East Portland Branch temporarily out of service due to mud slide
Update: January 5, 2009

On January 2, 2008, heavy rains and melting snow fall combined to cause a slide on the East Portland Branch that
temporarily cut off access to the East Portland Yard.  The slide is located south of the Ross Island Bridge.   These pictures
were taken on January 3rd as the OPR conducted an initial daytime inspection of the slide.   The OPR hopes to have the line
reopened by early in the week of January 5th.
East Portland Branch back in service, slide cleared out of the way
Update: January 22, 2009

On January 5, 2008, the small slide that had closed the East Portland branch for several days, was cleared by the OPR crew
and the track was returned to service.    This is one of many examples that show that nearly all aspects of running, operating
and repairing this railroad are done almost exclusively by the Samuels family railroad crew.  Working here are Tim and Craig
Samuels, who also run most trains on the Molalla Branch as well as some on the East Portland Branch.
OPR completes two more charter runs
Update: January 18, 2009

The OPR provides charters and specials on an occasional basis and over the last several years has run charter specials for
birthday parties, retirement parties and other events.  In the last week, the OPR ran two seperate specials for two birthday
parties on Saturday January 10th and Friday, January 16th.   See our
charters and specials page for more information on
how to charter a train on the OPR.
Using OPR equipment, the Samuels brothers work to clear away the slides.
With the tracks almost clear, the No. 100 waits with a load of empties to take into East Portland before bringing loads back to Milwuakie.
Pictures from the December Snow Storm on the OPR
Update: February 5, 2009

These are pictures of the OPR back in the December 2008, when the Portland area was inundated with one of the largest and
longest snow storms in decades.   Pictures were taken by Kelly Anable on a day when railroad owner Richard Samuels and
Kelly Anable took the No. 100 on a test run from the Milwaukie shops to the East Portland Yards, through fresh deep snow.  
To see the sights pictured here, without the snow, check out the
East Portland Branch Page.
Construction continues on the new Canby storage siding
Update: February 4, 2009

Work continues on the new 800 foot long storage spur just south of the Canby wye on the Molalla Branch.   This is one of
several new spurs and sidings that the OPR has constructed and plans to construct on the Molalla Branch.   The switch for
the siding was placed on the mainline about 1/4 mile south of the Canby wye back in October 2008.    Other projects and
events have taken precedence in the last several months, but work now continues on this project.   The siding, when
completed, will run north on the west side of the mainline and will be used to store American Steel and other cars during the
daily switching operations.   Below pictures are from October, 2008.   Updated pictures will be added once available.
Left 3 photos show the siding construction and new spur looking north.          Right photo show the construction equipment at the wye, looking south.
Photos of the OPR Milwaukie shops, with the No. 100 being warmed up and prepared for the run, Mr. Samuels grabs a broom to sweep out any switches if needed and to
clear off snow to get to the cab of the No. 100.   In the far right picture, as viewed from the cab of the No. 100, the engine has backed down the shop track and is getting
ready to head up the steep hill on the track to the left which is still completely buried in snow.
These photos were taken from the fireman side of the No. 100 inside the cab as it backs up along the East Portland Branch.   Ahead is fresh snow and buried track.  
Pictures from left to right are:  Looking over the hood at the Milwuakie Shops -- Backing up the steep grade onto the mainline -- Going over 17th street crossing  --
Passing Golf Junction and the No. 187 in storage
-- Passing Golf Junction and the Tamper on a siding --  Approaching the Sellwood Overpass -- Crossing Spokane Street.
Pictures from left to right are:  North of Spokane Street.  Kids playing in the snow, probably never expected to see a train on this day -- Curve south of Oaks Park Station --
Approaching Oaks Park Station
 -- Viewing Oaks Amusement Park from near Oaks Park Station -- Entering the East Portland Yard
The No. 100 arrives at the East Portland Yard, with Mr. Samuels at the controls, Interstate 5 in the background.   Last photo on the far right was taken with the No. 100 at
the Milwaukie shops with Mr. Samuels on the rear deck of the engine.
Construction continues on the new Canby storage siding
Update: February 23, 2009

