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Pre-Winterail Journey Featuring Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society 3/16-17/2023

by Chris Guenzler

Elizabeth and I awoke in Newport and after our morning routines, we drove over to the Pig and Pancake Restaurant where I enjoyed ten silver dollar pancakes with bacon and Elizabeth had apple crepes and orange juice. I then drove us over to Toledo and parked in front of the railroad displays.

Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society

The Yaquina Pacific Railroad Historical Society is an Oregon 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created in 1992 for preserving and interpreting Lincoln County's railroad history, with a focus in making artifacts and information accessible to the public for the purpose of education. Learn about Toledo's local railroad history through a collection of railroad artifacts, locomotives and antique rail cars. One can explore the town's rail past through these displays, including a visit inside the Southern Pacific Railroad Post Office car.

The original Oregon Pacific Railroad Company began with a group of Oregonianas who wanted to build a railroad in place of the 1886 military wagon road from Corvallis to Yaquinna Bay. However, the people needed someone to promote the idea and solicit support for building the railroad. In 1871, Colonel Thomas Egenton Hogg travelled to western Oregon and convinced the people he was the right person for the job. In October 1871, Hogg incorporated the Corvallis and Yaquina Bay Railroad Company which included the original Yaqugina Railroad Company and expanded it considerably. His dream was of an Oregon mid-state east-west transcontinental rail connection. In 1874, Hogg changed the railroad name to Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad Company, often referred to as the "Wet Valley and Constantly Rainiy Region".

During the next six years, little progress was made and the Oregon Pacific Railroad Company took over the Willamette Valley and Coastal Railroad Company in 1880. Construction began in 1881 and the first 71.2 miles were finished between Corvallis and Yaquina on December 31, 1884. Service started on March 6, 1885, with the first passenger excursion train between the two cities on July 4, 1885. A large, nearly 4,000 foot long wooden railroad drawbridge across the Willamette River was completed in 1887 which linked the railroad to the city of Albany. Railroad shops and a roundhouse were constructed there.

Work continued in the summer of 1888 and by 1890, railroad track was laid east of Albany along the North Santiam River another 71 miles to Idanha at Boulder Creek via Shelburn and Mill City. That same year, Oregon Pacific Railroad defaulted on interest payments and within the next four years, several attempts were made to sell the railroad. In 1894, the railroad was sold to A.B. Hammond and E.L. Bonner for $100,000. One of the results of this was the change of name to the Oregon Central and Estern Railway, the in 1897, Hammond changed the name to Corvallis and Eastern Railroad. The railroad served the Willamette Valley and Santiam Canyon for 13 years as a passenger and freight line, hauling mainly timber.

In December 1907, Southern Pacific Railroad bought the Corvallis and Eastern for $750,000 and retained the name. Business on the railroad included five daily trains by 1910. Hammond completed a sawmill in Mill City, 35.6 miles from Albany, in 1911. The name of the line was officially changed to SP when Southern Pacific took full ownership in 1915.

During World War I, the Army created the Spruce Production Division as there was an urgent need for spruce lumber for use in airplane construction. The Army Corps of Engineers opened quarries at Elk City and Pionneer and hauled stone over the Corvallis and Eastern branch to rebuilt the jetties at Yaquina Bay in Newport. There was so much traffic between lumber and quarry trains during the war that a switch engine was stationed in Yaquina City. In 1937, the railroad between Toledo and Yaquina City was abandoned. Since 1993, Willamette and Pacific (Portland and Western) Railroad has leased the Toledo Branch from the Southern Pacific (now Union Pacific).

Georgia Pacific 2-8-2 1 built by Baldwin in 1922 for Pacific Spruce Corporation's subsidiary Manary Logging. It was sold to C.D. Johnson Lumber Company 1 at Toledo, Oregon in 1928 and stayed there until 1953, working along the 23.4 miles Alsea Southern, serving Camp 1 near Yachats. After Camp One shut down, C.D. Johnson Lumber Company moved the locomotive to the Toledo area where it continue to operate in Camp 12 and other operations. It was reported to be the last steam locomotive in use on the Southern Pacific Toledo branch in Lincoln County in 1952.

C.D. Johnson Lumber merged with Georgia Pacific Plywood Company in 1953 and the steam engine retained the same number, then in 1956, the company's name became Georgia-Pacific Corporation. It was retired in 1959 and the next year, was donated to the City of Toledo, Oregon, then in 1982 it was donated to Western Washington Forest Industrial Museum. At some point, the City of Toledo took back ownership, and the YPRHS acquired One Spot in 2000.

