl in a tournament and so Don and I could visit the newly opened Oregon Rail Heritage Center (ORHC)! As soon as we arrived in town we drove directly over to the new home of the Southern Pacific 4449, Spokane, Portland & Seattle 700, and Oregon Railroad & Navigation 197 locomotives.  Before heading inside, we saw the familiar Oregon Operation Lifesaver trailer parked outside of some Empire Builder passenger cars and then we stepped into what is now affectionately known as the Doyle L. McCormack Enginehouse. As soon as we walked in we were greeted by friendly docents & volunteers welcoming us to the new facility. There is no admission to visit the center by the way, they rely solely on donations. I donated my folding money right away and started to explore.

The Doyle McCormack Enginehouse doors are the restored former Brooklyn Roundhouse doors which are a generous gift from Darcy Marentette in memory of David. (From a plaque next to the doors) Photo by Cat Cook

The Doyle McCormack Enginehouse doors are the restored former Brooklyn Roundhouse doors which are a generous gift from Darcy Marentette in memory of David. (From a plaque next to the doors) Photo by Cat Cook

Directly in front of you upon entry is the Nickel Plate Road 190, an Alco PA-1 built in 1948. Originally an Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway (ATSF) it was purchased in 2000 by Daylight Locomotive Works and it is currently under restoration with the intent to make it operable once again.

Nickel Plate

Nickel Plate Road #190 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center - Photo by Cat Cook

There were train buffs old and young wandering the large space and you are presented with a variety of equipment you can get right up close to and experience.

Cat at the controls - Oregon Rail Heritage Center - Photo by Don Cook

Cat at the controls - Oregon Rail Heritage Center - Photo by Don Cook

The building contains Locomotive Inspection Pits so the engines can remain right on the rails after pulling into the engine house, giving the crews access to the underbellies of these historic locomotives.

4449 perched above her Inspection Pit, you can see the daylight coming in through the back door of the engine house at the other end of the Daylight - Photo by Cat Cook

4449 perched above her Inspection Pit, you can see the daylight coming in through the back door of the engine house at the other end of the Daylight - Photo by Cat Cook

Volunteers were busy maintaining the locomotives and moving heavy equipment including Terry Kimzey who you may have seen at train shows in the Pacific Northwest at the Operation Lifesaver trailer or Friends of the SP&S 700 booth. There’s also a video of this operation on our YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/_5pYsVcqbw8

Terry Kimzey moves some heavy equipment at ORHC - Photo by Cat Cook

Terry Kimzey moves some heavy equipment at ORHC - Photo by Cat Cook

The center is not just great for seeing stationary trains, while we were visiting, we watched a Union Pacific train go by just feet away on the neighboring track and overhead, Portland’s streetcars traveled on the overpass. Here’s a video of the UP going by ORHC on our YouTube Channel:

UP at ORHC

The Portland Streetcar line passes right over the ORHC yard - Photo by Cat Cook

The Portland Streetcar line passes right over the ORHC yard - Photo by Cat Cook

The center also has a gift shop with apparel, books, calendars, pins, and more all providing an important revenue stream to the ORHC.

4449 Wheel

Is it weird that I have a favorite locomotive wheel? Well I do, it's the 4449's Drive Wheels... - Photo by Cat Cook

Now that the holidays are imminent, make sure to ride the Holiday Express if you are able. Scheduled for November 30th through December 2nd; December 7th – December 9th; and December 14th – December 16th you can ride in a vintage rail car pulled by either the SP&S 700 or SP 4449 all decked out with thousands of holiday lights and holiday decorations. The trip is about 40 minutes starting from The Oaks Station across from Oaks Park in southeast Portland just north of the Sellwood Bridge (free parking is available). Join Santa and his elves for one of these trips! Proceeds from the tickets and your donations help fund the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. For tickets or more information go here: http://www.orhf.org/about-orhf/holiday-express/  or call 503-224-8499.

OR&N 197

ORNC's Oregon Railroad & Navigation 197 looking out the front of the Doyle L. McCormack Enginehouse

Happy Holidays!

SP&S 700

ORHC’s SP&S 700 – To see more pictures from our visit please like us on Facebook

To see more photos please visit our Facebook page: The Short Line