Once the Southern Pacific elected to shed most of its Oregon branches
and Tillamook purchased the line the port also picked up several of the
Class I's SD9s that had operated there. Today, along with the
railroad’s remaining freight operations
it also operates a tourist train, which has become quite successful
over the years due to both the extremely breathtaking topography as well
as the fact that the Port of Tillamook Bay is likely the only railroad to own a diesel locomotive painted as your common Holstein dairy cow, (GP9 #101)! Interestingly, this little tourist train known as the Oregon
Coast Scenic Railroad has become quite successful in recent years.
Today, it operates two steam locomotives; Curtiss Lumber Company Heisler #2 and recently acquired McCloud River Railroad 2-6-2 #25.
The railroad also is restoring Polson Logging Company 2-Truck
Shay #2 as well as three other steam locomotives! If it can complete
all of these projects the tourist railroad should make quite a name for
itself (it also uses POTB GP9 #101 and restored Great Northern F7 #274).
The railroad continues to operate the POTB's trackage located along
the coast near Tillamook and offers a wide range of trains from general
excursions to charters and dinner trains. For more information about
riding the Oregon Coast Scenic please click here to visit their website.
Having said that, though, this scenery does come at a price. The
line is just as difficult for the POTB to operate as it was for when SP
owned the property. Additionally, running trains in the Pacific Northwest
can have its disadvantages as many who live there know, especially with
the very wet climate the region experiences, which often times results
in slips and mudslides. As such it makes the right-of-way very
difficult to maintain (one particular reason, among others, that SP
wanted rid of the line). Through it all, however, the railroad has
pressed on, especially after a 1996 flood that nearly shutdown the
railroad altogether. After its direct hit with the 2007 storms,
however, it's truly an unknown today as to whether the Port of Tillamook
Bay Railroad will ever again operate the entire 101 miles of track
between Portland and Tillamook.
Today, because of the 2007 storms I am not sure how much the railroad
continues to operate. However, prior to the disaster its traffic base
primarily consisted of lumber, other timber products, grain, and
Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad Locomotive Roster
|EMD||GP9E||3771||Ex-T&NO (SP) GP9||1|
|EMD||SD9E||4368, 4405, 4406, 4414, 4432||Ex-SP SD9s||5|
|EMD||SD9||6113, 6114, 6116, 6124, 6139, 6157, 6164, 6178, 6196||Ex-GN, Ex-C&S, Ex-CB&Q||9|
Since that destructive storm hit the railroad has been attempting to rebuild from the damage but so far, several years later, still faces a lot of work to do so. For more information on the railroad, its history, and
a map of the line please click here
(this information is a bit dated but does provide an overview of the
line's operations). Regarding the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad's
daily operations prior to the 2007 storm destruction, according to Scott
Lothes, "Common practice is for the Hill Job
to operate east with loads on Monday/Wednesday/Friday and west with
empties on Tuesday/Thursday/Saturday with no services on Sunday. The Hill Job typically met the Coast Job at Batterson, Oregon."
Thanks to Scott Lothes for help with the information on this page.
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Port Of Tillamook Bay Railroad