Facebook Page

2005 NRHS Convention -- Brooklyn Roundhouse Tour and Convention Banquet ~ July 8th, 2005

by Elizabeth Guenzler

Even though it would be a few years until the City of Portland's three famous steam engines would have to find a new home (plans were already in the works), I realized that the tours of the Brooklyn Roundhouse offered as part of the convention were definitely not to be missed. There were several tour times offered and Bob and I chose mid-afternoon since we did not want to have another early morning and we had some other things to do. As we had done all week, a short ride on MAX to the Doubletree Hotel then a bus ride took us to the famous Southern Pacific Brooklyn Roundhouse. This is the second roundhouse to occupy the site, the first one was built in 1912, had twelve stalls and was razed in 1959. In 1948, a four-stall "annex" was built which had been home to Portland's steam engines since they were removed from Oaks Park for restoration many years ago.

My ticket for today's historic visit. There was much to photograph so we both took pictures and below are the results.

The side of the four-stall Brooklyn Roundhouse.

The sign above the door that leads to so much railway history and volunteer work and dedication.

Great Northern F7A 274 (ex. Seattle North Coast 101, exx. BN 610, nee GN 274B). It was restored to its Great Northern livery by Doyle McCormack who took it out on the road, including a round trip to and from Vancouver, British Columbia to deliver the re-built boiler for Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 2816. In late 2007, this locomotive was stranded out on the Oregon coast when a winter storm severed the Port of Tillamook Bay line through the Coast Range. Rather than retrieve it and bring it back to Portland, it was left in place and later acquired by the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, which runs it on excursion trains on the former POTB line out of Garibaldi.

Maersk Lines SDP40F 644 (ex. BNSF 6976, exx. ATSF 5266, nee AMTK 644). It was retired from service in 2003 and leased to Portland and Western. This locomotive was painted in 2002 for a special promotion with Maersk Lines for the opening of the company's intermodal facility in Long Beach, California.

Former Long Island Railroad power car 613 (nee Spokane, Portland and Seattle FA-2 866) which was the last SP&S FA2 built. It is owned by the Northwest Rail Museum.

Pacific Railroad Preservation Association (PRPX) baggage dorm 23 (ex. CN baggage-14 room dormitory 9477, exx. CN sleeper 2063 "Valjean", nee New York Central 10442 "Great Peconic Bay). Acquired by PRPX (Friends of the 700) in 2003. It was converted to a tool car in 2004 with all but two roomettes removed and painted into Spokane, Portland and Seattle livery.

Union Pacific baggage car 206, (ex. AFT 111, nee New York Central) which was part of the American Freedom Train's 1975 to 1976 tour, serving as the exit from the display cars and also provided on-board power to the train. The Friends of the 700 acquired it in 2004 from the Museum of America's Freedom Train. It now serves as a machine shop for working on the 700 and the 4449.

Great Northern caboose X40 (ex. Burlington Northern 10330).

Daylight Locomotive Works (DLMX) tool car 9201 "Clackamas River" (ex. Southern Pacific "Rincon Hill" nee Southern Pacific sleeper 9201).

Daylight Locomotive Works (DLMX) baggage/railway post office car 5001, nee Southern Pacific 5001 1948. Built for Shasta Daylight, re-painted from red/orange/black to gray in 1958 and used in general service, then converted to work train service in 1968. Purchased by Friends of 4449 in 2004. It was then time to go to the turntable area for the highlights of the tour.

AMTK F40PH 231 in Operation Lifesaver Livery. It was then time to see the stars of the show.

Spokane, Portland and Seattle 4-8-4 700 on the turntable.

Coming off the turntable.

SP 4449 awaits its turn while SP&S 700 reverses beside back to the roundhouse.

SP&S 700 about to enter the Brooklyn Roundhouse.

At rest but always impressive and a testament to everyone's hard work and dedication.

Oregon Railway and Navigation 197 undergoing restoration, the third steam engine that the City of Portland owns.

Southern Pacific 4449 turning on the turntable.

At rest in the roundhouse but always impressive and a testament to the hard work and dedication of everyone involved. After supporting the Oregon Railway Heritage Foundation by buying several souvenirs we returned to the hotel and freshened up for the banquet at the Doubletree Hotel.

The banquet ticket. While all three entree choices sounded delicious, I chose the Northern Pacific Sirloin of Beef with Mushroom Sauce.

The four page banquet program was a very nice touch of quality and was to become historic as I obtained the autographs of the two keynote speakers, Steve Lee and Doyle McCormack. The dinner was excellent and the speeches of (and banter between) the two bastions of steam preservation was very memorable and one for the history books. What an experience!

That concluded the 2005 NRHS convention for us. While we had tickets for the Saturday Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad excursion, the combination of several early starts, a couple of late nights, along with the activity and excitement of the week, caught up to me and I developed a cold. So I rested in the morning and we visited the Portland Zoo in the afternoon, riding the Washington Park and Zoo Railway for the first time. We returned to Seattle the following day on Amtrak Cascades 500 and I flew home to Victoria that evening.

It had been an absolutely fantastic convention and the memories of it are still with me fifteen years later. I enjoyed the 2005 one just as much as I had enjoyed my first one three years before. I had a terrific time and was ready for more such events!