The Bridge Builder An Old Man Going A Lone Highway A Journey Aboard the Mount Hood Railroad in Oregon

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A Journey Aboard the Mount Hood Railroad in Oregon

After the Columbia River broke blue, a daily train from Hood River to Odell, operated by the Mount Hood Railroad, began to pick up passengers from its depot. .

The Oregon and Washington Railroad and Navigation Company (OWR & NC) railroad, which was built in 1911 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, replaced the original 1882 Queen Anne building and controlled the growth of the town. fruit, wood, and tourism industries. The 120-person waiting room, much larger than most government facilities, had a men’s room and restrooms for women and men. Since 1987, it has served as the headquarters of the Mount Hood Railroad.

Pulled by the red, yellow, and turquoise-painted diesel engine #02, today’s train addition consisted of open car 1056 “Lookout Mountain,” snack car 1080, coach coach 1070 “Katharine,” and caboose 1040. .

The initial shudder, indicative of car friction, preceded the train’s backward slide from the Hood River station, as it made its way through the slow ramp past the dining car and over the dark Hood River. bridge. The river, which was the journey of Lewis and Clark, appeared the dark green of life in which the divisions of white rocks-blasts, the quality of bad life deviating from the path and the protests of man because of them, were bright with the sun.

Densely vegetated, the track resembled a river whose small waves turned the water into white fury. National Forest of Mt. Hood made a mass in the distance.

It is in this forest, in fact, that the Mount Hood Railroad was discovered. The Lost Lake Lumber Company, whose Columbia and Hood River locations were once a major source of income and employment for the Hood River community, began to decline when moving logs from the forest to the sawmill became more difficult, as well as selling the latter. it seemed like the only way to make a profit. Utah lumberman David Eccles, who bought the property, also proposed building a dam, which would have helped to transport the timber using floating logs, but three local businesses blocked the project by obtaining a 99-year lease. , power generator.

Eccles, who also used short logging railroads to move logs to his other sawmills, bypassed the mill by moving the mill 10 miles upriver and installing a railroad between the two sites.

The construction of the eastern route, which would lead the waiting railway through the orchards, would ensure its existence as a means of transporting people and goods, and 150 strong workers, living in six well-established camps, operated the first phase. in April 1905. Seven months later, in November, the train’s first train reached the Hood River Bridge, and by February of the following year, the Japanese army had extended the railroad to Odell, their destination. today’s passenger train, 8.5 miles from its origin. Dee, the site of the new sawmill, had arrived a month later, although the 22-mile journey to Parkdale, the gateway to Mt. Hood, was opened to the public in 1910.

The current diesel engine was the most technologically advanced to power these railroads, the first two locomotives were 37-year-old, Union Pacific-acquired Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0 units that were decommissioned in 1916. 1917, respectively, and they were regularly replaced by two similar secondary units until the first Baldwin 2-8-2 arrived.

Slowing down while still moving in reverse, the Mount Hood Train in operation in May 2008 approached a dual carriageway, allowing it to pull its smaller vehicles forward. One of only five remaining US turntables, it began as a turntable. Because the first steam engines had to follow their air behind their boxes, so they always pulled their cars forward, the turntable supported the technology until the 1950s when the diesel engine changed its usefulness. The original, 13-car interchange was expanded to include 18 cars when Union Pacific acquired the railroad in 1968.

Returning to one spur, and removing the rear “fork”, engine 02, which is now about to start climbing forward, pulls the car, resumes movement, into the thick lodgepole trees of the Hood River Valley. Approaching Highway 35, the train followed a 14-degree curve, which is very sharp, past a wooden railroad and the Whiskey River, which was once an applejack farm. Moving towards the south, it ate a very steep hill.

A standard car, with a folding roof with periodic lighting; old wood, decorated with paper; brass lamps; and wooden tables with two and four chairs, they had a counter and a counter. My breakfast at 10:00 am includes warm cinnamon rolls dipped in vanilla frosting and cranberry juice.