Work continues on the new 800 foot long storage spur just south of the Canby wye on the Molalla Branch.   This is one of
several new spurs and sidings that the OPR has constructed and plans to construct on the Molalla Branch.   The switch for
the siding was placed on the mainline about 1/4 mile south of the Canby wye back in October 2008.   Worked continued on
this project in February.    Currently the siding is about half complete, with all new rails, ties and ballast in place.   
The first five pictures are looking south at the newly completely siding.   The far right picture is looking north from the new siding switch.
Rare interchange meet between the Union Pacific and OPR
Update: March 3, 2009

In the early morning of February 27, 2009, the UP and OPR met and interchanged a car at the East Portland Yard.  Because
the UP usually interchanges traffic overnight and the OPR usually operates during the daytime, the two rarely meet.  But an
accident the prior night on the UP caused the UP to interchange traffic later than normal and the two railroads met up at East
Portland at the same time.
OPR 1202 with Dick Samuels at the controls, arrives at the East Portland Yard and meets up with the Union Pacific early in the morning to interchange a single car for
Pacific Foods Distribution.   
OPR Hosts Another Charter
Update: March 16, 2009

On March 16th, the OPR hosted another birthday party charter.  This time, the charter was for Ed Baum (of the
Friends of the
4449 group)  and his family for his son's birthday party.    The OPR used two cabooses, one open air car and engine 1202 for
the consist.   Below are some pictures from this birthday charter.   If you are interested in chartering a train for a birthday or
any other event, check out our
OPR Charters page.
Chris McLarney's Caboose now on the OPR
Update: March 16, 2009

In early March, 2009, a new caboose arrived on the OPR.  This is Chris McLarney's caboose, UP 25198.   Chris is famous as
the person who helped begin the restoration of the SP&S 700 and formed the PRPA.   Some of Chris's history with the SP&S
700 can be found
here.   Chris and the OPR go back to at least the 1980s when Dick Samuels used his newly acquired PTC
No. 100 to pull the SP&S 700 from Oaks Park to begin its restoration.

UP 25198 is a class CA-4 caboose of the Union Pacific Railroad, built in November 1944, it was the 2nd to last CA-4 class
caboose built for the UP.   It was retired from the UP on July 11, 1985.  More information can be found on
this page.   The
caboose has been restored by Chris McLarney and is in excellent condition.   The caboose is on loan to the OPR for use in
future excursions and is owned by Chris McLarney.   It is currently stored, ready for service, near the OPR's shops.
Stay tuned for more details and an addition on the
OPR Roster Page.
Richard Samuels Gives Talk to the Canby Historical Society
Update: March 18, 2009

On March 17th, Mr. Samuels was invited to give a talk to the Canby Historical Society in Canby, Oregon.   The Oregon Pacific
Railroad's Molalla Branch interchanges with the UP in Canby and the society was interested in hearing about the history of the
OPR.   For more information on the society, click on the
Canby Historical Society Website.
Track work continues on both branch lines
Update: April 22, 2009

The OPR crews have spent much of March and April working on repairing track and replacing ties where needed, in between
running normal trains on both branch lines.    Most recently, a number of ties were replaced on the McBrod Spur in the
Milwaukie Industrial Park, just south of the OPR shops.   The below photos show some of the newer ties in place and of the
McBrod spur, which is typically used to store cars, engines and to set up empty and loaded trains prior to taking them to the
East Portland interchange.
OPR's latest hy-railer almost finished
Update: May 1, 2009

The OPR's latest hy-rail project is a brand new Jeep Wrangler.   Probably the only Jeep Wrangler hy-railer in existence.   The
hy-rail gear has just been custom fitted and is almost finished and ready for service.   Soon the hy-rail gear will be wired and
aligned and certified and the stock bumpers reinstalled.    Stay tuned for completed pictures and the hy-railer in service.
OPR runs a Caboose Special
Update: May 3, 2009

