Facebook Page

Winterail Trip 2018

by Chris Guenzler

For the 40th Anniversary Show of Winterail, Chris Parker and I would fly up on Wednesday and ride the MAX light rail out to Beaverton before riding Westside Express. We would then ride to the airport and get a rental car before taking Amtrak from Vancouver, Washington to Tukwila and then take the southbound train back with Elizabeth Alkire. We would stay in Milwaukie that night. The next morning it would be depots, trains and substations before heading to Corvallis, Oregon. Robin would fly up on Friday and we would go to the Railfan and Railroad Magazine Pizza Party while Robin would take the Amtrak Thruway bus down to Albany where Chris would pick him up. Saturday morning would be a couple of covered bridges then Winterail. Sunday morning would find us railfanning back to Vancouver to drop Elizabeth off before returning the car to the Portland Airport and all fly home.

Alaska Airlines 525 3/14/2018

I worked my day at Heninger Elementary then came home before my mother drove me to Orange County Airport and I was TSA pre-check so went through security with no one else in line. I walked over to Gate 13 and waited to board. Once on the plane, I read half of my "Pittsburgh Penguins Back-to-Back Champions 2016 and 2017" book. The two hours flew by and soon we landed in Portland. I exited the plane then bought my light rail ticket and took the next train to 82nd Street. I walked to the Days Inn and got a key to the room then watched the Penguins and Rangers game before Chris Parker returned and we watched NCIS before calling it a night.

3/15/2018 We arose at 6:00 AM and my computer had updated itself but then would not stay on. At 6:50 AM, we left the Days Inn and walked over to the MAX 82nd Street station and purchased our day passes for the morning before boarding a Red Line train for Beaverton.

Downtown Portland crossing the Willamette River. We made our way west and arrived on time to Beaverton where the trip ended.

The Red Line train here. We walked over to the Westside Express station and waited for the train to arrive from Wilsonville.

The Westside Express train arrived in Beaverton.

Another view of the Westside Express train before we boarded the train. Both Chris and I have ridden this train before so no details are needed. The train made its way south down the rails to Wilsonville.

Westside Express RDC 1711, ex. Alaska Railroad 711, nee New Haven 121 at Wilsonville.

Our train at Wilsonville.

Westside Express RDC-3 1702, ex. Alaska Railroad 702, nee New Haven 129.

Our train.

Westside Express RDC-1 2007, formerly Alaska Railroad 712.


Westside Express RDC 2011, ex. Trinity Railway Express 2011, exx. VIA 6106, exxx. Canadian National 6106, nee Canadian National D106, built by Budd in 1957.


Westside Express shops at Wilsonville. We reboarded the train for the trip back to Beaverton.

The inside view of the Westside Express Train. We talked with our conductor for most of the trip back to Beaverton.

The Tigard Oregon Electric Substation.

Our train back at Beaverton. We then boarded a waiting Red Line train for the trip back to the Days Inn.

We crossed the Willamette River with a Union Pacific train coming out of Albina Yard.

We arrived at 82nd Street and I took a picture of our Red Line train before we returned to the Days Inn, collected our luggage and left the keys in our room. We walked back to the 82nd Street station and took the next Red Line train back to the Portland Airport.

We arrived at Portland Airport and one last picture of what took us here. We went to the rental car center and Dollar Car Rental took care of us. From here we drove east to Troutdale where we stopped at Arby's to pick up lunch. From here we drove to Depot Park and had a look around.

A Union Pacific box car.

Union Pacific caboose 25748 built in 1975.

Union Pacific Troutdale station built by Union Pacific in 1907.

Depot Park in Troutdale. From here we headed to the Vancouver, Washington Amtrak station to watch some trains this early afternoon.

Amtrak Cascades Train 504 came in and out at Vancouver.

BNSF 5792 West came in with a grain train.

BNSF 5182 West came in with a coal train. We drove to the west side of the tracks.

Port of Vancouver switcher RLPX SW1200 3541, ex. BNSF 3541, exx. BN 210, nee Northern Pacific 151 built by EMD in 1957.

A trackmobile was switching grain cars. From here we went to 7-11 to get some needed supplies.

