Check out my Longview Portland & Northern, Gardiner Branch Page,
The LP&N also operated this line until just recently.
Check out my  Albany & Eastern RR Page, the current operation owned by the Roots family
who also owned this line in it's later years.
I also have a page on the Portland & Western Railroad Page,
which is the line that operated the remains of this branch in it's final years.
Special Thanks to Jeff Moore for contributing information for this article and to Dan Davis, the Yamhill County Historical
Society
and the Salem Public Library for contributing historical photos of this operation.
Map of the Willamina & Grand Ronde
Railroad
Last Update:  March 3, 2006

The little known railroad between the towns of Willamina and Grand Ronde, Oregon, was first incorporated in 1921 (some
sources indicate earlier).  It came under several ownerships over the 83+ years that it operated.  But it would always be
remembered by it’s most famous title, the Willamina & Grand Ronde Railway.

For about 30 years, this railroad fell under the ownership of the Longview Portland and Northern Railway and was known as its Northern
Division, to distinguish it from it’s
Southern Division which existed in Gardiner, Oregon.  

Sometime around 1920, construction of the Willamina & Grand Ronde began from the small town of Willamina, where a branch line of the
Southern Pacific ended.   The purpose of the line was to serve logging and agriculture interests in the coast range foothill communities in
Polk and Yamhill Counties and connect the community of Grand Ronde to the Southern Pacific mainline.  

Over the years, a number of mills would be built and served by the railroad.   

The Willamina & Grand Ronde was owned by the Spaulding-Miami Lumber Company, and some sources indicate that it was also at some
point, owned by the Oregon Coast Range Lumber Company, the Polk Operating Company, the Miami Corporation and Long Bell Lumber
Company.   Long Bell Company took over operations in 1944 and logging increased into the Long Bell holdings south of Grand Ronde.  At
some point, an extensive logging railroad, which apparently was served by Shay Locomotives, was built into the foothills south of Grand
Ronde.   By 1959, logging operations ceased and the line exclusively served local mills and agriculture, interchanging with the Southern
Pacific in Willamina.

It’s most famous acquisition came in approximately 1955 when the Longview Portland and Northern Railroad took over the line.   For 30
years the line would remain essentially unchanged and intact from Willamina to Grand Ronde.   

I’m not entirely clear on what locomotives were used prior the LP&N taking over, but some sources indicate that a GE 45 tonner, number 451,
was used from 1952 to 1954.  That locomotive was sold to Long Bell in Joplin, Missouri, before the LP&N took over.  At least one Steam
locomotive, a 1916 Baldwin 2-8-0 served the line from the beginning and would remain here until the 1970s.  More on that locomotive later.

The LP&N used it’s own locomotives, including a GE 80 tonner, number 80,  built in 1943, and an Alco S-2,  number 110, built in 1946.   An
interesting side note, number 110 is the sister locomotive to the Alco S-2, number 111 that served on the
LP&N Gardiner Branch until it
closed in 1999.   Number 110 would serve on this line into the 1990s  Number 80 would serve here until 1973, when it was sold to the
Port of
Tillamook Bay and served there as their # 111, until the 1990s.  It was unfortunately scrapped in 1998.  

Jeff Moore pointed that the LP&N also had one of two of their Baldwin VO-660's on Willamina branch for several years.  He guessed it was
the number 1001, as 1002 was used on the Gardiner branch.

In 1962 the line almost met it's doom.   Huge floods that year washed out the Willamina Creek bridge, cutting off the entire line from it's
Southern Pacific connection.   Many thought that this might be the end of the railroad and abandonment was seriously considered.  But the
bridge was rebuilt and the line lasted another 42  years.

A short article from 1970 by Dave Lewis, which was kindly forwarded to me by Brian R. Termunde, shows that the operation was fairly small,
but interesting.   Here’s the snapshot of the line in 1970 as I describe from photos from that article.