Informational display board about this steam engine known as "One Spot".

Museum scene.

Valley & Siletz Railroad track crane and crew carrier. The Valley and Siletz Railroad was incorporated in 1912 by the Cobbs & Mitchell Lumber Company and construction started 1913. The line was opened all the way to Valsetz by 1920, where the line purchased about two miles of track from the Siletz Lumber & Logging Company. The total length of the line was about 40 miles.

Coos Bay Railroad crew carrier 6.

Southern Pacific box car 226011 built by Food Machinery Coparation in 1969, and rebuilt in 1984, keeping its same number.

Southern Pacific railway post office/baggage car 5132 built by Standard Steel in 1924.

Southern Pacific caboose 573 built by the railroad in 1907 and was in service until 1965 when it was donated to the Toledo Jaycees to be used as a meeting hall. The museum acquired it in 1996 and began restoration.

Georgia Pacific 50 ton center-cab switcher 06-021, nee C.D. Johnson Lumber 8, built by General Electric in 1951. It also served the Toledo Georgia-Pacific Mill area until being donated to the museum in 2016.

United States Railway Leasing Company box car 10966.

This group's emblem.

To the Harry R. Dangler Library and Museum.

The interior of the Harry R. Dangler Library and Museum, housed in the baggage portion of Southern Pacific 5132.

Here is a Southern Pacific system map.

A telegraph velocipede built by the Sheffield Company in the early 1900s, which was designed for use by telegraph operators who needed to maintain lines of communication. The museum received a grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission to construct this exhibit. We then explored a unique exhibit, display boards for each of the stations along the railroad line.

The Idanha station milepost 142.0 display board.

Hoover Station milepost 149.9 display board.

Detroit station milepost 118.0 display board.

Mill City milepost 188.7 display board.

Shelburn station milepost 91.7 display board.

Albany milepost 83.3 display board.

Corvallis milepost 71.2 display board.

Philomath milepost 66.0 display board.

Blodgett 51.5 milepost display board.

Summit milepost 46.1 display board.

Nashville milepost 41.0 display board.

Nortons milepost 36.2 display board.

Eddyville milepost 28.5 display board.

Chitwood milepost 24.0 display board.

Elk City milepost 18.0 display board.

Toledo milepost 9.0 display board.

Yaquina milepost 0.0 display board.

A view of the Portand and Western station across the road.

The museum also has a log train car.

This wig-wag signal is on loan from the Oregon Department of Transportation, Rail Division. It was placed into service on the former Portland, Eugene and Eastern Railroad in the 1920-1920 era in McMinnville. Now operated by the Portland and Western Railroad, until late 2001 when it was replaced a with modern crossing signal and gates.

Museum view.

The main entrance with the museum's emblem. We went inside the caboose where the office and gift shop is and had a nice conversation with a couple of the volunteers, then purchased two lapel pins and a mug. From here we walked over to the depot across the road.

The Portland and Western Railroad station built in 1892. Elizabeth then drove us to Portland and we stopped at the World Forestry Museum adjacent to the Portland Zoo where we knew there was a steam engine on display.

Stimson Mill Company two-truck Shay 1 built by Lima in 1909 as a wood-burner but was converted to oil at a later date. This engine was shipped around Cape Horn to Smiths Cove Dock in Seattle, Washington where it initially worked in that city for the Hofius Steel & Equipment Company. It was then owned by Gig Harbor Timber Company at Gig Harbor, Washington, before being purchased by the Stimson Timber Company in 1913. 1 worked for Stimson in Belair, Washington and then moved to Gaston, Oregon, where it was named "Peggy".

It was retired in 1950, having hauled an estimated one billion feet of logs during its forty year operating life. Donated to the City of Portland, it went on display outside the Forestry Building near the Oregon Zoo in Washington Park. The building burned down in 1964 and the steam engine was badly damaged in the fire. The locomotive went into storage until restoration work was started by members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in 1969. Three years later, 1 was moved to the newly completed Western Forestry Center (renamed the World Forestry Center in 1986) near the site of the old Forestry Building. It was moved to its current location in 2002.