On May 2nd, the OPR ran a caboose special on the East Portland Branch using Chris McLarney's UP caboose and OPR
rolling stock.   Riders included Chris McLarney and friends and celebrations included Chris's birthday.   Chris's caboose is
now stored on the OPR and will be used for future events such as this one, on the OPR.    During the run, a major and un
expected thunderstorm swept through the area, causing a large tree and power lines to fall on the tracks just seconds after
the train passed by.   The line was out of service for the rest of the day as crews repaired the lines and removed the tree and
power pole.  This occurred near end of the run and everyone seemed to have a great time!
The consist for the caboose special.   The yellow caboose is Chris's caboose.   Check out our roster page in the next few days for a write up and more pictures of this
LIterally a few minutes after passing Oaks Park Station southbound, a freak thunderstorm came up an downed a tree just north of Oaks Park.  The tree took out a power
pole and power lines and everything fell across both the spring water trail and the OPR tracks.  The fire department was called and the trail and railroad were closed
until repairs could made.
Birthday Charter Run on May 30th
Update: June 4, 2009

On Saturday, May 30th, the OPR ran another private birthday charter.   Consist on this day was the OPR 1202, open air car
and Samtrak caboose.  About 60-70 people enjoyed a perfect sunny day on the OPR's East Portland Branch, between Oaks
Park Station and the East Portland Interchange.

The train stopped at a new OPR station, tentatively called Riverside Park Station, located south of the Ross Island Bridge.   
This station allows for clear views of the river, Ross Island Bridge and the South Waterfront area as well as the west hills of
Portland and is a great location to host a birthday party or any other event on and near the OPR train.

If you are interested in chartering an OPR train for a birthday party or any other event, check out our
charter's page for more
Repairs Made on the Molalla River Railroad Bridge
Update: June 14, 2009

The OPR crew conducted repairs on the Molalla River Bridge on the Molalla Branch of the OPR.   While the bridge is
scheduled to undergo a major rebuild in the future, some immediate repairs needed to be made, which included replacing a
wood piling cap with a steel replacement and shimming steel bent.   More pictures and information about this repair and the
Molalla River Bridge can be found on our
Molalla River Bridge Repair Page.   Pictures are courtesy of Tim Samuels.
Birthday Charter Run on June 13th
Update: June 14, 2009

On Saturday June 14th, another private birthday charter was run on the OPR.   Consist was engine 1202, the open air car
and Samtrak caboose.    Another great charter run on a nice summer day.    Approximately 40 people rode the train between
Oaks Park Station and East Portland and stopped at Riverside Station, just south of the Ross Island Bridge to have lunch.
If you want to charter a train for a birthday party or any other private event, check out our
Charters Page for more info.
N Scale Modelers National Convention Tour at the OPR Shops
Update: June 19, 2009

On Thursday June 18, the N scale modeler's convention, 2009, hosted a tour group on the OPR.   Two separate groups of
approximately 200 visitors, stopped by the OPR Milwaukie Shops.   Visitors were given a tour of all of the equipment and the
shops and learned about the history of the OPR from Mr. Samuels.   Several historical locomotives were lined on McBrod Ave,
just south of the Milwaukie shops, including Engines 1202, 5100, 187 and 100, along with the Samtrak caboose and open air
car and the Kelly Sue passenger car, which is due to be restored.   Also on site and open for tours, was Chris McLarney's
Union Pacific caboose.   The Convention included visitors from all over the world!
Metal Thieves Strike the OPR
Update: July 15, 2009

Sometime during the weekend of July 11th, thieves gained entrance to the OPR storage yard in Milwuakie and stole all of
eight 6 1/2 x 12 journal brasses and eight lateral thrust blocks from a spare set of switcher trucks.    These trucks came from
No. 802.  The trucks were removed several years ago and replaced with roller bearing trucks to allow the 802 to be moved
over the UP to the Molalla Branch.  However, plans were to bring the 802 back to Milwuakie and restore the locomotive to
original condition, including reinstalling the original trucks.   This theft has set back the restoration of the 802.

Extreme efforts were made to locate the thieves and recover at least some of the stolen items.   Information was passed along
to the Police, who is investigating this incident and has now has a suspect.   The OPR takes all theft and vandalism on its
property extremely seriously and will take whatever necessary action to recover stolen property and prosecute those
New Customer on the OPR, United Grocers
Update: July 24, 2009

The OPR welcomes United Grocers as its newest customer!   United Grocers will now be shipping cars to Pacific Foods
Distribution in the Helico Distribution Center (Helico Spur, East Portland Branch).   The first two cars are currently
on their way.    
Track Work Continues on the Molalla Branch
Update: August 17, 2009

The OPR crew has been using the good summer weather to spend time with track work on the Molalla Branch.  While still
running trains on a regular schedule to service the mills on the Molalla Branch, the crew has also been spending time, in
between freight runs, replacing numerous ties along the branch line, in addition to fixing alignments and adjusting bridges
along the route.  

