This website also includes the Willamette & Pacific Railroad.
           The two railroads are still separate business entities under one parent company,
but                for practical purposes, both railroads operate under the Portland & Western
This is a personal railfan site that is not affiliated with the Portland & Western Railroad.
Check out my HOME VIDEO of the Mac Switcher in Operation.  
This video is 66 Mb and 18 minutes long.  It starts out showing the Mac Switcher finishing switching the McMinnville Cascade Steel mill, then follows the
train to Newberg where it switches out the Newsprint Paper Mill cars and then follows it on it's return run to McMinnville.
Plus a short Video clip of the
Westsider in Whiteson.
Check out my page about the Lewis & Clark Explorer Train and the PNWR Astoria Line.
A summer passenger excursion service that the PNWR used to operated until the end of season 2005.
Check out my page about the Southern Pacific St. Joseph Branch  
The Portland & Western operates the remains of the Southern Pacific St. Joseph Branch and that page includes photos
and information not included on this page.
Check out my page about the Willamina & Grand Rhond Railroad
The Portland & Western operated the remains of this line until it was closed just recently
Check out my page about the ex-SP Yaquina Branch
The Portland & Western operates the remains of this branch to Toledo.
Last Update:  December 7, 2005  
Special Thanks to Bob Melbo for some much needed corrections and info on this site.
The Portland & Western and the Willamette & Pacific are separate Class III Railroads that are subsidiaries of Genesee & Wyoming Inc, based
out of Greenwich, Connecticut.   The two Oregon railroads have been kept separate under two different corporations and continue to technically
operate as two separate railroads even today.  However, for practical and business purposes, on December 1, 2000, the Willamette & Pacific
name was subjugated in favor of the Portland & Western name for all operations.   The Willamette & Pacific name and logo can still be found
on a number of locomotives, buildings, equipment and documents, however.

The Willamette and Pacific was initially incorporated in 1993 to lease about 185 miles of track from the Southern Pacific, who was anxious to
get out from under the low traffic volume area.   The WPRR, which was lead by Bob Melbo,  was based out of Albany where it would build
locomotive and car repair facilities by 1994.    WPRR initially began to operate on the Southern Pacific Toledo branch line, which exclusively
served the Toledo paper mill, and on the old SP branch lines that ran as far north as Newberg.   Southern Pacific also allowed the WPRR to
operate over certain sections of SP owned and used track, including from Newberg to Portland.   But in the summer of 1994, Southern Pacific
closed the line from Newberg to Portland due to bridges that were no longer safe to operate over.

On August 18, 1995, Genesee and Wyoming Inc, created a second Oregon railroad company, called the Portland and Western.  The P&W
leased the last 53 miles of Southern Pacific branch lines that had not been sold or abandoned.  This included the closed Newberg to Portland
line and the remaining Southern Pacific branch lines west of Portland.   By 1995, the P&W had completed trestle repairs and the line from
Newberg to Portland was reopened.  Although operating as two separate companies, this allowed the WPRR and PNWR to operate
uninterrupted as far south as Monroe all the way to Portland.   In 1996, Southern Pacific was bought out by Union Pacific, but the lease deals
between SP and both the WPRR and the PNWR remained in effect with Union Pacific being the new lessor.

On October 1, 1995, the P&W also leased the remaining Burlington Northern trackage in Washington County and Marion County north of
Quinaby, except for the closed Bower's Junction to United Junction section.  On November 27, 1997, the P&W purchased the leased BN
trackage (but not the land under the track) including the closed Bower's to United Junctions section.    This section, which went over Cornelius
Pass and through the Cornelius Pass tunnel was closed by BN due to a fire in September, 1994, which destroyed a bridge at MP 11.3, 1.3
miles west of United Junction.  The bridge was not rebuilt, because Burlington Northern instead was able to use the Southern Pacific route
between Brooklyn Yard and Tigard and Portland and Salem.  By May 1998, BN quitclaim deeded the remaining land under the trackage that
P&W purchased in 1997 to the State of Oregon.  Today, the property is technically owned by the state, but the track is owned and operated by
the Portland & Western.   The bridges and tunnels are actually also owned by the State, but maintained by the P&W.