On the site is an old depot, built in 1920,  that no longer serves passengers, but the LP&N used as the offices.   Just south, across the tracks
from the depot existed a very tall and large water tower that was used by both the local community and the logging steam engines from prior
years, and a large freight house.   A few hundred feet west of the depot existed a wye, that headed south.   In the 1940s this wye was the
beginning of the logging railroad that headed south into the coast foot hills, but by 1970, the line was cut back to only a few hundred feet
south of the engine house, and just a few feet south of Hwy 18.   Here, the line crossed a small bridge over Rock Creek that still existed in
1970, but then ended there.    Inside the wye was located the main 3 stall engine house.  Also, several outbuildings and one abandoned 1
stall engine house and numerous railroad parts were lying about.     Dan Davis was kind enough to forward a number of color slides of this
line in the early 1970s, which some of these structures and are included in this article.  The line only operated about 3 times per week,
making the approximate 9 mile journey to the Southern Pacific yard in Willamina, interchanging several mills along the way.

A 1916 Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0 steam engine, number 680, resided inside the west stall of the engine house.  A large smoke stack,
from the steam days, existed on the roof above that stall.   The steam engine’s boiler was last checked in 1964, but the locomotive was not
used.   It was possibly kept as back up.   Jeff Moore points out that the Locomotive  was originally built for the Louisiana & Pacific Railroad at
Longville, LA, but went to the Willamina & Grand Ronde in 1922, which would coincide with when the line first started to operate.   Sometime
around 1977, the number 680 was sold to the Virginia and Truckee passenger excursion railroad in Nevada.  By 1978, it was repainted and
renumbered 29 and remains there to this day.    This would make the W&GR # 680 the longest serving locomotive on the Willamina and
Grand Ronde, serving for well over 50 years, before it was sold off.    Jeff Moore also said that the # 680 was trucked, as opposed to shipped
via rail, from Willamina to Virginia City on a very circuitous route to avoid weight and clearance problems.   It appears that when the V&T came
to pick up #680 in the mid to late 1970s, the tracks to the engine house were gone.   The wye, which connected the engine house crossed
highway 18, but it appears that a widening and repaving  project of Highway 18 in the mid 1970s destroyed a significant portion of the wye,
rendering it, and the engine house tracks useless.   If you look at the "Grand Ronde" map below, dated for the late 1970s, you can see how
the wye was destroyed.  This probably spelled the end for the LP&N yards and according to USGS maps, most of the buildings, water tower,
etc were torn down by the late 1970s.

One final note about the # 680 from Jeff:  The #680 is still in Virginia City, but inoperable at the moment.  The locomotive (now Virginia &
Truckee #29) was sidelined by the new Federal boiler codes that went into effect back at the beginning of 2002.  The #29 has not operated
since then, although work is ongoing to bring the locomotive back into operation.
Craig Bass has a great page full of # 29 photos while operating on the V&T railroad.

In 1980, LP&N sold the line to the Roots Brothers.  This left the LP&N, which at one time operated three separate lines, with only the
Southern Division, also known as the Gardiner Division, in Gardiner, Oregon.   That line closed down in 1999, and the LP&N is no longer
operational today.  

The Roots Brothers, who had a family history in the railroad business, first attempted to buy the Quincy Railroad, in Quincy, California in the
1970s.  When that failed,  they later discovered the LP&N Willamina division was for sale, while they were on vacation in the area and
purchased it.   The sale became final in March, 1980.   They decided to resurrect the original name and called the line, once again, the
Willamina & Grand Ronde.    

It was about this time that major changes would come to the operation.   The Roots brothers wanted to keep the line operational from
Willamina to Grand Ronde, where the shops were located, but a track inspector from the Oregon Public Utilities Commission (PUC)
condemned the entire line due to terrible track conditions.  The rail was 56- to 60- pound and dated to the turn of the century.  The ties were
nearly all shot, surfacing was bad, and drainage was non-existent.  The PUC estimated that rehabilitation of the line up to acceptable
standards was going to cost $167,000 per mile, which was far more money than an operation like the W&GR could justify.  The Roots
brothers were only able to get State and Federal assistance funding to make repairs to the line between Willamina and Fort Hill, which
effectively cut the line in half.    Fort Hill is where a major lumber company existed and was  the largest shipper on the line by that time.  The
Roots brothers got their first grant money in 1981, and they set out to completely rehabilitate the 5.2 miles between Willamina and Fort Hill.  
In the end, a total of $450,000 was spent on this stretch, which re-layed the line with heavier and newer 90-lb rail, replaced hundreds of ties,
dumped a lot of crushed rock ballast, improved drainage, and did some alignment and re-surfacing of the track structure.  The 3 miles of the
line beyond Fort Hill could not be saved with money available outside of the grant program, and as a result it was abandoned in 1985.    This
left about 5.2 miles of track between Willamina and Fort Hill.