All track work is done exclusively by the OPR crew, specifically the three Samuels brothers, Tim, Brian and Craig.
OPR's Latest Jeep hy-railer Almost Finished
Update: August 17, 2009

The OPR's unique 2009 Jeep Wrangler hy-railer is now finished.  Only minor cosmetic details need to be completed before
the official unveiling.   The picture below is from this spring, early in the project of installing hy-rail gear.   Hy-rail gear was
installed by Brian Samuels and included numerous custom fabrication by him to make the hy-rail system fit and work well with
the unique chassis.   It's believed that this may be the only modern Jeep hy-railer in existence.   The Jeep made its maiden
run on a railroad, other than the OPR, on the weekend of July 10th, on the Washington & Idaho Railroad Narcoa run.   The
Jeep ran flawlessly and additional modifications were made when it returned home.    The Jeep is expected to again run again
in Idaho later this month for a weekend.   Stay tuned for a full and highly detailed photographic essay of this build in the near
Major Tamper Modification Project Nearing Completion
Update: August 31, 2009

The OPR's main Tamper, a Jackson model 6700, has recently undergone major custom modifications.    The primary goal of
the modifications were to allow for easy one man operation of the tamper, including setting up and operation.    Also to allow
ease of operation of some functions from inside the cab.    The biggest and most noticeable modification is to the rear
alignment buggy.   The alignment buggy, when not in use, now rests entirely on a hydraulic lift, above the tracks.   Tow poles
are left in place and are folded up and out of the way.    To deploy the alignment buggy, the hydraulic lift lowers the entire
buggy on the tracks.   The entire lift pivots from side to side, so the buggy can be deployed on either straight track or a
curve.   The buggy can then be rolled back after far as desired by one person.   A winch assists in folding the buggy if needed.

The entire mechanism was custom built by chief OPR fabricator, Brian Samuels, along with numerous other modifications
made to the Tamper over the last year.   Finishing touches are still needed, along with additional wiring before the Tamper
can be redeployed.  It should be operational in the next few months.   When finished, plans are to finish tamping and aligning
sections of the East Portland Branch, then deploy the tamper to the Molalla Branch, where it will spend the next few years
working there.

Stay tuned for a full write up and additional photos on this Tamper and its modifications.
First three photos show the tamper in late modification stages as it was temporarily rolled out of the shop.   Picture on right shows the tamper in its original configuration
being used by the OPR to tamp the track near Oaks Park Station in December, 2008.
Old Carbarn Spur of the East Portland Yard Being Removed
Update: September 12, 2009

In preparation for some up-coming major changes and realignments of the East Portland Yard, due to a combination of
Tri-Met's planned Milwaukie Max Extension, the Portland Street Car Extension and
ORHF's property purchase for a new steam
engine museum, the OPR's old carbarn spur is being removed.  Part of the old East Portland Traction yard alignment and
later modified by the OPR crew, the remaining short 2 to 3 car spur was last used in recent years for car storage and
switching.    In the next approximate 1 to 2 years, the entire OPR East Portland Yard will be moved and rebuilt as part of the
Milwuakie Max Extension Project.
The short spur seen on September 11th just after brush cutting and spikes were pulled in preparation to remove the rails and ties.
Big Pipe Project on OPR Begins
Update: September 30, 2009

Moore Excavating is preparing to work on a major digging project along the right of way of the OPR East Portland Branch, as
part of the City of Portland's "Big Pipe" Sewer Project.  Impacts to OPR operations are that the track will be locked out while
the crew is working.  This is expected to be at least during normal working hours Monday through Friday.    The OPR will have
to adjust its freight schedule to work around the contractors when the track is locked out.  Digging will be conducted along the
west side of the right of way between approximately Umatilla Street and Marion Street.   The track will be locked out south of
Ivon Street to the north and near 11th Street to the south, to protect work crews and per FRA regulations.

