Route Changes in Portland, Ore. Area

0 replies
1 rating 2 rating 3 rating 4 rating 5 rating
  • Member since
    January 2001
  • From: US
  • 60 posts
Route Changes in Portland, Ore. Area
Posted by mccannt on Wednesday, June 27, 2007 5:52 PM

The ongoing construction of the regional rail line between the Portland suburbs of Beaverton and Wilsonville has significantly altered several portions of the former SP Tillamook Branch and former BN Oregon Electric alignments that are part of the project.

Crews are currently removing tracks from the old OE alignment through downtown Tigard, where they once ran side-by-side with the old SP alignment. The track connection at Greton, just north of here, is now severed. New double track on the former SP alignment is now in place, as is a new connection between the SP and OE alignments at Hall Boulevard, just south of the Tigard Transit Center. Station construction at the Transit Center will include the old OE right-of-way.

Further north, crews removed the old Beburg siding on the SP alignment and widened the alignment to include two main tracks and a reconstructed siding. The rebuilt alignment now includes double main track from just north of SW 5th Avenue to just north of the Hall Boulevard grade crossing near Washington Square.

Construction of the new right-of-way between SW Farmington Road and the Beaverton Transit Center has also begun. The track will branch off the existing former SP line just west of the Farmington Road/Lombard Street intersection and run north about one block on the west side of Lombard. It will cross Broadway and continue north in the middle of Lombard across SW Canyon Road. North of Canyon, it will run into the sound end of the Transit Center, where a new platform is currently under construction.

When the service begins in September 2008, its DMUs will make connections at Beaverton Transit Center with existing TriMet MAX light rail services (the Gresham-Hillsboro Blue Line and the Red Line to and from Portland International Airport) and several bus routes that originate or run through here.

The south end of the new double track in Beaverton is a good place to view Portland & Western trains waiting to head south. A visit here June 24 yielded a long P&W manifest with a large cut of loaded log cars originating off the Astoria LIne. Up front, the train's motive power included three P&W Geeps in Genesee & Wyoming orange and black, and the train was led by former Amtrak SDP40F #644, now privately owned by a Portland-area railfan and on lease to P&W.

The 644 was one of 18 SDPs acquired by Santa Fe in 1984 as part of a motive power swap with Amtrak. ATSF redesignated these as SDF40-2s and added a front platform. The unit came into BNSF in the 1995 merger, and that railroad selected it to wear a special "blue warbonnet" color scheme for intermodal shipper Maersk Sealand when it opened its new L.A.-area facility in 2002.

The unit came into private ownership shortly after BNSF retired it, and is a part of the eclectic rolling stock collection at the former SP Brooklyn Yard roundhouse in southeast Portland. Its stablemates include former SP GS4 4-8-4 #4449; former SP&S 4-8-4 #700; former GN F7A #274; former Amtrak F40PH #231; and former D&H PA1 #18, now being restored as NKP "Bluebird #190.     

Join our Community!

Our community is FREE to join. To participate you must either login or register for an account.

Search the Community

Newsletter Sign-Up

By signing up you may also receive occasional reader surveys and special offers from Trains magazine.Please view our privacy policy