A log car on display. Elizabeth drove us over to Golf Junction City Park in Milwaukie and as we came down 13th Street, we found the object of our visit here, which had been the subject of a recent posting on

El Paso and Southwestern business car 500 built by Pullman in 1917. Less than a year after it was built, the car would be pressed into war service during World War 1. From 1918-1920, the car was transferred to the United States Railroad Administration which nationalized all United States railroads for war service and it was re-numbered USRA 91. Who operated the car from 1917-1919 has so far been lost to history, but in all likelihood the car remained on the EP&SW lines during the duration of the war. In 1920, the USRA hired Arthur Edwin Sweet to manage the EP&SW railroad and he was assigned this car. Mr. Sweet would play a predominate role in the car's use for its first couple of decades. Shortly after Mr. Sweet took over operations of the EP&SW, the USRA relinquished control of the railroads and they returned to being private corporations. It was re-numbered back to EP&SW 500.

When the Southern Pacific Railroad took over operations of the EP&SW, but leaving the railroad and name intact, Mr. Sweet continued as the SP general manager of the EP&SW. Upon the SP official take over in approximately 1924, "Santa Rosa" became a Southern Pacific asset. It was officially re-numbered 28, in line with the existing Southern Pacific business car fleet, on November 26, 1925. The SP drew a floor plan for the car and listed it as 1026. Mr. Sweet continued to use "Santa Rosa" as his private business car as Southern Pacific manager of the EP&SW through at least the mid to late 1920s. He was then promoted to Southern Pacific Assistant General Manager and it is believed he still used this same private car until his death on October 13, 1934.

The car was overhauled in 1937 and included the addition of air conditioning. In the 1950s, the car would see its biggest overhaul and changes yet.In 1950, state room A was converted into an office, leaving only two main staterooms, B and C. Although multiple berths remain throughout the car and a berth existed in the Office as well. Stateroom A was always the smallest stateroom in the car and it made more sense to convert this into a secretaries room or office.

In February 1968, after 51 years of service, the car was officially retired by the Southern Pacific and was sold to the Yreka Western Railroad on March 18, 1968. It was re-numbered Yreka Western 68 in honor of the year it was purchased. The Yreka Western Railroad was owned by Willis Kyle at the time. Willis Kyle owned several railroads and would later acquire more, having purchased the Yreka Western in 1956. He operated a combination of freight and tourist railroad operations and the "Santa Rosa" was meant to be his personal business car.

It appears that Willis Kyle kept the Santa Rosa at the Yreka Western during most of the 1960s through the 1980s. In 1987, passenger excursions on the OP&E ended and a lot of the passenger and steam related equipment was moved back to Yreka in a "hospital" train. Willis Kyle died in September 1991, while he was overseeing the future take over the SP branch lines that would later become the SJVR. In January 1992, Kyle Railways officially took over the San Joaquin Valley Railroad. In 1993, the "Santa Rosa" was moved to the new San Joaquin Valley Railroad and It received a fresh Kyle Railways blue goose paint scheme. It was then used on the Exeter Branch by the Kyle family and hired out for occasional private excursions in 1993 and 1994.

After that it remained stored on the SJVR until at least 1997, when Kyle Railways was bought out by States Rail (RailAmerica today). It sold in 2004 to private ownership and was moved to the Port of Redwood City where it was repaitned and re-named "Niles" and given the number 415 in homage to its new future home on the Niles Canyon Railway. The Oregon Pacific Railroad purchased it in 2011 and is in the process of restoring it.

Great Northern business car A-26, ex. Great Northern A-28, exx. Great Northern A-30, nee Great Northern four compartment-lounge observation car 9017 built by Barney & Smith in 1911. From here we headed to the hotel but Elizabeth spotted a locomotive so we went back.

Oregon Pacific SW8 802 ex. Livingston Mountain Locomotive Works 81 2003, exx. Lewis and Clark 81, exxx. Southern Pacific 1127, nee Southern Pacific 4622 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1954. This locomotive is unique in that it was never repainted to the OPR red and white colours, however, it was lettered and renumbered EPTC 802 (East Portland Traction Company). It was purchased by the late Dick Samuels, President of the Oregon Pacific Railroad, in 2004.