Vancouver station scenes.

Coast Starlight Train 11 arriving and departing the station.

Later the Columbia River Drawbridge was closing.

The BNSF local, led by BNSF 3009, returns from the Port of Vancouver.

A BNSF local, led by BNSF GP39-2 2707, for Portland went through next.

The Vancouver Amtrak station built for Spokane, Portland and Seattle in 1910.

The BNSF local returns to the yard at Vancouver.

BNSF 4648 West with a grain train at Vancouver.

BNSF action at CP Vancouver Center.

BNSF 5166 was the DPU on that grain train.

BNSF 5270 east at Vancouver ready to change crews.

BNSF GP38-3 2645.

BNSF GP35u 2554.

That BNSF local returns cars to the Port of Vancouver.

Union Pacific 5297 West at Vancouver.

Canadian Pacific Railway ES44AC 9374.

The BNSF local is done for the day.

Amtrak Cascades Train 517 came into Vancouver.

Three trains in Vancouver.

Cascades Charger 1401.

Amtrak Cascades train 517 departed the station.

Union Pacific 5297 west heads into the west Vancouver Yard.

BNSF GP40 3009.

Amtrak Cascades Train 518 which picked us both up; Chris in Car 6 for Tacoma and myself in Car 5 for Tukwila. I worked on the story up to Olympia-Lacey before getting online and clearing out my e-mail. Making the most of what was most likely my last daytime trip along Puget Sound, I just enjoyed the view this time. We arrived at Tacoma and Chris detrained. We then did slow running putting my connection in danger and I went to the conductor and told them my problem, and after telling them how much I had ridden trains, they said they would get me there before the southbound train, which they did as we arrived at 6:21 PM. I found the tunnel to the other east platform and walked up to the track. I had a green signal so knew I was in the right spot. Then I saw a headlight but it was not my train.

BNSF 4917 East at Tukwila. Next here came my train.

Amtrak Cascades 507 arrived at Tukwila. I boarded Train 507 and quickly found Elizabeth waiting for me which was good news. I told her about my adventure then showed her my Penguins championships book which she thoroughly enjoyed. We checked the score of the Penguins game and found they won 5-3. Kris Letang, whose shirt I was wearing to show Elizabeth, had two assists in the game. The trip south was much faster until we got to Reservation, where we waited upon the Coast Starlight which Chris Parker had seen while he was in Tacoma waiting for us. After we arrived in Tacoma, Chris boarded and good conversations were had all the way back to Vancouver. We arrived to a night-time rain storm so we quickly made our way to the rental car and then drove south via WA 14 and I-205 to Milwaukie where we checked into the Econo Lodge. There we all had a good night's sleep.


We arose at 6:15 and as I prepared myself, turned on the computer and finished up the stories from yesterday without the photographs. We met at the car at 6:40 and the first stop of the morning was MacDonald's where everybody had what they wanted for breakfast. From there, we made a confusing trip to the Oregon City Amtrak station. After we parked, we looked at this unique station as the old Southern Pacific station is on stilts and there is a little Oregon City Amtrak shelter which people do use.

The original Southern Pacific Oregon City station built in the 1920s.

The Oregon City Amtrak shelter.

Amtrak Cascades 500 arrived in Oregon City.

Amtrak Cascades 500 leaving Oregon City. As we drove out, I pointed out the End of the Oregon Trail conestoga wagon skeletons and took a picture of them.

The End of the Oregon Trail, which has seen better days.

Willamette Falls in Oregon City. We made our way to our next stop of the day at Aurora.

Southern Pacific Aurora station built in 1882. From here, we made our way to Donald, where all we found to shoot was the station sign.

The Donald station sign. Next, we drove to Walmart in Woodburn where I had to get a new memory card reader, Chris needed a new cell phone charger and Elizabeth bought some film for her camera. From here, we drove down I-5 and made our way to Brownsville to our next stop.

The Brownsville Southern Pacific station built in 1895 which is the Linn County Museum.

Southern Pacific caboose 1010, built by the Southern Pacific in 1937.

This boxcar is used by the museum as a theatre car.

The boxcars west of the caboose.