By 1986, the Roots Brothers had several Railroad operations going, including the last few miles of the once 40 mile long Valley and Siletz
Railroad in Indepedence, Oregon under the name,  Willamette Valley Railroad.   They initially decided to merge their Willamina and Grand
Ronde Railroad into the Willamette Valley Railroad, calling the Willamina operation the W&GR branch and the Indepdence operation, the
V&S branch.   But in 1988, they again separated the two companies.   Perhaps anticipating one or the other's economic failure or future sale
and not wanting it to affect the rest of their operations.  

The Roots Brothers acquired the LP&N Alco S-2 number 110 when they purchased the line and it remained owned by them until 1992.  It was
then sold to
Doyle McCormack, where it sat in the Albany rail yard until at least 2001.  What happened to it after that it not clear.  The cab was
torched by vandals while in the P&W Albany yard.   A photo of the 110, taken in 1992 can be found on
Rob Jacox's Western Rails Page.  
Here's the direct link to the photo.   The Yard Limit also has two photos of 110 taken in Albany.     This one in 1997.   This one sometime after
1998 when vandals broke out the cab windows.  And Larry Tuttle has a photo of it on his page, still located in the P&W Albany Yards in late
2000.  Today, it's apparently stored in Battle Ground, Washington.

Jeff Moore adds the following about the Motive power used by the Roots Brothers:  The Root brothers inherited the #110 with their purchase
of the WGR, and they continued to use it on that line into the mid-1980's.  Around the time of the creation of the WVR they purchased three
locomotives from the SP, SW-1200's #2273 and #2274 and GP-9 #2890.  The #2890 was initially sent to Willamina to work on the WGR, but
by the late 1980's that unit was stored out of service next to the ex-Valley & Siletz shop building in Independence and the #2274 was handling
all operation on the WGR.  The #110 was used very infrequently after 1989 or 1990.  While the #2273 was repainted a bright orange and red
scheme (very similar to the paint worn by the #4449) and re-numbered 201, the #2274 and #2890 remained in SP gray and red, but with the
SP lettering blanked out.  I should mention that the Roots did rotate motive power regularly between the two operations...the #2274 did
operate in Independence, while the #2273 and the#201 did make it up to Willamina on occassion.  

By 1995, the Roots Brothers sold the line to Hampton Industries, which operated the Fort Hill Mill, the largest shipper on the line.   The Roots
Brothers still operate a significant short line railroad operation to this day, out of Lebanon, called the
Albany and Eastern Railroad, but wanted
to divest themselves of the Willamina & Grand Ronde operation.  

Hampton Industries incorporated the Hampton Railroad to take ownership of the last 5 miles of track, but they didn’t operate any
locomotives.   By 1995, Southern Pacific, which was about to be merged into Union Pacific, had already leased out many of its remaining
branch line operations in the Willamette Valley to the
Portland & Western and Willamette & Pacific Railroads (both companies were owned by
the same parent company and later merged into one company under the Portland & Western name.).   The Willamette & Pacific was
operating the Southern Pacific owned line out to Willamina by this time, and Hampton simply contracted out to them to continue to operate all
the way to Fort Hill.  

This operation remained unchanged until mid 2004.   At that point, Hampton officially mothballed the Fort Hill Mill, and the line west of
Willamina no longer serves any purpose.    

