Posts Tagged ‘railroad


Morning freight…



So close, yet so far….



Railroad trestle along Deschutes River (Oregon)

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worn out…

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old rail siding…

up on the Northeast side of Mt. Hood in Pine Grove (Oregon)…fruit processing country.

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Pine Grove sign-railroad-SwittersB


Pine Grove Aerial Google Maps


History & Images: Portland’s Union Station……

“Union Station is a train station near the west shore of the Willamette River in the Old Town Chinatown section of Portland, Oregon, United States.
The initial design for the station was created in 1882 by McKim, Mead, and White. Had the original plan been built, the station would have been the largest train station in the world.”

union station

“A smaller plan was introduced by architects Van Brunt & Howe, and accepted in 1885. Construction of the station began in 1890. It was built by Northern Pacific Terminal Company at a cost of $300,000, and opened on February 14, 1896. The signature piece of the structure is the 150 ft. tall Romanesque clock tower. The “Go By Train” neon sign was added to it after World War II.
The station was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.” (Wiki)

Today, I was at Union Station picking up my wife, arriving back from Seattle. I took the camera in to take a few images. I usually don’t take random, everyday shots, but decided what the heck.

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Photography: A segway to death & affirming recollections

old warehouse

Dark RR Tracks SB

Two short related stories that surround my sweet mom-in-law.

Today there was a funeral for, George, who lost his mom at 4 years of age. His dad had no time to raise a son, so the boy was pawned off to strangers and more strangers until he bolted and at a very young age ‘rode the rails’ of the West Coast. He spent 20 some years hopping trains and sleeping behind warehouses and in brush and eventually he found his way out of that life, but the toll had been taken upon his mind. A dutiful man, he served his local church for many years and few really knew him beyond his eccentricities. He died this week and now his story surfaces.

 This lead to my mom-in-law…a very generous woman…recalling a time they sought to comfort the disadvantaged. They went to a nearby ‘poor farm’ facility and there met a Mr. Helm. Bound to a wheelchair, and minus two legs, Mr. Helm was invited to my mom-in-law’s home for Thanksgiving Day dinner. My father-in-law, aware of Mr. Helm’s challenges, built a ramp to the porch so Mr. Helm could be wheeled into the house. There he met the large, boisterous family. After taking in the family and noise and energy, he wept.

Oh my they thought…too much noise? No, he explained. He had for years been alone and riding the rails up and down the West Coast. And, in fact, his legs were cut off trying to hop a train. He wept because in all his life he had never been in a home for such an event. For the next ten years Mr. Helm visited the family gatherings until he died much too young.

Such stories remind us to open our hearts and serve others. 

Water Tank RR SBHopefully things are brighter for Mr. Helms and George now.


Photography: Fascinated by Trains

At one time, in my parent’s basement, there was a large table with a hole cut out in the middle. I crawled beneath the table to stand in the middle and from there I ran my Lionel train set. Imagination reigned as the locomotive and the diesel engines pulled cars through villages, paper mache mountains and train yards. The heft of the cars, the details of each piece captured my mind.

To this day, whenever I see the tracks, or see the trains pulling freight or the more rare passenger cars I take notice. Of course, today most train cars are covered in graffiti and my basement experiences are a very distant memory. Still I sometimes see that provocative sight.

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There this old passenger coach sat in a field some distance off the road. The field had just been mowed so the car was visible top to bottom. It appears to be under of restoration. I took a closer look.old coach

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I would bet someone else has childhood memories of trains and now they have a vision of returning this old railway car back to its original condition. Maybe for a restaurant, lounge, not sure, but it will be interesting to check out in a few years. 


Photography: The Tunnel

Every once in awhile, I drive by this industrial area of Portland and off in the distance is this tunnel. That voice calls, you should check that out and take some pictures. Usually, I do not have my camera or I’m in a hurry. Yesterday, I had my little Pentax Optio W60, so I stopped to snap a few shots after hiking in a ways.

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The tunnel had the usual graffiti and off in the distance was that legendary light. The date at the of the tunnel noted ‘1910’.

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There’s Always One!



One Track Mind…………..

“The rails and ties are usually placed on a foundation made of compressed earth on top of which is placed a bed of ballast to distribute the load from the ties and to prevent the track from buckling as the ground settles over time under the weight of the vehicles passing above. The ballast also serves as a means of drainage.” (Track Ballast)

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July 2020

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