This is expected to impact OPR operations for approximately 8 months.  For more information about this project visit the
City of Portland's Big Pipe website.
The first two pictures show the south end of the digging operations as crews begin to excavate and prepare the work site to begin digging sometime in the next week or
so.   The next two pictures show the brand new derail that was installed by the OPR crew, near Ivon Street, to protect the digging contractors.  Photos 9-11-09
Some additional photos of the work area around Marion Street.  Photos 9-26-09
East Portland Yard Relocation Plans Near Completion
Update: September 30, 2009

Starting around 2011, the East Portland Yard will undergo a complete transformation as part of the planned Tri-Met Milwaukie
Max Line and the Portland Street-car Extension.   Both of these planned operations will cross the current OPR East Portland
Yard; the Max line at grade level and the Street car on an overhead bridge.   The impact of these projects will require that the
OPR's East Portland Yard be moved north and be completely redesigned.    The OPR and Tri-Met have mostly finalized the
design of the new Yard, which will be shorter, but wider than the current yard.   The new yard will include an inbound, run
around, outbound and three storage tracks.

This project will require the relocation of almost all OPR track from S.E. Carurthers Street, north to the UP interchange.   
Water Ave will also be affected as that street is realigned near Carurthers Street.    Because Max Trains will be crossing the
OPR at grade level, procedures will be in place to lock out the Max line when the OPR is operating and to lock out the OPR
track, when Max is operating.  Having a city transit system cross an operating freight/common carrier railroad at grade level is
a rare occurrence and will offer it's own set of challenges.

Construction dates have not yet been set but are expected to begin probably around 2011.   More information about the
Portland Street Car Extension.   And More information about Tri-Met's planned Milwaukie Max Line.
tri-met report contains some pertainent maps and plans that affect the OPR.
OPR East Portland Branch Operations Temporarily Affected by Oaks Bottom Project
Update: October 4, 2009

The OPR East Portland Branch Operations will be limited beginning October 6th through October 14th.  Trains will run on
weekends until a City of Portland soil testing project is complete.   City of Portland workers and contractors will be drilling test
holes and taking soil samples near the OPR mainline in the heart of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge as part of a long term
project to replace a culvert under the railroad and bike trail.  This project is related to the
Oaks Bottom Habitat Enhancement
Project.   The railroad will be lock out of service while work is ongoing, because the Springwater Trail will be need to be
detoured for about 75 feet next to the railroad.  This detour is too close to the tracks to safely operation trains.   The OPR will
run trains on weekends to maintain normal customer service and will run emergency trains as needed, working with testing
crews to reopen the track if a high priority train needs to come through.     OPR operations will resume as normal after
October 14th.
Photos of the area that will be affected.  Taken Oct 3th, with detour equipment and fencing in place to be installed on Oct 6th.
OPR Charter Run on October 3rd
Update: October 4, 2009

On Saturday October 3rd, the OPR hosted another private charter train on the East Portland Branch.   The weather
cooperated for most of the trip, despite threatening rain.   This charter was for a birthday party and everyone seemed to have
a great time!   If you are interested in chartering a train for a birthday party or any other event, call Kelly Anable of the OPR at
503-651-2231 and check out our
main page describing the OPR charters.
The Charter Train at Oaks Park Station
The Train at Riverside Park Station.   Riverside Park Station is a picnic area located just south of the Ross Island Bridge
Speeders Run Both Branches of the OPR, October 10th.
Update: October 18, 2009

Pacific Railcar Operators hosted a three day speeder event on three railroads in the vicinity of the Portland, Oregon area.  
The Oregon Pacific Railroad (Oct 10th) Chelatchie Prairie Railroad (Oct 11th) and Mt. Hood Railroad (Oct 12th.)   

For the OPR, privately owned and operated speeders operated and toured on both the
Molalla and East Portland Branches
of the OPR on October 10th.   Most participants of the OPR runs also ran the Chelatchie Prairie Railroad and Mount Hood
Railroads the following days, including Mr. Samuels in his brand new Jeep Wrangler Hy-Railer.

We now have a photo page of the 3 day, multi-railroad event, with many photos up and more coming soon!