A Brownsville station scene. From here we drove down I-5 further south to our next stop in Springfield.

Pennsylvania Railroad "BM70KA" railway post office car in faux Southern Pacific paint which was never used by the Southern Pacific Railroad. It was built circa 1923.

Springfield Southern Pacific station built in 1895.

The Springfield station sign has the date it was built and when it was moved.

Springfield station scene. We then drove into Eugene to where both train stations still stand in this town.

The Oregon Electric station has passenger cars built into it so we do not know the origins of the cars.

Eugene Oregon Electric station, now a restaurant, built by Oregon Electric in 1914.

Not only are there passenger cars here on the west side of the building, there is also an Oregon Electric and Eastern caboose.

Southern Pacific Railway Post Office car.

Oregon Electric and Eastern caboose.

Eugene Southern Pacific station built in 1918.

Unknown railroad building in Eugene. We headed north toward Junction City.

On the way there, we caught a Willamette and Pacific local switching across the highway.

In Junction City, the Finnish steam engine is still there under cover.

Amtrak Cascades 511 going through Junction City.

Oregon Electric station now known as the Burlington Grill where we had a delicious lunch. On the way to Albany, we were surprised when the Coast Starlight blasted by us as we were still five miles out.

Coast Starlight leaving Albany with Norm Orfall on the platform of his private car "Tioga Pass". From here, we drove over to the back side of the yard and found a switcher and passenger car.

Willamette and Pacific SW1200m 1201, originally Albany and Eastern 1866, built in 1953, and California Northern passenger car.

Willamette and Pacific SD40-3 3052 originally Cotton Belt 9153.

Portland and Western GP40-2 3003 originally built EMD as Rock Island 381 in 1967.

Willamette and Pacific GP40-2 3053 built in 1967.

Portland and Western SD9 1501 originally Southern Pacific 5280.

Railfan Magazine Friday Night Pizza Party and Slide Show 3/16/2018

From here, we headed to Corvallis where we checked into the Days Inn. My new memory card reader sent my pictures to oblivion. Elizabeth and I went to Elmer's for an early dinner and I had the flat iron steak which put me in a good mood and we had a good laugh about the computer problems. We returned to the hotel, picked up Chris Parker and then went to the Railfan and Railroad Magazine Friday Night Pizza Party and Slide Show. Elizabeth and I handed Evan Werkema the thumb drive which contained my program, then I enjoyed a Coca-Cola while everyone else enjoyed their pizza. I had good conversations with various people whom I see only once a year. I called Robin who had arrived in Portland and I would sneak out and call him about the time he was getting on the bus.

At 5:50, we were allowed to go into the auditorium and took our usual seats. The shows started promptly at 6:00 with Railfan's Associate Editor Otto Vondrak showing an excellent program about the Boston and Maine around Massachusetts. Next up was a very educational program by David Lange entitled "Spreading Her Wings" then David's father, Charles Lange, showed "A Tribute to The End", which dealt with cabooses he had taken pictures of over the years. Before Randy's program, I snuck out and called Robin who was sitting on the Thruway Bus getting ready to leave Portland. After that, Randy Nelson started his "Nomo's Northwest Wanderings" and made it as far as the Holiday Express when computer gremlins took over. So Vic Neves came to the rescue and showed two drone videos, one of a Union Pacific freight train which was quite interesting and one on the remnants of the Tillamook Branch which which was quite sad because we all had ridden the Tillamook Branch on one of Bart Jennings' trips.

After that, a fifteen minute break was taken while Randy found another copy of his program and it was installed on Evan's computer. The third time was a charm and not only did we see the Holiday Express trip but also the pre-Winterail trip from last year which I organized. Seeing it from a different perspective was nice and I really enjoyed this part of his presentation. Next was Greg Molloy who showed us trains from his visit to Romania which was indeed fascinating. Chris Parker left after this to go and pick up Robin from Albany and brought him to the theatre. That was followed by Bruce Blackaddar showing "Western Canada from the Great Lakes west to Alaska", which I really enjoyed as well. Next up, I showed my "A Year Of Trains In The Life of Chris Guenzler". This year, I used photo captions so did not have to narrate each picture, which was well-received. That was followed by Dave Oroszi's "Big O's Best of the West". The last official show of this evening was by "pictures gone sideways" Mike Pechner who showed his adventures on the American Freedom Train. Steve Barry then showed a unique former Winterail presentation with the music of Jackyll called "Northwest Loggers" which included the sounds of chainsaws in the song. With that, this year's Railfan and Railroad Pizza Party and Slide Show was a wrap. We returned to the hotel and Elizabeth and I finished the story before we called it a night.