In July, 1997, the P&W purchased the track and equipment of the Astoria branch from Burlington Northern.  However, BN retained ownership of
the underlying land.   In November 1997, Burlington Northern donated the property under the 97 mile long Astoria branch to the state of
Oregon.  Just like the Cornelius Pass branch, the land is owned by the state, but the trackage, excluding bridges, is owned and operated by the
Portland & Western.   I have a very detailed page exclusively about the
Portland & Western Astoria Branch.

After purchasing all of the BN branch lines, the P&W set about repairing the bridges on Cornelius pass, spending millions of dollars to
construction one new bridge and repair two others that were damaged during the 1996 floods.   On July 1, 1998, the Cornelius pass was
opened at United Junction.  This allowed the P&W to operate from as far northwest as Astoria, to Hillsboro, via Cornelius Pass, then east to
Beaverton, south to Tigard, south to Newberg, McMinnville, and all the way to the headquarters and main yard at Albany and as far south as
Monroe as needed, and to Eugene via trackage rights.   The P&W had also acquired the ex-BN Oregon Electric trackage from Tigard, through
Wilsonville to near Kaiser.

In 2002, PNWR leased the remaining  BN ex-Oregon Electric trackage from Salem, south to Eugene.   Today, total mileage, including trackage
rights over operational Union Pacific and BNSF mainlines is over 523 miles.  The PNWR serves at least 135 customers and rail shipments
have increased and improved since the days when the Southern Pacific and BNSF operated these lines.   

Although the PNWR is one of the larger shortline railroads in Oregon and although it's owned by a large parent company, it's still a very
community oriented company that might lead one to believe it was locally owned.

To the railroad history buff like myself, the PNWR is wonderful.   They operate over some of the oldest and most historical railroads in Oregon,
including some of the most fascinating historical wooden trestles still in active service in Oregon.   Most of those lines would likely have been
long abandoned by the Southern Pacific and BNSF had PNWR not come along.  Today the PWNR lines are thriving and rather than being
abandoned, they remain open for local businesses to use and prosper as well as for rail fans of all ages to admire and enjoy.    
Note to readers:

Because of the extensive information and photos contained on this and other P&W related pages in addition to future photos and info that
will be added at a later date, the page will eventually be broken down into several different pages.  This page will remain the primary
Portland & Western page on my site, which all other P&W sections can be linked from.  Eventually a separate page will be created with
detailed pictures and specs on the locomotives and equipment and separate pages for each separate branch of the Portland & Western with
detailed pictures and information.   If you have any information or pictures that you'd like to share,
you can
email me anytime.
All photos taken by me, unless otherwise indicated
Portland & Western Locomotives
Number 2305, 3604 and 463 (soon to be 3601) are in a consist, with 2305 in the lead passing through Whiteson on its way to McMinnville.   2305 is a
GP-39-2 built in October, 1974 and making 2300 h.p.  The other two units are brand new additions to the PNWR roster.   Number 3604 and 463 (3601 when its
renumbered) are both SD45s just recently transfered to the PNWR.  They were formerly rated at 3600 h.p. but now make between 3200-3300 h.p.  They are part
of 4 SD45s that were recently transfered from G&W's Illinois & Midland Railroad.  Photos taken May, 2005
I also have a short 2 minute video clip of this train.    More videos on my RR Videos Page.
Number 3300, X1851 and 2317 are in a consist at Whiteson, Oregon, with 3300 in the lead.  Parked idling, no crew was around as the train awaits its next
crew to take her back to Albany.  The 3300 is an EMD SD40-3MR, built in March, 1968.  It's makes  3000 h.p.   The middle engine is an SD-9, built in March,
1954 and makes 1750 h.p.  Number 2317 is a GP39-2, built in October, 1974 for the ATSF.  It makes 2300 h.p.   Photos taken April, 2005
Number 2311 is an ex-SF EMD GP39-2 that makes 2300 h.p.  Built in 1974, this locomotive is still wearing it's old SF colors and the Willamette & Pacific
markings.   When I spotted it in June, 2004, it was switching the mill in Toledo, Oregon.  The very friendly engineer was even kind enough to give me a
tour of the cab.  A testament to the "little friendly" railroad.  Photos taken June, 2004.