Visit  the PRO homepage for more information about all three days of the tour.   For public speeder rides, be sure to visit the
OPR during the
2009 Holiday Express at Oaks Park, December 4-6 and 11-13.
For more photos of this 3 day event, check out our new photo page.
Big Pipe Project Continues on the OPR Right of Way
Update: October 18, 2009

Moore Excavating is continuing work on a major digging project along the right of way of the OPR East Portland Branch, as
part of the City of Portland's "Big Pipe" Sewer Project.  Impacts to OPR operations are that the track is locked out while the
crew is working, during normal working hours Monday through Friday.    The OPR adjusts its freight schedule to work around
the contractors when the track is locked out.  Digging is being conducted along the west side of the right of way between
approximately Umatilla Street and Marion Street.   For more information about this project visit the
City of Portland's Big Pipe website.
The project involves installing a 30" diameter pipe approximately 30 feet underground on the west side of the right of way.   Then in several places, cross feeder pipes
have to be laid under the railroad.   This is all part of the new Portland Big Pipe Sewer system that the city is constructing.
Then & Now Photo on the OPR
Update: November 2, 2009

Kenneth Shattock (Key Route Ken on
Altamont Press and other message boards) was kind enough to send the OPR a
number of historical photos of the OPR's East Portland Branch from the very early years when it was the Portland Traction
Company and even earlier as PEPCO.    One particular photo, taken at Golf Junction was of interest, because the trackage in
that location and the building in the background still exist.   On October 31st, the OPR brought out the
No. 100, which is a
historical locomotive in its own right, having operated on this line since the early 1950s, and took several "then and now"
pictures.   Chris McLarney, who's
beautifully restored caboose is stored on OPR, also came out with his freshly painted UP

The original photo sent by Ken, was taken at Golf Junction on September 26, 1942 and shows PEPCO (Portland Electric
Power Co.) Electric Engine No. 1408 stopped in front of the old substation, which was still in use back then.  In the foreground
you can see trolley tracks that headed towards Oregon City, with Golf Junction just behind the photographer.  The street and
main track in this photo is largely unchanged after 67 years, which the exception that the switch stand that is now located in
the foreground on the south side of the tracks, was located in the background on the north side of the tracks in 1942 and the
trolley tracks are now gone.

The trip netted some other interesting photos that we'll share in the coming days.
Photo on the far left was shared by Kenneth Shattock and was taken in 1942.  The three photos on the right, including the B&W photo of the No. 100 was taken 67 years
later on October  31, 2009.   It's not known who is pictured in the historical photo.   In the modern photo is Richard Samuels, owner of the OPR, standing on the 100 and
Chris McLarney, owner of the UP caboose shown in the far right photo.
Rare Double Header Freight with Caboose on the East Portland Branch
Update: November 3, 2009

On October 31st, the OPR ran a rare double header on the
East Portland Branch with Engine's 1202 and 100.   In addition, a
caboose was combined with the freight move, which is also a rare occurrence on the OPR, as it now is on most railroads.
The two engines and caboose were brought out as part of a photo run which included taking empty cars into East Portland
and bringing loads back to Milwaukie.    The caboose is
Chris McLarney's freshly painted and restored UP 25198, which is
being stored on OPR property.   Below are some photos from the day's run and switching moves.
From left to right:
(1) 1202 switching cars in the Heleco Spur.  (2) 1202 on the hill just above the shops (3) Switching engines around for photo oppertunities south of Golf Junction
(4) View of 1202 from cab of 100 at Golf Junction.  (5) Engine 100 at Golf Junction  (6) Engine 1202 at Golf Junction
From left to right:
(1) After dropping off empties, picking up loads at East Portland  (2) East Portland, with UP mainline on the right.  (3) View of No. 100 from the cab of 1202.
(4) Train heading south at Holegate Curve..   (5) Photo op of No. 100 at Holegate Curve.  (6)  Train between Golf Junction and 17th Street.
From left to right: (Chris McLarney's UP 25198 caboose)
(1) Caboose photo at Golf Junction  (2)  View from Caboose Cupola at Holegate Curve (3)  Caboose in the East Portland Yard
(4) Owner and Restorer of the Caboose, Chris McLarney
Holiday Express Coming Soon, Steam Locomotive Passenger Trains on the OPR.
Update: November 4, 2009

The ORHF Holiday Express, 2009, on the OPR is coming up in exactly 1 month.   We have launched a new page on this event
that will showcase information about the current event, photos of the current event as they become available, as well as links
and information about past events and the OPR's role and efforts to prepare for the Holiday Express on its railroad.