We met at the car at 7:00 AM but Robin was late coming down as he only had two hours of sleep last night. So we decided we would give Robin the railfan tour of Corvallis. Our first stop was the Oregon Electric depot which is now the Old Spaghetti Factory. Then we went to McDonald's for breakfast, which was followed by taking Robin down the street-running and over to the old Southern Pacific station with the two Spokane, Portland and Seattle passenger cars behind it. From here, we drove over to the Portland and Western yard and had an engine to photograph.

Portland and Western GP38-3 2005 originally Southern Pacific 7413 . From here we drove Robin to Avery Park where he photographed Georgia Pacific 2-8-2 5. Next we drove out to Wren Road and went back to our second visit at the Harris Covered Bridge.

The Harris Covered Bridge built in 1926.

My group at the Harris Covered Bridge. This was a new bridge for Robin. We then drove north through Kings Valley to the Ritner Creek Covered Bridge, which was new to all of us.

These were taken from County Road 223.

The more traditional shots of the Ritner Creek Covered Bridge built in 1926.

The plaque on the side of the bridge giving its history.

The group on the Ritner Creek Covered Bridge. We returned to Corvallis and stopped at the hotel so I could pick up my memory card for the Three Favorites.

Winterail 2018 The 40th Anniversary Show

We all drove to Winterail and found a parking spot quite easily. We went in, were given our wristbands and then started looking around the swap meet. My first venture this year was to buy Photobob's Espee book and also a Western Maryland Railroad Company timetable dated September 1, 1959 as that would give me the mileage information I would be needing at this summer's NRHS convention. After I looked around to my heart's content, I went to line up for entry into the theatre and was the third person in line. Elizabeth soon joined me and then at 11:30, they opened the doors to the theatre.

At noon, Vic Neves showed "Being 40 and 40 In Your Life" as a special bonus feature. Then it was time for the first official show "Apache Railway 100 Years A Survivor" which was an excellent show. After that, I then went back and bought two more timetables (Red River Valley and Western and a Portland and Western/Willamette and Pacific Railroad System Timetable No. 2). I then returned to the theatre, checked the door prize list and to my surprise, I had won. I chose Portland and Western Railroad Timetable No. 1. The next show was "A Mountain Railroad - BNSF's Scenic Sub" which was also a wonderful show. During the lunch break, Elizabeth and I did our customary annual three laps around the track walk as we did not have time to do the last one without being late for the next show. That was "Southbay Vignettes" or "I Love The Eighties" by Ken Rattene. That was followed by "Country Roads" by Charles Dischinger which featured a good selection of music. The photo contest voting opened and we both voted for our favorites which we hope will win.

Back in the theatre, we really enjoyed Keith Ardinger's "Northwest State of Mind". Next it was Tim Tonge's "Colorado's Black and Gold" which was also excellent. He had a good variety of all Rio Grande power plus the Rio Grande Zephyr and Ski Train at the end. The most amusing program of the afternoon was a short entitled "I'm Just Going Home Now - Mexican Rail Misadventure" by Steven Brown, which had the audience laughing as many things happened to him on his trip. It was then time for one of the most interesting parts of the event when people's Three Favorites are shown. There were some oohs and aahs throughout the theatre. This was followed by the dinner break, so Elizabeth and I went to Carl's Jr. before we returned to the room to eat and write this.

After dinner, we had "Oregon Lumbering Ghosts" by Dave Stanley before the Hall of Fame Award which was given to Wayne Monger this year. The photo contest winners were announced with Steve Carter winning Black and White Recreational and Hunter Lohse winning Color Recreational. In the Revenue Black and White category, second place went to William Puhl and first place went to Dale Skyllinstad. In the Revenue Color category, William Puhl was awarded second place and Hugh Harvey took first place.