Today, the Fort Hill mill is fenced up, but the equipment remains inside in a mothball state in the unlikely hope that it might someday reopen.  
The rails remain in place for the time being.  The
Portland & Western still operates out to Willamina to serve a large mill that remains there
and other customers, and stores empty cars on the first few miles of the old Willamina & Grand Ronde.  

The future of the line to Fort Hill is entirely dependent on the status of the Fort Hill mill.  If/when it’s determined that the mill will close
permanently, most of the rails will likely be torn up.  A few miles might remain to store cars.   Efforts were underway by someone to possibly
turn the line into an excursion route, but details are limited at this time.

As to the fate of the abandoned section between Fort Hill and Grand Ronde and locomotive shops, some sources indicate that the trackage
west of Fort Hill remained in place for several years after 1985, but at some point it was entirely scrapped out.  Today, much of the grade
remains, but a few sections are gone, some turned into a driveways, some plowed away and one large section destroyed to make way for
the Hwy 18 off ramp to the Spirit Mountain Casino in the early 1990s.   The small bridge over the South Yamhill River, just east of Grand
Ronde was entirely removed.  Only two concrete pillars in the middle of the creek to give any hint of what used to exist there.

I was able to very briefly visit the area in January, 2005.   I found that most of the buildings in Grand Ronde are gone, however, the two most
significant, the depot and locomotive shops remain to this day.  The depot appears to be used as a local community center or private
residence and looks much like it did when the LP&N used it.   It’s in pretty good shape.    The locomotive shops and grounds that occupy the
middle of the wye were apparently sold off in the mid 1980s and today are used by a local fabrication company.   Much of the area is
overgrown and lots of junk lies about.   Perhaps in all the brush some remains of the railroad days still exist.    

