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The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad First Annual Post Winterail Steam Excursion Sunday 3/20/2016

by Chris Guenzler

Chris Parker and I got up at 5:30 AM and left at 5:45 AM stopping at a drive-through coffee shop for Mr. Parker. We stopped by the Rodeway Inn so Bob and Elizabeth could follow us before we drove straight over to Tillamook on the shortest route I could find. Outside Tillamook, I had Chris pull to the side of the road so I could finish my blimp hangar collection, with this final picture.

The Blimp Hangar in Tillamook is home to Tillamook Air Museum. We stopped at McDonald's and I had my usual breakfast.

This fake steam engine is at the Blue Heron French Cheese complex in Tillamook. We drove into Garibaldi and stopped along the highway for our next pictures.

The second train of the day that will head south to Tillamook.

Great Northern F7A 274 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1950 as 274A.

POTB RDC-1 552, ex. Citizens for Better Transit 552, exx. Railroad Museum of Long Island 552, exxx. New Jersey Transit 5191, exxxx. New Jersey Transit 552 1983, exxxxx. New Jersey Department of Transportation 552 1976, nee Central of New Jersey 552 built by Budd Company in 1952.

OCSR open car 0200 built from a Union Pacific flat car.

OCSR caboose 24508, ex. Union Pacific 24508, nee Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific 17090, built by International Car in 1966. We then pulled into the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad parking lot and started looking around.

The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad About Us

The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad is a registered non-profit museum organization (501c3). We are an all volunteer organization that operates over the former Southern Pacific and Port of Tillamook Bay Railroads. We operated regularly scheduled trains between Garibaldi and Rockaway Beach in the summer months and special event trains throughout the year over the rest of the line. Our line extends from the TIllamook Air Museum blimp hangar on the South side of Tillamook through Garibaldi, Rockaway Beach and Wheeler where the tracks turn to the East and head up into the coast range along the remote and breathtaking Nehalem and Salmonberry River canyons.

Founded by Scott and Kim Wickert in 2003 the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad has grown from its humble beginnings dodging freight trains in Garibaldi on weekend runs to Rockaway Beach and Wheeler to the sole operator of 46 miles of the railroad between the Tillamook airport and a point 2 miles east of the railroad siding of Enright in the Oregon Coast Range. The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad offers excursions operating daily in the summer months and special excursions operating year round. Our schedules and special excursion pages have more details for how to catch a ride on the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad.

While we have grown significantly though some things have not changed, tickets are still bought onboard the train in the caboose that doubles as ticket office and gift shop. Gifts include shirts, hats, sweaters, toy trains, pins, and much more. While the freight trains are gone, the scenery is second to none.

Our depots in Garibaldi, Rockaway Beach and Wheeler are small covered shelters next to the tracks that were built by the Port of Tillamook Bay to support a basic tourist operation known as the Oregon Coast Explorer prior to the founding of the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. The depots are decorated by each of the communities and offer public restrooms nearby. Each depot and community has plenty of activities to offer between train departures.

The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad has also saved the original Pacific Railway and Navigation (later bought by the Southern Pacific) Depot in Tillamook from demolition and moved it to the Blue Heron French Cheese Company in Tillamook, Oregon where it will once again serve rail passengers for departures out of Tillamook in the future.

We have an extensive equipment roster that includes numerous historic steam and diesel locomotives along with a growing fleet of passenger cars, freight cars, and maintenance of way equipment. All of the equipment and track is operated and maintained by the all volunteer crew of the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer contact us at

The railroad currently operates two steam locomotives in regular service. One of these is the Curtiss Lumber Company No. 2, a Heisler locomotive, which is a geared steam locomotive, and the other is the former McCloud Railway No. 25, a 2-6-2 type made by the American Locomotive Company. This locomotive was used in the movie "Stand by Me". Both engines were originally used in the early 20th century for logging.

Operating Diesel locomotives include Great Northern Railway F7A 274, former POTB SD9 6139 and former POTB GP9 101.

