Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
8 May 2011 was the first revenue run of the season for the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. Since it was Mother's Day they ran a "throw momma on the train" luncheon special between Garibaldi and Wheeler riding the rusty rails at the horrendous speed of 5 miles per hour... one wouldn't want to spill the passengers wine. The trip, timing just the outbound direction, took about an hour and forty minutes as it followed closely the twisting Oregon coastline from Tillamook Bay to Nehalam Bay. View the train along its route by clicking on the map icons below from the comfort of your chair in front of a large computer screen.
The route the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad currently traverses was originally built by the Pacific Railroad & Navigation Company. Construction began in 1906 at Portland and Tillamook simultaneously. Track was laid through the Coast Mountains following the Salmonberry Canyon to meet the line coming northward from Tillamook. The first train arrived in Tillamook from Portland in 1911. The line covered 95 miles through the Coast Range to the Portland area with several river crossings and some wooden trestles as high as 200 feet. There are 77 bridges and 10 tunnels along the route.
At some point in its history the Pacific Railroad & Navigation Company line was taken over by Southern Pacific. They used the line until 1983 when a portion was operated by the Port of Tillamook. By 1990 Southern Pacific abandoned the line in its entirety with the Port of Tillamook purchasing the remainder of the line inland as far as Schefflin.
Blue dots indicate the position of the right-of-way.
Washouts in Salmonberry Canyon were not uncommon but in December 2007 flood waters destroyed large sections of the right-of-way in the canyon. With repair costs far too high Port of Tillamook discontinued use of that portion of the line through the canyon thereby creating a "land-locked" railroad.
Quote - The most severely damaged area is located within the central portion of the alignment from Cochran (milepost 800) through the junction of the Salmonberry and Nehalem Rivers (milepost 815.76). The damage areas located outside of the major damage area consist primarily of debris removal in addition to relatively small isolated areas of embankment erosion and ballast contamination. Within the major damage area, a majority of the damaged sites consist of erosion of the embankment fills supporting the rail bed. Most of the eroded embankments are located on the outer bends of the river where most of the erosive forces from the flood flows were concentrated. As such, erosion of the embankments appears to be a direct result of torrential river flows which undercut the slopes resulting in toppling of the embankment slope fill soils. In addition to the embankment and track damages, several bridges experienced minor to major damages, and two bridges were damaged beyond repair requiring replacement. Three tunnels also experienced minor damages with one completely covered by a landslide - Unquote CW Construction Corporation.
Today the Port of Tillamook still owns the remaining track. The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad has a 20 year lease on the portion between Garibaldi and Wheeler.
Rumour has it "Jersey" will be re-painted into a proper Southern Pacific paint scheme.
Quote - The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad came one step closer to reality on 3 May 2003 when the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad fired up and test ran its former Curtiss Lumber Company two-truck Heisler Number 2 between Tillamook and Garibaldi, Oregon. Under stormy skies, the 60-ton locomotive pulled a train consisting of a tank car (to provide extra water) and an RDC-1 along the Port's line to Garibaldi where it stopped alongside the passenger platform beside static ex-Rayonier Logging 2-8-2 Number 90. Local businessmen and members of the Lions Club, who were participants in the tourist railroad project, were on hand to answer questions from the media and hand out information and schedules.
Heisler Number 2 was built in March 1910 for the Curtiss Lumber Company of Mill City, Oregon. It later worked for the Hammond Lumber Company, Vancouver Plywood, and lastly the Willie Brothers Shingle Company (all out of Mill City) before being retired in the late 1950s and stored.
In 1974 the Heisler was acquired by Jack Rogers and moved to his Golden Age of Logging Museum at Ashford, Washington. That year it received some mechanical work and was fired up to provide rides on the museum's "Tenas Creek & Eastern" loop track, which it continued to do on a sporadic basis into the early 1980s. Eventually the Heisler developed mechanical problems and became a display piece.
The museum closed in the 1990s and the entire Rogers collection was purchased in 1997 by Jack Anderson of the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad (MRSRR). Number 2 was re-sold to MRSRR employee Scott Wickert in 1999, who restored it over the following year inside the railroad's Mineral shops (the restoration was extensive, and included replacing the crown sheet). The Heisler's debut under steam was in June of 2001 on a MRSRR railfan special. It is now leased by owner Wickert to the Port of Tillamook Bay - Unquote Jeff Terry.
In the spring of 2011 Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad purchased the McCloud Railway steam locomotive number 25, a 2-6-2 Prairie type. It was moved from McCloud, California, near Mount Shasta to the old Naval Air Station at Tillamook by low-boy truck. It is undergoing preparations with the intention of working the Port of Tillamook Bay rail line between Garibaldi and Wheeler for the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad's 2011 season.
31 Jul 2007 - On the Track of Nostalgia with Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
10 Jun 2008 - All Aboard! It's Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
1 Oct 2008 - Tillamook Railroad Repair Cost Tops $57 Million
5 Apr 2011 - Steam-Powered Tourism
6 Apr 2011 - Independent Shortline Railroad Company Ends 114 Year Run in McCloud
6 Apr 2011 - McCloud's Railroad History Hits the Road
Brochure Associated Web Sites
Click on the image below to view the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad 2011 Folder.
Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad
Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad
The Port of Tillamook Bay Railfan's Guide
A Heisler Cab Ride
POTB - OCSR
Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad NRHS Special 7 Jul 2005
Oregon Coast Scenic Steam Train Ride DVD