Holiday Express 2009 - OPR Website

For the latest information regarding this event, schedules and tickets, please visit
ORHF's Holiday Express Page.

The event will be held December 4, 5 and 6 as well as December 11, 12 and 13, with trains departing from and returning
to Oaks Park Station on the Oregon Pacific Railroad's East Portland Branch.
Last Update: December 19, 2009
A Day on the Molalla Branch
Update: May 19, 2009

The following are a few photos from a typical day of switching and running on the Molalla Branch.  On this day, May 15th, the
crew, using engine 801, switched out loads and empties from both the RSG Forest Products mill and the Willamette Egg Feed
mill.   Craig Samuels was the engineer and Brian Samuels was the conductor.   Tim Samuels, who is normally the engineer on
most runs, was on vacation on this day.   More photos can be seen on the
Molalla Branch Page.
The 801 and OPR crew swtich out loads and empties at RSG Forest products (left photos) and Willamette Egg Feed Mill (right photos)
The trip from the mills to the interchange is almost 8 miles and involves crossing three major trestles and numerous road crossings, including a major highway crossing.   
Speed is kept down to about 5 to 7 mph to minimize risk to the loads and track and well over an hour.

To learn more about the Molalla Branch history and operations, check out our Molalla Branch Page.
Movie Scene for Gus Van Sant's "Restless" filmed on the OPR
Update: November 7, 2009

On November 6th, a scene for a feature film, Restless, was filmed on the OPR.   
"Restless" is a movie directed by
Gus Van Sant, Produced by Ron Howard and his daughter, Bryce Dallas Howard and starring,
among others,
Mia Wasikowska.

Producer Ron Howard is famous for such movies as "Apollo 13" and the "Da Vinci Code" among many others.    Director Gus
Van Sant is famous for movies such as "My Own Private Idaho", "Good will Hunting" and "Milk", among others.  Actress, Mia
Wasikowska is famous for roles in recent movies such as "Defiance" and her staring role in the upcoming "Alice in

The OPR can’t disclose details or show any photos about the filming, but can say that several scenes were filmed on the OPR
that are expected to be in the final release of the movie sometime next year.  The scenes involve an OPR locomotive
No. 901), several hopper cars and the OPR's Molalla River railroad bridge.   Craig Samuels was the OPR engineer that day,
with Brian Samuels as the OPR conductor.   Brian Samuels also assisted with set up the prior day.   OPR's Kelly Anable  
coordinated with the production team.   In the end, the entire OPR crew was involved one way or another in this event.

Filming was done on one day.   "Restless" is expected to be filmed at numerous other locations in the Portland area.   
The OPR looks forward to the final production when it is finished and wishes the production team, actors and crew, success in
their new movie.

Any movie or TV production companies or location companies, that may be interested in filming on the Oregon Pacific
Railroad, please contact Kelly Anable of the OPR at 503-651-2231.

Pictures of the set and crew were not taken by the OPR due to agreements with the production team.  However, below are
pictures of the actual train and bridge used in the movie, but taken before and after filming of the scenes.  
From left to right:
Craig Samuels, OPR engineer, moving the engine from the American Steel spur to the OPR mainline.   (2) No. 901 backing on the main to a joint with the train,
American Steel Spur on the left.  
(3) No. 901 backing to the Molalla River Bridge from American Steel, with Conductor Brian Samuels riding point.  (4 and 5) No. 901
on the south end of the Molalla River bridge in between movie shoots.
From left to right:
After filming was over and production team and crew had left, photo of the train on the Molalla River Bridge.  (2) Engine No. 901 on the north end of the Molalla
River bridge preparing to depart back to American Steel to end the day.   
(3) OPR owner Dick Samuels (right) and OPR Conductor Brian Samuels (left).
New Movie from the 2008 Holiday Express Now Available for Downloading and Viewing
Update: November 24, 2009

Completed just in time for the 2009 Holiday Express on the OPR, the movie from last year's 2008 Holiday Express is now
finished and available for downloading.  WMV format, 256 MB, 46 minutes long.
2008 Holiday Express Movie