As of 2015, several steam locomotive restoration/reconstruction projects are planned or underway. Among them is the complete restoration of the Deep River No. 7 "Skookum", a 2-4-4-2 Mallet locomotive and the former Sunset Timber No. 1, a 3-truck Heisler locomotive that was moved to Tillamook in 2015.

During 2014 the OCSR has been in a series of legal challenges with the State of Oregon over their attempts to reconstruct track in the Salmonberry River corridor that had been damaged in winter storms of 2007. The central issue was the OCSR's work included placing rock fill on the bank of the river, for which they had not obtained state permits, potentially impacting native salmon and steelhead. OCSR's position was that as a railroad, federal law exempted them from state environmental regulations. In March 2015, a decision was reported that exempted the OCSR from the state regulations.


Heisler Locomotive Works 2-truck Heisler 2 built in 1910. Built for The Curtiss Lumber Co. of Mill City, OR. Currently operable.
American Locomotive Company 2-6-2 25 built in 1925 Built for the McCloud Railway, Currently operable.
General Motors Electro-Motive Division EMD SD9 6139 built in 1954. Built for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, No. 765; Currently operable.
General Motors Electro-Motive Division EMD GP9 101 built in 1956. Built for the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway, No. 6606; Currently operable.
General Motors Electro-Motive Division EMD F7 274 1950. Built for the Great Northern Railway. Currently operable.
Baldwin Locomotive Works 2-4-4-2 Mallet locomotive 7 built in 1909. Built for the Little River Railroad (Tennessee) No. 126, later Deep River Logging Co. 7, also known as The Skookum, undergoing reconstruction.
Heisler Locomotive Works 85 Ton, 3-truck Heisler 1 built in 1913 in Raymond, Washington Built for the Sunset Timber Company of Raymond, Wash. Awaiting restoration.

McCloud Railway 25

McCloud Railway No. 25 is a 2-6-2 locomotive that worked on the McCloud River Railroad. It was purchased new from the American Locomotive Company in 1925.

On July 3, 1955, the locomotive was the one that ceremoniously opened the Burney Branch by bursting through a paper banner with a special excursion train. At some point after this, the locomotive was retired.

In 1962, No. 25 was restored for excursion service, and served in that capacity until passenger service was once again terminated in 1975.

The 25 was the largest and last steam locomotive purchased by the McCloud River Railroad. At the time, the McCloud was a logging railway, and the 25 was used in this function until June 1955 when it was replaced by GE 70-ton switcher No. 1. It was not long, however, before the locomotive was brought out again on July 3, 1955 to open the Burney Branch by breaking a paper banner with a special excursion train. After this, however, the locomotive was truly retired, but it remained on the property - the only steam locomotive to do so.

In the following years, there were many requests for the 25 to be restored for excursion service. This was finally done in 1962. The locomotive ran special excursions, usually for railfan organizations. A contractor called the Mt. Shasta Alpine Scenic Railway ran regular excursions in the summer of 1964, and another contractor called the Shasta Huffen-Puff ran the service between 1967 and 1971, when equipment prices, insurance prices, and falling interest.

This era of excursions ended in 1975, when the locomotive travelled to the Tidewater Southern Railway to be used in Bound for Glory. After that, it was retired for the second time.

The McCloud River Railroad came under new ownership in 1977, and the new owners ordered President Bill Herndon to scrap the 25, but he resisted.

Beginning in late spring 1982, the 25 was put on long-term lease to the Great Western Railroad Museum, which ran it on the McCloud in several annual excursions. This third career also ended with a performance in a movie: Stand by Me, filmed in 1986. Right after this, the Great Western Railroad Museum sued the McCloud River Railroad for Breach of Contract, and in the settlement, obtained possession of the locomotive. They did not do anything with it, however, keeping it in storage on the McCloud property.

The renewed McCloud Railway re-obtained the 25 in January 1996 and began restoration efforts. The locomotive's fourth career began on Labor Day in 1997. No. 25 again returned to occasional excursion service, but in February 2001, McCloud Railway 18 reentered service, and after a doubleheader excursion, the 18 replaced the 25. The 25 was stored again, and it was restored once again between the summer of 2007 and the summer of 2008. It made two excursions for railfan groups on November 1 and 2, but because most of the McCloud Railway is being abandoned, the locomotive ran on its homerails for the last time, and was put up for sale.