Number 2303 and 2315 are in a consist, with 2303 in the lead for now.   Both are GP39-2s that make 2300 h.p. each and were built in 1974.   2315 has
more modern Willamette & Pacific paint and markings, while 2303 is wearing the SF paint of it's prior owner.  This consist and a string of cars were spotted
headed toward the Stimson Mill, south of Forest Grove, Oregon.  The Willamette & Pacific aquired a number of GP39s from the SF and these are the most
common locomotive on the line.  Photos taken March, 2004
Number  3002, the Toledo Hauler for this day, is at the point of this long consist of locomotives and slugs pulling a load of chip cars to the Georgia Pacific
Mill in Toledo, Oregon.  The ex-SP Toledo branch is one of the most historical and oldest railroad lines in Oregon.  Number 3002 is an EMD GP40-2 that makes
3000 h.p.   The power being very much needed to pull the trains up and over the coast range from Albany to Toledo.   The slugs which are permanently
assigned to their parent locomotives, don't actually provide additional power, but rather provide additional traction and dynamic braking through their electric
traction motors.   The power for both the slug and the parent locomotive comes from the parent locomotive's single diesel engine.The picture on the left was
taken near Chitwood.  Not too many days after this picture was taken, the Toledo Hauler suffered a major derailment here.  But all was repaired and the line
was reopened.    The middle pictures show the Toledo Hauler going over some extremely old and historical bridges on the line.   On the right, shows the entire
Toledo Hauler consist on the far west end of the line only a few miles outside of Toledo.  Photos taken March, 2004.
Number 1852 is an SD-9 at the
Albany yard and P&W shops.  Built
in 11/55, it makes 1750 h.p. and
also serves as a yard switcher.
Photo taken August, 2004.
The P&W locomotive shops at
the Albany Yard.   Note the old
Willamette & Pacific markings,
although today, that name has
been officially dropped.
Photo August, 2004
Number 1501 is regulated to switching the Albany Yard.  It's
an old EMD SD-7 built in 11/52.   It served with the Southern
Pacific until the W&P took over the Albany operations.  It makes
1500 h.p.  Photos taken August, 2004.
Number 3002, the Toledo Hauler.  Here the engineer appears
to be awaiting the signal to begin hauling the empties out of the
Albany yard to Toledo.  This is the same engine as pictured
above making the haul, but taken a few months later.  Photo
August, 200
P&W 3203, is in the center of
the Toledo Hauler consist.  A
GP40 built in 1/67, it's a brand
new addition to the P&W fleet,
having arrived in 5/04  Photo
August, 2004
P&W 3001, is the rear
locomotive on the Toledo
Hauler consist.   3002, leads
on the way to Toledo, while
3001 leads the consist on the
way back to Albany.
Photo August, 2004
Number 4203 is actually owned by RFRX railroad.   I
photographed this locomotive at the Lebanon yard of the
and Eastern in July, 2004 and assumed that it was being leased by
the A&E.  However, the PNWR does show this particular
locomotive on it's roster as being leased by them as of 2002.  So
I'll include it on this page as well.   The locomotive is a GE B23-7
(Dash 7-23B) that was built in April, 1978 and makes 2,250 h.p.  
Photo July, 2004.
Number 2316  is a GP39-2, built in October, 1974 for the ATSF, it
makes 2300 h.p. and has been owned by the W&P since 1993.   It
wears the title "city of Albany".   It's photographed  in Nov, 2004 in
Number 3211  is a GP40, built in January, 1967.  It makes 3000 h.p.   It's one of the P&W's more recent acquired units, arriving in March, 2004.   It last
served with the SL&A railroad back east and still wears it's markings.  The SL&A is owned by the same parent company as the PNWR, hence the units same
color scheme and similar logo.   It's photographed here in Nov, 2004 on it's way from McMinnville to Newberg, as part of a consist with number 3300. (see
Number 3300 is an EMD SD40-3MR, built in March, 1968.  It's makes  3000 h.p.   It's one of the P&W's newer units, arriving on the line in August, 2004   It's
photographed here in Nov, 2004 as part of a consist with number 3211, leading the Mac Switcher from Newberg to McMinnville and later to Albany
Number 1853 is an SD-9, built in Jan,
1953 and making 1750 h.p.   It's been
with the W&P since late 1995 and still
wears the old W&P markings and the
name "city of Forest Grove."
This picture courtesy of Frank
taken in McMinnville in 2004.