The second program of the evening was Dan Scheidell's "Aerial Videography In The West", which was followed by "Autumn 1964 - My Ultimate Railfan Vacation" by Gordon Glattenberg, "Across the Great Basin" by Dick Dorn and "The Second 10" by Ray Lewis. To finish off the evening and the 40th Anniversary Winterail was "Remembering Milwaukee Road's Coast Division - Scenes From A Dying Transcontinental" by Blair Kooistra. The show ended at 9:50 PM and it was one of the best Winterails when it came to quality of programs. All the shows were really well done, very entertaining and we all thoroughly enjoyed them. Plus, it was always good to see all our friends whom we only see once a year when we come up to Winterail. So, we are now are looking forward to next year's 41st Winterail in Corvallis on March 16, 2019. I went to bed for my final night motel sleep in Corvallis.


We got up, dressed then met at the rental car at 7:00 AM, first for gas, then onto MacDonald's for breakfast. We drove north up 99 West then I remembered the Oregon Electric substation in McCoy so for Chris Parker and Robin, we made the first stop of the morning there. Next we made the second stop for the guys at the McMinnville Southern Pacific station. The third stop was at the Southern Pacific Carlton station, now the Ken Wright Cellars Tasting Room Winery. From here we drove to Banks for something for all of us.

Southern Pacific replica Banks station.

A wig wag crosing signal on display in Banks. We drove to our next destination on US Highway 26.

Camp 18 Elsie, Oregon

When you go to Camp 18, you'll see massive log beams, chainsaw carvings, old logging equipment and, inside, a spacious, yet warm dining room where you'll enjoy a fantastic meal (no small plates here!).

Camp 18 restaurant

Chainsaw carvings by a variety of northwest artisans depict Oregon loggers and forest animals.

Gordon Smith began collecting logging equipment in the 1970s. He and a friend, Maurie Clark, started restoring the pieces in the collection. The cabin was built with timber logged by Smith right in the Elsie area.

Camp 18 represents Oregon's logging history. In the 1920s and 1930s large logging operations - such as Clark & Wilson and Big Creek Timber Company, among others - numbered all of their camps. The restaurant and logging museum is called Camp 18 because it's located at milepost 18 on Highway 26. It was not an actual logging camp, but I can't think of any place better to learn about Oregon's logging past.

You'll be in awe of the massive logs that make up the entrance and the restaurant building. According to the Camp 18 website, all of the timber used in the building came from the general area and was logged and milled by Smith with the help of his family and friends.

When you go into the dining room, be sure and look up to see the huge, 85-foot ridge pole. It's the largest such pole known in the United States. It weighed approximately 25 tons when cut.

Another spectacular feature of the building are the hand-carved main doors. They are cut from an old growth Fir. Each door is four and a half inches thick and weighs 500 pounds. The doors open with authentic logging axes. For some, it may take two hands to open them.

Camp 18 restaurant

Diners have been enjoying meals at these massive log tables since 1986.

The two fireplaces are built with approximately 50 tons of locally found rock. A stream runs behind the restaurant, which was one source of river rock. The mantle of the fireplace in the main dining room is solid black walnut.

Taking the Tour

As you walk outside, you find huge "steam donkeys," band saws, and tracked vehicles that worked in the woods. You'll also see railcar-mounted equipment. Many of the displays have information posted so you can learn more about what you are seeing. Kids love having their pictures taken standing on the massive equipment.

Also outside, you'll see the fairly new Loggers Memorial framed by a giant log grapple hook. The memorial features a bronze statue depicting a logger at work felling a tree. It pays homage to those who have worked in Oregon's important logging industry over the years.

The 161-foot spar tree is a signature piece on the Camp 18 equipment roster.

After you learn all about Oregon logging history, walk down near the creek, do a bit of bird watching and breathe in the forest air. A visit to Camp 18 can be relaxing, as well as educational.

Cozy Up to a Fireplace and Enjoy a Meal.