In late March, 2011, 25 was moved from McCloud, California to Tillamook, Oregon after it was purchased by the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad. The locomotive is stored in the World War II-era blimp hangar and was steamed up on May 20 with passenger excursions planned to begin in the summer. It was moved to the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad shop in Garibaldi, Oregon in July 2011, where it has been in service through the Summer 2014.

Our Trip and visit

The rear of our train. Our train was pulled by McCloud Railway 2-6-2 25, POTB flat car 0002, OCSR coach 2127 "Wilson River", OCSR baggage Car 266, POTB RDC-1 553 and open air car 0100.

Port of Tillamook Bay GP9 101, ex. Idaho, Northern & Pacific 101 1993, exx. Chessie System 6606, nee Chesapeake and Ohio 6606 built by Electro-Motive Division in 1956.

The Garibaldi station.

Rayonier Forest Products 2-8-2 90 built by Baldwin in 1926 as Polson Logging Company 90. In 1891, Nova Scotian immigrant Alex Polson joined with his brother Robert to start the Polson Brothers Logging Company. By 1900, they were well established, with a short stretch of railroad to the north of Hoquiam and a log dump on the Middle Fork of the Hoquiam River. By 1910, the company had expanded and was widely recognised as the largest logging operation in the world. Its extensive railroad network linking twelve logging and construction camps with more than one hundred miles of track, allowing an annual dump of as much as 300 million board feet of logs into the Hoquiam River for transport to Harbor mills.

When Polson sold their entire operation in 1948 to Rayonier, Incorporated, 90 continued to operate out of Railroad Camp until 1962, when it was sold to the Oregon Memorial Railroad Society. It had been on display in Lumbermans Park since 1963 and was recently acquired by the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad for cosmetic restoration.

Spokane, Portland and Seattle coach 215, lettered at one time as Southern Pacific and more recently as Pacific Northwest Lumbermans Railway.

Southern Pacific wooden caboose 85, nee Southern Pacific 181.

Our train getting ready for the trip.

McCloud Railway 2-6-2 25. This will be Chris, Bob and Elizabeth's first ride behind this steam engine. Chris would be detraining in Wheeler so he could get back to the airport courtesy of Bob Riskie who would pick him up and drive him there.

Locomotives being rebuilt in their shop. I then boarded the train and took up space at the open door in the baggage car.

The engine started to move.

We leave Garibaldi behind.

The Garibaldi Marina.

POTB SD9 6139, ex. BNSF 6139, exx. Burlington Northern 6242, exxx. Montana Rail Link 6242 (never operated), exxxx. Baltimore and Ohio 1831, exxxxx. Baltimore and Ohio 7405, nee Baltimore and Ohio 765, built by Electro-Motive Division in 1954.

McCloud Railway 25 still releasing steam.

Taking one of the curves on this railroad.

Views of Tillamook Bay.

Rocks in Tillamook Bay.

McCloud Railway 25 running along Tillamook Bay.

More rocks in Tillamook Bay.

Tillamook Bay exiting into the Pacific Ocean.

The train went by Ocean Lake on the way to Wheeler.

A fake covered bridge.

Two views of Rock Creek.

Former Burlington Northern caboose in Rockaway Beach used as the Visitor Center.

Steve Barry and friend photographing our train on the way to Wheeler where Steve would board at McMillan Creek.

Where McMillan Creek empties into the Pacific Ocean.

The train has reached Nedonna Beach.

Later our train has reached the Nehalem Bay.

Docks on Nehalem Bay.

The train crossed Messhouse Creek.

Views along Nehalem Bay.

Our train crew on this unique steam trip.

Our train has reached the Wheeler siding that we will use to run the engine around the train on the return trip.

We are at the upper reaches of Nehalem Bay.

Our train passing the north switch of the Wheeler siding.

The train has reached Wheeler and we could detrain for 15 minutes here.

They cut off the steam engine so as not to block the grade crossing.

McCloud Railway 25 took on water in Wheeler during our layover here.

Click here for Part 2 of this story!