In the decade between 1906 and 1916, modern railroads aided the intermodel movement when standard-issue cars were joined by a White-built bus whose wheels and tires were replaced with rolled steel to accept railroad tracks. After purchasing a second-hand, newly purchased car, the railroad made four daily round trips between Hood River and Parkdale. The next Mack jitney, a 30-passenger, upholstered, Pullman-like interior, gave 13 years of service until its 1935 fire destruction at Summit Station. Major renovations eventually led to its placement on the National Historic Register.

Passing through peach and cherry orchards, today’s four-car train passed through carpeted hills whose foundations were woven with purple and green structures proudly guarded on either side by tall, green pine guards. Piercing the morning with its iron, hair-raising whistle, the train passed through the town of Pine Grove, now 5.6 miles from Hood River at a height of 608 feet, booming and rattling around. The sky, barely disturbed by the cotton, had turned a deep blue.

The flat, curved, bowl-shaped Van Horn Butte, beyond Pine Grove, was one of the small mountain passes from which lava erupted to form Mt. River Valley. Mt. Hood himself, wearing his bright, snowy shawl, could be seen in front of the locomotive.

The view of the box, which passed three passenger cars, showed how it was moving, as if it had a long, metal tail, which entered the pine forests and fruit trees on the same road. a view of the snow-capped mountains. The air, though very crisp, smelled of burning wood. New Creek, which was used to drive the Hood River Valley’s first sawmills and did so for a quarter of a century, ran under the railroad. Mohr, 6.8 miles from Hood River, was named after the family that planted the first crops in the area.

Following a single track, now expanded to three, the Mount Hood train pulled into Lentz Station, originally named the “Sherman Spur,” and shut down its diesel engine. Moving past the now defunct cars on the side line, it reattached itself to the back of the caboose. Once repaired, it will push the train the final distance to Odell, its destination.

Moving slowly forward, the green coaches almost imperceptibly slide over the silver rails followed crosswise by dry, wooden crossbars, crossing the tracks and rejoining the same track. Resetting the speed, the ship passed through the fragrant wood yard in the bright pine sky, northwest of the Pacific Northwest to the green green covering the mountains in front of Odell, the end of today and once almost the end of the mountains. linear method.

When the Diamond Planters put their work in Odell, and removed the Dee-to-Parkdale line, the Union Pacific Railroad thought it could get a profit of $150,000 in exchange for its molten steel, a decision that coincided with the 1986-1987 layoff of 87 of its tracks. combinations. But the Hood River district felt that the move was not just a waste of the railroad’s inability to continue paying its bills.

The newly formed railroad company, the Mount Hood Railroad, was said to have succeeded the Union Pacific and shares were purchased by the fruit and lumber companies that built its route, which were heavily involved in its operation. The bus transfer from Parkdale, which it passes through, also improved the traffic to Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark, thus connecting the railroad to two major tourist attractions in Oregon: Mount Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.

The Union Pacific purchase, however, had one condition: The local Hood River Group, eager to continue operating the end of the line from Dee to Parkdale, had to buy the entire 22 miles of track from Hood River or lose it. opportunity to save the railway economy to help the valley.

After a lot of effort, negotiations, and big money, the purchase was completed on November 2, 1947, and the Mount Hood Railroad, the real concern I ride today, was born. Spinning its wheels with ever-decreasing power, engine 02 pulled its short, familiar Odell passenger chain against the concrete line that served as its platform at 11:15 a.m., now 8.5 miles from its starting point at mile 712. , and slammed on its brakes just yards short of the main railroad tracks.

Named after William S. Odell, who settled here in 1861 after leaving California, the present town, with one street, with a small store, church, and gas station, was originally a meeting place for Native Americans and later was used as a road. of the Hudson’s Bay Company between The Dalles and Ft. Vancouver.

Descending three steps from coach 1070 to the street, I looked back at the short open and closed train and cabooses that carried me from the Columbia River today and perhaps I knew that this trip represented more than a century. geographical movements and railroad changes. These railroads, operated by the Oregon and Washington Railroad and Navigation Company, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the present-day Mount Hood Railroad, carried lumber, freight, passengers, and tourists. The line was short, but its history was long. Like life, it would continue as long as its purpose was found. Unlike life, they were able to know that purpose.

I’m walking from the platform to the small town of Odell, whose top is a pine tree above the peak of Mt. The snow-covered hood rose triumphantly, I disappeared into the crowd of people who had boarded the train.

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