This is the St. Helens Switcher, pictured in March, 2005.   2306 was
one of the first units to be purchased by the Willamette & Pacific in
1993.  Originally used by the Santa Fe RR, it was never repainted into
W&P colors.  It's a GP39-2, built in October, 1974 and makes 2300
h.p.   It's photographed here at night after a long day of switching in
the St. Helens area.   March, 2005.
This is the Willamina Switcher in Willamina in January, 2005.   The point engine
is, 2302 "Adair Village" while ex-Southern Pacific 4433, makes up the consist.  
Number 2302 is a GP39-2 built in October, 1974.  It's one of the original locos
to join the P&W in 1993 and makes 2300 h.p.  
 Number 4433 is an SD9R that
was built in March, 1955 and makes 1750 h.p.   It's currently owned by George
Lavacot and is leased to the P&W.   Jan, 2005.
Number 2301 is a GP39-2, built in October, 1974 and is named the City of Sheridan.   It makes 2300 h.p.  Photos were taken in McMinnville, May, 2005.
Number 2314 is a GP39-2, built in October, 1974 and is named the City of McMinnville.   It makes 2300 h.p.  Photo was taken
in Toledo, July, 2005.
Portland & Western Branches
Trestles & Tunnels and other points on the line
Astoria & United Branches
(former BNSF, former SP&S, former United Railways)
This very historical swing bridge over the Clatskanie River is one of several on the Astoria branch.  The Astoria branch was once owned by the Seattle,
Portland and Spokane railroad, which was merged into the BNSF in 1970.   The Portland & Western bought the old BNSF line, although trains rarely run all the
way to Astoria from Portland.    This bridge was built in 1887 and appears to be mostly original.  It's still operated manually, just like the old days, but a new
hand crank has been fabricated.  The bridge is left open when not in use and a bridge tender has to drive out to the site and close the bridge, each time a train
passes.  Photo: 2002
United Junction is where the Astoria branch and the United Branch meet, at Hwy 30, near Portland.    Here the line passes under Highway 30 via a tunnel
before climbing up the hill to Cornielius Pass.  Note the modern sanding tower at United Junction.
Photos: 3/2005
The ex Oregon-Electric (Burlington Northern) North entrance of the Cornelius Pass tunnel.  This
tunnel was closed for many years and then recently reopened by the Portland & Western who now
operates the line to interchange with the Port of Tillamook Bay RR in Banks, Oregon.    Pictures are
courtesy of Todd Kennedy, taken in 2004.
A Trestle on the old United
RR line, just west of
Bower's Junction, Oregon.  
Photo: 2004
This is the historic Holcomb Creek Trestle on the ex-United Railways line near North Plains, Oregon.  The P&W
now operates this line from Portland to Banks.   More information on my
United Railways Page.  Picture on far right is courtesy of Todd Kennedy.
Westside Branches
(former Southern Pacific)
This historical bridge is located near
Sherwood, Oregon is one of the largest
bridges on the line between Newberg
and Portland that now mostly closed.   
Photo: 2004
A relatively newer concrete railroad
bridge over Hwy 99W, several miles
north of Newberg.  This section of the
line rarely sees rail traffic nowadays.  
Photo: 2004
This is one of several large trestles over Rex Hill near Newberg.  This one is located near Bell Road.  This trestle is particularly interesting, because of it's
combination wood/steel design, but also because it's partly burned.   I suspect this may be the trestle in question that reduced the traffic on this line to almost
nothing.  Note the rusted rail.  This line gets almost no use.   Note that the rail on and near the bridge is dated 1941.   Photos: Jan, 2005
Another Rex Hill Trestle, located over Little Hells Canyon.   This trestle is
also rather large, but appears to be entirely wood with no steel center span
like the prior trestle.  Several other trestles of similiar size exist just up the
railroad.  This must have been a scenic route to travel for train crews and in
the old days, passengers.  Photos: Jan, 2005
A very old trestle in Newberg over Hess Creek.  The center
span was wood until recently, when the bridge was partly
rebuilt.   While rail traffic rarely needs to go beyond this point,
trains cross the bridge on a regular basis to allow them to
clear switches at the Newberg railyard, as you'd see in my
video on this part of the line.     Photo: 2004
The Chehalis Creek Trestle is located just southwest of the Newberg city limits.   Located right next to busy Hwy 99W, it's one of the most imposing trestles on
the line and like the rest of the wooden trestles, it's age and history are as vast as it's size.  