The larger water tower, freight house and most of the other out buildings that existed through at least 1970, were removed sometime prior to
1979 according to USGS maps.
Photos of the Line
B&W photos are courtesy of the Yamhill County Historical Society and the Salem Public Library Historical.
Dan Davis contributed a significant number of color photos from the 1970s.   Photos Collections and are shown here by
permission.
Willamina - Portland & Western Yard and the WGRR connection
Map of the Willamina area, USGS map, 1992
The yards in Willamina.  Formerly owned by Southern Pacific, they were leased out to the Willamette & Pacific Railroad in the early 1990s.   Today, Southern
Pacific was merged into the Union Pacific and the Willamette & Pacific merged into the Portland & Western.  But operations remain pretty much unchanged
since the early 1990s.   Here, a Portland & Western consist sits idling on the tracks on a Saturday, January afternoon, awaiting a crew to finish switching the
yard.  Photos: Jan, 2005
Left & center pictures:   The track on the left continues through Willamina to the northwest end of town where it ends at a large mill.  The track on the right is the
Willamina & Grand Ronde railroad connection.    Right picture:  Shows the Willamina & Grand Ronde spur with cars stored on it by the Portland & Western.   
Photos: Jan, 2005
The final mile of former W&GR track still use, is located in Willamina.  It's this spur which goes to a mill located just north of town.  Photos: Nov, 2005
The spur runs to the mill.   In the far right photo is the final few feet of the track.  Today, the spur is served by the
Portland & Western Railroad.
 Photos: Nov, 2005
This significant bridge over  Willamina Creek is the largest bridge on the Willamina & Grand Ronde Railroad.  Today it still exists, but is used along with the first few
miles of the line to store cars for the Portland & Western, since the line was shut down in mid 2004.   The
Jan, 1963 Trainmaster, indicates that this bridge was washed out in the 1962 flood and plans were to replace it with four steel girders 3' wide, which will rest on two
rows of pilings and will be 60' long.  Interestingly, even in 1963, there were rumors the line might be abandoned, but it lasted more than 40 more years.   The
historical photos on the right show the reconstruction of the bridge in 1963 and one of the first trains to cross it shortly thereafter.   Note the steam powered crane.   I
believe this is the same crane the Dan Davis later photographed in the early 1970s in the LP&N yards.  See photo below.  
Color Photos: Jan, 2005 --- B/W photos Courtesy of the Salem Public Library
Historic Photograph Collections - Used under permitted conditions - Ben Maxwell photos
Left picture:  Just southwest of Willamina, the line crosses the highway.   Interestingly enough, even though this crossing had crossing guards, trains from the north
were still required to stop.  Probably because of the blind curve.   Right picture:  For the rest of the route to Grand Ronde, the line pretty much follows Highway 18.  
 Photos: Jan, 2005
Left picture:  Just southwest of Willamina, the line crosses the highway.   Interestingly enough, even though this crossing had crossing guards, trains from the north
were still required to stop.  Probably because of the blind curve.   Right picture:  For the rest of the route to Grand Ronde, the line pretty much follows Highway 18.  
 Photos: Nov, 2005
Left picture:  Just southwest of Willamina, the line crosses the highway.   Interestingly enough, even though this crossing had crossing guards, trains from the north
were still required to stop.  Probably because of the blind curve.   Right picture:  For the rest of the route to Grand Ronde, the line pretty much follows Highway 18.  
 Photos: Nov, 2005
These photos of the abandoned track between Willamina and Fort Hill.  The track remains, but it pretty rusted and overgrown.
Photos: July, 2005
These photos of the abandoned track between Willamina and Fort Hill.  The track remains, but it pretty rusted and overgrown.
Photos: Nov, 2005
Fort Hill Lumber Company
Map of the Fort Hill area.   USGS map, 1979.
The Fort Hill Lumber Company, owned by Hampton Industries.  This was the final shipper of the Willamina & Grand Ronde Railroad and after 1995, became the
owner of the tracks.   In the final years, the Portland & Western did the switching, but that all came to an end in mid 2004.   That's when the mill was closed and
mothballed.  Today, new fencing surrounds the property.   Hampton Industries is waiting to decide what to do with the mill and property.  Until it's permanantly
closed, the tracks will likely remain in place, but the line's fate is completely tied to this mill.   Photos: Jan, 2005
This photo of construction of the Willamina & Grand Ronde is courtesy of the Yamhill County Historical Society.   my best guess
is just west of Fort Hill, facing west.   I think that the little RR bridge is going over Cosper Creek.   The river on the left would have to be the Yamhill River.
A couple examples of the grade west of Fort Hill.  On the left the grade is heavily over grown.  Not used since 1985.  On the right this section of grade has been
turned into a private driveway to a residence that was built after the line was abandoned.  ODOT owns some sections of the old right of way, while private land
owners adjacent to the right of way, own other sections.   Photos: Jan, 2005
Grand Ronde
Map of the Grand Ronde area.  This USGS map was last updated in 1979 and note how most of the buildings are gone by then and
most interestingly, the wye that used to cross Hwy 18 to the south,  has been cut, probably due to a highway widening and repaving
project.   
The site of the bridge over the South Yamhill River,  just east of Grand Ronde.   This appears to have been a moderately signficant bridge that extended a good
distance west of the creek bank.   It was removed sometime after 1985.  Anyone have any pictures of this bridge when it existed?  Please
email me.   Photos: Jan,
2005   
 The photo on the right is courtesy of the Yamhill County Historical Society and appears to show this bridge right after construction as viewed from the
oppisite side of the bridge as my photos but facing the same direction (west).   It's very likely that this wood truss structure was later replaced.
The Grand Ronde depot.   It was built in 1920.   I'm not sure when passenger service ceased.   The LP&N used this building as it's office when it ran the railroad
from 1955 through 1980.   The mainline used to run in front of the depot where the mud and puddles are today.   By 1970, the siding that ran right along the depot
was removed.   Today, all the tracks are gone and it appears to be a community center, if it's used at all.   Photos: Jan, 2005
Dan Davis took these photos in late 1970.   Coincidently, you get almost the exact same views of the pictures that I took recently, some 35 years apart.   There used
to be another track that ran right up along side the depot at one point, but it was removed sometime prior to 1970.  By this time, the depot was no longer use for
passengers, but rather as an office for the Longview Portland and Northern railroad.
You'll note one significant change to the depot between 1970 and 2005 is that the two stove chimneys were removed.
Courtesy of Dan Davis
Looking west with the Depot on the right.  My truck is parked on what used to be the mainline railroad.    To the left of the truck, used to exist a large freight  house
