‘Train Day’ celebrated at Oregon Rail Heritage Center

INCLUDES AN EXCLUSIVE, ‘RIDE THE TURTABLE’ VIDEO | Discover why this was just one reason to visit, and to take a train ride …

On National Train Day, visitors arrive to celebrate as they visit the Oregon Rail Heritage Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

As on most Saturdays, the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (OHRC) was open and welcoming visitors on May 11.

But, in addition to seeing the mighty locomotives inside the OHRC, and watching the SPS 700 locomotive rotate on the turntable, that particular day was also a celebration of National Train Day.

Greeting guests at their facility is Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation Administrative Director Renée Devereux.

“It’s a ‘holiday’ started by Amtrak in 2008, as a way of spreading information about the advantages of railway travel, and the history of trains in the United States,” explained Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (ORHF) Administrative Director Renée Devereux.

“We continue to hold it every year on the Saturday closest to May 10th, the anniversary of the pounding-in of the Golden spike in Promontory, Utah, which marked the completion of the first transcontinental railroad in the United States,” Devereux told East Portland News.

Inside the ORHC, visitors gaze with amazement at, and take photos of, the huge historic locomotives inside.

Playing with trains during their National Train Day visit are Robbie Fields and child Nes, visiting from the Hazelwood neighborhood.

ORHF is the nonprofit that operates the center; Devereux pointed out, “it’s an opportunity for us to celebrate what we do right here, in inner Southeast Portland. That includes the restoration, maintenance, and operation of these giant historic steam locomotives.

“And, it’s a wonderful opportunity to get people on a train for a ride – especially on a perfect day like today!”

The “Great Northern” 3613 diesel-electric locomotive powers up, taking riders on an excursion south along the river to Oaks Amusement Park.

Outside the ORHC, the horn of the “Great Northern” 3613 diesel-electric locomotive was sounded – it joined their collection in 2022 – signaling another excursion south from their center near OMSI through Oaks Bottom to Oaks Park.

During the Oregon Rail Heritage Center celebrates ‘National Train Day’, see what happened there on May 11, 2024. And, for the first time ever,

In this video tour of the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, as it celebrates ‘National Train Day’, take a ride the historic Brooklyn Yard Turntable:

“We have a new car on the train today,” Devereux announced with pride.

“It’s a totally open air car, which is pretty exciting – because it’s the first time we’ve had such a car with no roof, allowing riders to experience all the scenery, the river, and the breeze,” she touted.

Operating the turntable is Philip Barney, a Board Member of the “SP 4449” organization.

For a great family outing, consider a visit to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center; admission and parking are free. It’s located at 2250 SE Water Avenue, 97214. For more information, including days and hours of operation, and train ride tickets, see their website: CLICK HERE.

© 2024 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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