Photes: mid and late 2004
The Hawn Creek trestle is located several miles east of McMinnville.   Note the old telegraph/telephone pole located below the trestle.   It probably hasn't
been used since the 1930s.   In the picture on the far right, note how the fix for a split piling was to wrap it with a steel loop, probably done during the SP
years.   This bridge looked worse for the wear.   Photes: November, 2004
The St. Joseph Railroad overpass, over Highway 99W, is located several miles east of McMinnville.   This is a current branch spur off of the P&W that only
continues another mile before ending.   Today only cars are stored on this line.   From the 1970s, through in the early 1980s, this was a major Southern Pacific
branch line that continued all the way into Forest Grove.   Most of it was abandoned and torn up in the mid 1980s.   Photo on right shows the connection of the
two lines.   The bridge is located just a few hundred feet beyond the parked railcars.  Photes: November, 2004
This good sized trestle spans the Yamhill River, just east of McMinnville, near the Cascade Steel Mill, which the P&W regularly switches.
This bridge uses a unique large through truss center span, which is likely very old.    Note the center picture, under the bridge, where the dirt has washed
away to reveal a bit of an archaeological discovery.   These once buried cut off pilings belonged to the original structure, which was built  in the 1870s.  
Picture on far is looking out over the Yamhill River from the middle of the bridge.   Photes: November, 2004
This Yamhill River trestle, located several miles south of McMinnville is one of the most historically interesting trestles on the line.  It's also one of the
longest.   Some of the original structure, dating as far back as the late 1800s, and much of the early rebuilt structure survives today.    The  few remaining
horizontal slats in disrepair appear to be an outdated fire break system not uncommon on old long trestles of this size.  Note the cut off pilings of the original
1800s structure sticking out of the ground.  The round steel tubes which bore the weight of the original center span still exist today, although the center span
is entirely rebuilt using steel and welded pilings.  Picture on far lower right is of this structure when it was originally built in the late 1800s.  Photes: 2004
A trestle in Whiteson on the west point of the wye.
Photo: May, 2005
A trestle just south of Amity.
Photo:  April, 2004
Hillsboro Branches
(former Southern Pacific)
A trestle on the line in Cornelius, Oregon.  Photo:
A smaller trestle on the remainder of the ex-SP St. Joseph Branch,
now used exclusively to serve the Stimson Mill, near Seghars,
Oregon.   Photo: 2004
Willamina Branch
(former Southern Pacific and Willamina & Grand Ronde)
This trestle is located in Willamina, Oregon and is the beginning of the ex-Willamina & Grand Ronde Railroad to Fort Hill that branches off of the P&W in
Willamina.   This line is owned by the Fort Hill Lumber Company, but P&W operated the trains.  Fort Hill Lumber closed it's mill in 2004 and this line is now only
used to store cars.     Photo: Jan, 2005
Toledo Branch
(former Southern Pacific)
These pictures show the Toledo Hauler east of Chitwood, Oregon  Photos taken March, 2004.
Another interesting and old bridge
on the Toledo branch.  This one
also over the Yaquina River, but
closer to Toledo.  Photo: 2004
These pictures show the Toledo Hauler coming out of Tunnel #24, near Chitwood, Oregon.  (Sometimes called
Tunnel # 1 as it's the only remaining tunnel on the Toledo branch) and going over the Yaquina River on a very old
bridge    This particular bridge has a very historical, and sad past.   In the late 1800s, the original structure
collasped when a loaded train passed over, sending several cars into the river and killing two brakemen.   The
current structure was built to replace the collapsed structure.  Photos taken March, 2004.
Some of the Portland & Western tracks in Toledo, Oregon at the Georgia-Pacific Paper mill.   Photo: 2004/2005
Oregon Electric Branch  
(Former BNSF, Former Oregon Electric)
Wilsonville bridge is one of the most significant structures on the PNWR lines.   It was originally built in the early 1900s and included this multiple span over
the river, plus a very large wood trestle at either end.  But in the early 1970s, it was extensively and entirely rebuilt.  The trestles were replace with steel deck
girder bridges and the under through truss structure was replaced with this over through truss structure.  Photo: May, 2005
You can see extensive video of this branch from my video of chasing the SP&S 700 steam engine on this line to Salem.