Camp 18 is most cozy on a chilly fall or winter day. You can sit by the rock fireplace and play a board game or be seated at one of the massive wooden tables and enjoy breakfast, lunch or dinner. If I had guests from out of the area, I would bring them to Camp 18 for an All-American meal and a bit of logging history.

Portions are pretty much lumberjack-sized. They have an extensive menu, including burgers and fish, salads and the mouth-watering Marionberry cobbler. In the mornings you might succumb to one of their logger-sized cinnamon rolls.

You can watch the Camp 18 Facebook Page for information on special events. They often feature brunch for Mother's Day and Easter. They go all-out decorating for Christmas, including trimming a 16-foot Christmas tree. For groups, the downstairs event area is available by reservation.

Camp 18 is a mid-way stop between central Portland and Seaside or Cannon Beach. It's a good place to stretch your legs, learn something, shop in the gift shop and make sure you don't continue on your journey hungry.

Clark and Wilson Lumber Company

March 1, 1907: What is said to be the biggest deal in Columbia River timber lands ever made was completed Monday, when the Clark and Wilson Lumber Company purchased 10,000 acres near Goble for $800,000.

William Reid and his father in law, D. C. Pelton, president of the Banker's and Lumbermen's Bank, of Portland were the former owners.

The tract contains about 400,000,000 feet of standing timber and the purchase includes the Goble, Nehalem and Pacific Railway, a logging road ten miles in length and all the logging and camp equipment now on the land.

The logging outfit [that] formerly worked on the tract has been putting about 100,000 feet of logs into the river daily. The purchasers announce that the capacity will be increased, making the daily cut about 150,000 feet. The logs will be rafted and towed to the Clark and Wilson Company's mill at Linnton, where they will be cut into lumber. The Clark and Wilson Company plans to carry on its own logging operations in the future.Reid and Pelton have held this tract just sold for three years. During that period it increased immensely in value. The purchase price just paid for the timber is largely "velvet" but just how big a portion could be called that the sellers decline to state.

The Clark and Wilson Lumber Company is made up of O. M. and W. W. Clark and C. G. and J. A. Wilson. The Clarks are Wisconsin lumbermen and lived neighbors to William Reid in that state. Their acquaintance helped the deal along, for the sale was negotiated by the persons directly interested without the intervention of any outside agent.

The Clark and Wilson Lumber Company was organized two years ago and the mill at Linnton was then bought and enlarged until it now has a capacity of 200,000 feet daily. It covers a large site and owns 160 feet of deep waterfront, along which good docks have been built.

After two years lumbering in Oregon the Clarks and Wilsons are confident of the future of the industry in this state. The heavy purchase of timber just closed shows how highly they regard investments of this character.

Wilson Lumber Company wooden caboose, formerly Southern Pacific 110.

A railroad logging crane is also on display here.

Wilson Lumber Company bay window caboose, originally Spokane, Portand & Seattle 796. From here we drove to Astoria and made an unexpected picture stop.

Oregon Eastern Railroad wooden caboose 206 is on display in Astoria.

Astoria Spokane, Portand & Seattle station built in 1925.

The Astoria trolley station where service would begin the following weekend.

A paddle wheeler boat in Astoria.

The Pilot Tug Boat. From here we drove to St. Helens.

Portland Western GP40-2 3006, originally Rock Island 376, built in 1967.

Portland Western GP39-2 2316, originally Santa Fe 3616, built in 1974.

St. Helens Northern Pacific station built in 1884 and is home to the South Columbia County Chamber of Commerce. From here we made a beeline to the Amtrak station in Vancouver via the St. John bridge and Interstate 5. At Vancouver, we dropped Elizabeth off then headed back to Portland Airport and turned in the rental car. I breezed through security then waited at Gate C4 for Robin to arrive. When he did, I bought an ice cream sandwich then he and Chris went to get something to eat. Robin and I boarded our flight, Alaska Airlines 5928, for Orange County. I finished my Penguins book then enjoyed a Coca-Cola over the sea of clouds that finally broke over Malibu. I saw all the channel islands before we landed at John Wayne Airport, said goodbye to Robin then had a perfect pick-up by my mother, before stopping at KFC for dinner to bring home. That ended another excellent Winterail trip.