and a huge water tower, both gone.   Note the red fire hydrant just to the left of the truck.  It's located pretty much where the water tower was and probably is fed by
the same water source.    In the distance, straight ahead of the truck several hundred feet away is the locomotive shops, still standing.  Used as a fabrication shop
today.    In the overgrown field between the truck and the shops on the left hand side used to exist the wye, and number of outbuildings and lots of railroad junk.  
One can only wonder what is out there today.   Photos: Jan, 2005
  Photo on the right is courtesy of the Yamhill County Historical Society as shows the same view.   
 It's date is unknown, but likely is the very early years of the railroad (1920s).  It shows the large water tower that existed through the 1970s.  The freight house that
existed appears to be under construction next to the water tower. Note the old car in front of the water tower.
Looking east, the depot is on the left.   The mainline used to continue straight ahead towards Fort Hill from here.   The white and red building on the right is a large
grain silo.  Not sure if it fed the railroad or not.   The freight house and water tower used to exist in the field just to the right of the truck.   The middle photo shows
the foundation of the freight house as it exists today.   Photos: Jan, 2005
Photo on the far right is courtesy of Dan Davis and was taken of the same view in approximately 1970, when the operation was in full swing and all the buildings on
the site remained intact.   Note how the freight house (on the right was not only up, but in use at that time.)  Today, only the depot and engine house remain on the
site.   Dan Davis Photos.
Before and After views of the engine house.   My views were taken in 2005, while Dan's views were taken sometime in the early 1970s.  When I visited the site in
2005, I almost overlooked the engine house and didn't realize what it was and that it has in fact survived all these years as one of the last railroad engine houses in
Oregon.   Today the engine shops appear to be used by a trucking company.   These photos show us several interesting things.  First, the original doors on the far
left stall still exist today, while roll up doors replaced the doors on the two right stalls.  The smoke stack on the left stall, where the steam engine was stored, has
been removed.   The track that used to cross highway 18 to a logging railroad was removed sometime prior to the early 1970s and only the two right stalls were
accessable via track after that time.   Interestingly, the steam engine that was stored in the left stall through the mid 1970s had to be removed by truck because of
this, when it was sold off.
Additional photos of the depot taken in July, 2005.  Also on the right are photos of the foundation of the freight depot, hidden in the weeds and an abandoned
bulldozer buried in the weeds behind the freight depot foundation.   Photos: July, 2005
More views of the engine shops when I visited the area.  3 left  Photos: Jan, 2005 - 1 right Photo: July, 2005
More views of the engine shops from the early 1970s, when Dan Davis visited the area and the railroad was in operation.
Courtesy of Dan Davis.
A few more views of several buildings near the main engine shops, taken in the early 1970s.   The left photo is of an old steam operated crane that appeared to be
non-operational at that time, but I believe can be viewed repairing the Yamhill River bridge in 1963.  See photo further above in the article.  The two middle views
show what was then the speeder shed, but what was the original single stall locomotive shed for the WGR when it was built in the 1920s.     The photo on the right,
shows what was then a tool shed next to the main engine shops.  However, it looks to me like this building started out life as logging crew railroad bunk car for the
logging operations that were undertaken south of Grand Ronde.   Both of these buildings are gone today, removed sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s.  
Courtesy of Dan Davis.
Picture on the right is looking straight across Highway 18 where the wye used to cross the highway.   Until 1959, a logging railroad existed for miles in this direction.
   Picture on the right is looking in the same direction, but past the highway.  Here a grade once existed, through at least 1970, but no sign of it remains today.   
Just beyond the trees is Rock Creek and through 1970, a trestle still existed over the creek.    Photos: Jan, 2005
Dan Davis took these photos of the above mentioned bridge sometime in the early 1970s.   The view on the left shows part of the bridge, clearly abandoned, but
still instact at that time, along with a pump house, which I assumed feed the huge water tower, you'll see photos of further down the page.     The sad photo on the
right, also taken sometime in the 1970s, answers the mystery of what happened to that trestle.   It was clearly burned down.   However, whether it was done on
purpose or by accident remains a mystery.  The fact that nothing around it is burned seems to indicate it was the cheap way to get of what was probably assumed
to be a public menace.   Purposely burning down historic structures, including bridges and fire lookouts and buildings was far too common in the 1970s.   Dan
Davis Photos
OTHER HISTORICAL PHOTOS
Photo of  Willamina & Grand Ronde Galloping Goose  is courtesy of
the Yamhill County Historical Society.   This was a White Railbus
Train.  According to the Yamhill Co. Historical Society, at some point,
efforts were  underway to restore this vehicle for tourism runs between
Willamina and Grand Ronde. It is currently in Parkdale, owned by Jack
Mills of the Mount Hood Railroad.  I'm not sure of the status of that
endeavour, however.
This photo of construction of the Willamina & Grand
Ronde is courtesy of the Yamhill County Historical
Society.   I'm not sure where along the line this is, but the
left photo is likely between Willamina and Fort Hill, along
the Yamhill River.
The far left view shows an old balast car parked in the yard, sometime in the early 1970s.   The rest of the photos are of the water tower and were also taken in the
early 1970s.  This water tower was built when the railroad was put in and was designed to feed water for the railroad as well as the local town.   It was torn down
sometime in the 1970s.  When you see that it was made entirely of wood, it's not hard to understand why it might have been deemed unsafe, 50 years after it was
built.   Note the locomotive water spout in the 2nd photo from the right.
Dan Davis Photos
The Following Historical Photographs are Courtesy of the Salem Public Library
Historic Photograph Collections
Used under permitted conditions - Ben Maxwell photos
One of the first log trains to run on
the line, in Nov, 1921.
A stack of oil steam donkey boilers set along side the
railroad tracks in Grand Ronde in April, 1942.  
Presumably hauled out of the nearby woods to be
used for the WW2 scrap drive.
The depot as pictured in 1957 and examining the back up locomotive, number 680 while parked
in the engine house.
These photos were taken in April, 1960 and show the the depot, the primary diesel power and the number 680 steamer that is still in service as a back up.
These photos were taken in February, 1961 and show La Vern Holman a railroad employee operating the number 80.   By that time, the Willamina & Grand
Ronde was under the ownership of the LP&N.
The End
Relevent Links