The 2009 Holiday Express is only days away.   To learn more about the up coming event, check out our
Holiday Express 2009 - OPR Website
The event will be held December 4, 5 and 6 as well as December 11, 12 and 13, with trains departing from and returning
to Oaks Park Station on the Oregon Pacific Railroad's East Portland Branch.
Trip Down Memory Lane in Honor of the SP&S 700's Return to the Holiday Express
Update: November 29, 2009

On December 4th, the SP&S 700 will return to the OPR once again to give rides to passengers as part of
ORHF's annual
Holiday Express.     It was 22 years ago, that the SP&S 700 was pulled out of its static display at Oaks Park and restored to
operational service.   In 1958, the Spokane Portland & Seattle Railway donated its recently retired No. 700 steam engine, to
the City of Portland and it was placed on display near Oaks Amusement Park, next to the SP 4449 and the OR&N 197.
In the mid 1970s, Chris McLarney began efforts to eventually restore the 700, forming the Pacific Railway Preservation
Association in 1977.  10 years later, those efforts culminated in the 700 being removed from the park to finish its restoration.

The date was November 2, 1987.   Richard Samuels had just acquired the
PTC No. 100 as part of his newly formed East
Portland Traction Company.  The EPTC would later purchase and take over operations of the Portland Traction Company,
but on this day, the PTC was still operating and was tasked with pulling the huge SP&S 700 out of Oaks Park and onto the
PTC mainline for movement to its place of restoration.   It was found that the Southern Pacific SW1500s of the PTC were too
big to operate on the temporary spur track to the display site, so Mr. Samuels and the former PTC No. 100 was tasked with
this movement instead.   Interestingly, it was this very same diesel switcher, the PTC No. 100 that placed the SP&S 700 into its
display site, 29 years earlier.

Special thanks to Chris McLarney for sharing these historical photos.  Photos were taken by Ken Johnsen.
To learn more about the SP&S 700, please visit the official
PRPA SP&S 700 website.   To check out
Chris McLarney's latest project, visit the OPR's page on
McLarney's UP 25198 caboose.
The first four photos are of the No. 100 pulling the SP&S 700 out of its static display at Oaks Amusement Park on November 2, 1987.   Photos by Ken Johnsen, courtesy
of Chris McLarney.   The last photo on the right is of the SP&S 700 during a steam ride event in the summer of 2007 in the exact same spot as the 1987 photo to the left.
Holiday Express 1st weekend completed, 2nd weekend coming up!
Update: December 8, 2009

The ORHF Holiday Express's 1st weekend is now over.  The SP&S 700 pulled the Holiday Express all three days.   The OPR
wishes to thank and congratulate the
Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation and the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association and
all of the volunteers for a successful weekend of sharing railroad steam history with the public and for putting on such a great

The Holiday Express continues next weekend as the Southern Pacific 4449 returns to the OPR to pull the Holiday Express on
December 11, 12  and 13.

Photos from Dec 4th, 5th and 6th have now been uploaded to our
Holiday Express 2009 Page

For the latest information on the ORHF Holiday Express, visit ORHF's Holiday Express Website.
Holiday Express 2nd weekend completed...highly successful event!
Update: December 19, 2009

The OPR wishes to congratulate ORHF for a highly successful Holiday Express event this year.  Most of the trains were sold
out, making this one of the most successful Holiday Express events yet.

Pictures from the 1st weekend are now up on the OPR's Holiday Express page.   2nd weekend pictures are in the works and
should up and available for viewing in the next few days, so please check back.  
Update, pictures from all six days are now up for viewing!
OPR's Holiday Express 2009 Page

More information can be found on the official ORHF Holiday Express website.
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New Section Added to the Website....Special Features
Update: December 20, 2009

A new section has been added to the website, called SPECIAL FEATURES.  This replaces what used to be called Special
Projects.    This section includes links to articles and photo pages of various OPR projects, including repairs to OPR
equipment and structures, restoration projects and modifications to equipment.   In the future, this section will include
educational photos, articles and other information of special interest that is related to the OPR.

The latest article added to this section is a
photo essay of rerailing a refrigerator car in the East Portland Yard.   Soon to be
completed articles will include a photo essay of building the OPR's Jeep Wrangler Hy-Railer and completing major
modifications to a Jackson Tamper 6700, so please check back soon.

OPR's Special Features Page.
2009 Archive