Oregon Pacific SW1 100,ex. East Portland Traction Company 100 1987, exxx. Watco 100; nee Portland Traction 100, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1952 . At some point in the late 1980s, during the final years of the PTC, both 100 and 200 were sold off and replaced by Southern Pacific SW1500s. The 100 went to a paper mill in in Wallua, Washington that was being switched by Watco. Shortly after it purchased the 100, WATCO desperately wanted to sell it because it was too light an engine for their needs. Mr. Samuels was able to purchased it in approximately 1987. Because the 100 had friction bearing trucks, the Union Pacific required that Mr. Samuels repack each journal and ride in the cab of the 100 while it was being transferred from Hinkle back to Portland. Mr. Samuels set about restoring the 100 and repainted it in exactly the same colors and markings as when it served the Portland Traction Company.

The 100 was the locomotive that placed the Southern Pacific 4449 and Spokane Portland & Seattle 700 steam engines into Oaks Park for display in the mid 1950's. It would be the very same engine that would remove each steam locomotive decades later for their restorations. Southern Pacific 4449 was removed by the 100 in the early 1970's and Spokane Portland & Seattle 700 was removed in the late 1980's. The PTC was still operating when SP&S 700 needed to be removed, but was using the heavy SW1500 engines which were too large to operate on the temporary track laid to remove the 700. Mr. Samuels had just purchased PTC 100 in preparation to scrap the Boring branch and his lighter engine was called upon to move Spokane Portland & Seattle 700.

Oregon Pacific GMD-1 1413, nee Canadian National 1045 built by General Motors Division in 1959, and Oregon Pacific SW8 803, ex. Western Rail 803 2010, exx. Oregon Pacific 803, exxx. East Portland Traction Company 1996, exxxx. Lewis and Clark 80 1984, exxxxx. Southern Pacific 1105, nee Texas and New Orleans 13 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1953.

We then made our way to the Holiday Inn Express in Lake Oswego where I watched my Pittsburgh Penguins lose to the New York Rangers 4-2 before we went to Subway for dinner and I worked on this story.

3/15/2023 Elizabeth and I awoke and after our morning preparations, went to Cracker Barrel for an excellent breakfast. After that we stopped to visit a old friend in Woodburn.

Southern Pacific 2-6-0 1785 built by Baldwin in 1902 and retired in 1957, now under a protective covering which was new since our last visit here in 2016.

Below the drivers are emblems of the railroads for which it worked.

There is also a display board about this engine. From here I drove us to Albany to another new station.

Oregon Electric Railroad Albany station built in 1912. The Oregon Electric Railway linked Albany with Portland and Eugene and at the time of its construction, it was the most modern railroad in the west and one of the main sources of employment in the area. The train tracks ran down the middle of Fifth Avenue and the depot still stands at 133 Fifth Avenue SE.

Oregon Electric Railroad symbol. I then drove over to the Amtrak station.

Southern Pacific Albany station built in 1908. We made our way to Lebanon with plans to buy tickets for Sunday's Santiam Excursion Train but the depot was locked (Elizabeth would buy us tickets online later) so I drove us to Brownsville to revisit a station which was open today and hosues the Linn County Historical Museum.

Southern Pacific caboose 1010 built by the company in 1937.

Southern Pacific Bownsville station built in 1885.

In the box car theater on the wall were the following stars: Charlie Chaplin, Shirley Temple, Olivia de Havilland, Oliver Hardy, Dorinda Clifton and Stan Laurel. A truly unique feature of this museum is our Boxcar Theatre. Housed in one of our six boxcars, the theater is equipped with 29 seats salvaged from Brownsville's old Linn Theatre, along with the original neon sign. The theater is available for movie watching whenever the museum is open. We have a large selection of movies: comedy, drama, westerns, Disney, documentaries old and new. Of course we also have the most famous movie filmed here in Brownsville, which is 1986's "Stand By Me". This is a perfect place for birthday parties, school visits, family gatherings, rainy afternoons or just to while away a little time. Come in and let us entertain you.

Now playing: "War of the Worlds", "Horse Feathers", "Dark Passages", "Higher than a Kite", "Stand by Me", "Wistful Widow of Wagon Gap", "The Marauders", "Baby Takes a Bow", "The Wizard of Oz" and "Heidi". After visiting their caboose we left this location and headed to Shedd were we found a Union Pacific freight waiting.

Union Pacific 7733 West at Shedd siding.

Amtrack Cascades 503 on the way to Eugene. We drove into Corvallis and stopped at Jersey Mike's to get my linner as I cannot eat pizza then checked into the Days Inn and relaxed.