Railroad Retirement board status of the W&GRR in 1988-1993

Railroad Retirement board status determination on the W&GRR cease of operations in 1996

Yamhill County Historical Website with some old construction photos of the WGRR

Western Shortlines W&GRY roster 1952-1954

LP&N roster (including 1955-1980 at Grand Ronde)

Western Shortlines W&GRY roster 1980-1995
Thanks to Jeff Moore for providing information for this article.   Jeff operates the following two
websites:
  McCloud Rails  and High Desert Rails

And thanks to Brian R. Termunde for sending me an older article on the line and to "sp_redelectric" on the PNWR Yahoo Groups
board for also providing information.

Thanks to the
Yamhill County Historical Society and Dan Linscheid and also the Salem Public Library, for allowing me to
use their historical photos for this article.

The following sources also provided  information:

Backwoods Railroads, Branchlines and Shortlines of Western Oregon by D.C. Jesse Burkhardt, Washington State University Press, 1994.

North Willamette Shortlines by D.C. Jesse Burkhardt, August 1991 Pacific RailNews.

Rebirth of the Virgina & Truckee R.R. by Ted Wurm, May-Murdock Publications, 1992.
If anyone has any further information, corrections or pictures about the Willamina & Grand Ronde
Railroad, please let me know.    You can
Email me anytime.  Thanks.
Return to the Railroad History Page

Return to the Historical Expeditions Page

Return to my main Home Page
Copyright © 2004-2006 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.
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo
Dan Davis
Photo
Dan Davis
Photo
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s
Dan Davis Photo: 1970s