Portland & Western Depots & other Buildings
This historic building is the ex-Southern Pacific Hillsboro Depot.   Today, the depot is occupied by the Portland and Western and is the base of operations
for most maintenance operations on the northern lines.  A small yard also exists here as well as a rather large Y track.  Photo: 2004
The P&W Albany Yard and locomotive shops.  Note the
brightly painted switcher engine behind the tanker car
and the consist parked next to the shops.  The Shops still
wear the Willamette & Pacific logo although that name
has been officially dropped.   Photo: 2004
The back of the P&W Albany
shops and some office trailers
next to the P&W yard.  Photo:
This historical ex-Southern Pacific Albany depot was
being used by the Portland and Western.  When we
visited the depot in July, 2004, it was undergoing  
renovation to be converted into an intermodel station
with bus and Amtrak service.   Info courtesy Erik
Halstead.  Photo: 2004
Located next to the old SP depot is this old
Southern Pacific Expess Office.  Used most
recently by Union Pacific switcher and MoW
crews.  Unknown what the future fate of this
building will be.  Erik Halstead.  Photo: 2004
The Portland & Western Depot located in McMinnville, Oregon.  The original Southern Pacific
depot was attached to the concrete structure in the foreground.  It was torn down in the mid
1960s.   I believe this depot replaced that structure at that time.   Today, it's used mainly as the
office for P&W McMinnville operations, such as the Mac Switcher.   Photo: Sept. 2004
The train order station and PNWR office in Toledo.   Photo: 7/2005
The abandoned building at Whiteson, Oregon.  The only thing we know for sure is that this building used to be used by Southern Pacific and its clearly
abandoned today.  What it was is not clear.   It's located right next to one of the legs of the Whiteson wye, where the Westline line and Willamina branch meet.  
It could be a former depot or it could have been a former Southern Pacific employee section house.   Photo: 6/2005
Other Equipment, Misc Photos & More
The rail yard at Whiteson.   This Rail yard dates to the late 1800s and a depot was
once here, but is long gone today.   This yard originally connected railroads running in
four different directions.    Today, the main line from McMinnville runs south through
to Corvallis.  A connection, dating to 1880, heads west to Sheridan and Willamina.   
Several grain elevators are located nearby and serviced by the PNWR.   Photo: 2004
The siding in the town of Dundee.  It's occasionally
used for storage of some rail line equipment such as
this brush cutting rig.  Photo: 2004
A three track railyard located in the north end of Newberg.  From this yard, trains are interchanged with the paper mill.   Pictured here is PNWR
crews interchanging Newsprint Paper Mill cars.   Photo: November, 2004
Newsprint Paper Mill
connection to the PWNR
line.  Newsprint operates
it's own locomotive the mile
or so between the mill and
PWNR railyard.   Photo:
November, 2004
PNWR crew switching out
the Cascade Steel Mill in
McMinnville, Oregon  
Photo: November, 2004
PNWR  vehicles.   This van is used by crews to transport to
where the locomotives are tied up.  Here it's parked at the
Cascade Steel Mill, where crews leave it to make their run to
Newberg and back.   On the right is a MoW truck in
McMinnville.   Photo: November, 2004
Also, check out the Railroad History of Yamhill County, Oregon.  All of the Railroads in this county that remain
are currently owned or leased by the Portland & Western.
If anyone has any further information, corrections or photos on this railroad that you'd like to share,
you can
Email me anytime.  Thanks.
Copyright © 2004, 2005 Brian McCamish,  All Rights Reserved

Note about the photos on this site:
Most photos were taken by me, except for those that are otherwise indicated.   I usually allow people to use my photos for personal use or websites.  Simply Email
me.   I may not have authority to grant permission regarding some photos that were only loaned to me by others specifically for this website.   Every effort has been
made not to include other's photos without the proper permission and credits, however, if you see any photos which belong to you and that I don't have permission to
use, I apologize.   If you send me an
Email, I will remove the photos immediately or give proper credit, which ever you wish.
Number 1851 is an SD-9, built in March, 1954 and makes 1750 h.p.  It wears the markings "city
of Hillsboro" and has been with the company since 1994.Photo on left taken in McMinnville, Sept.
2004.  Two on right in Jan, 2005