Facebook Page
Oregon & Northwestern Railroad- Saving the Baldwins Part 1

Oregon & Northwestern Railroad
Saving the Baldwin Diesels
Part 1: Removal from the Shed

The various deals to save the four Baldwin diesels and the caboose had been finalized by late 1990. However, the former owners demanded that the rail equipment be removed from the drying shed they had been stored in by 1 November. The easy solution would be for the Oregon Eastern to pull the equipment out; however, the trackage leading to the shed had deteriorated to the point that the Oregon Eastern refused to risk running a locomotive over it. Another solution had to be found, and in late October the Feather River Rail Society arrived at one.

Moving day for the stored equipment arrived on 24 October 1990. The locomotives are seen here inside the drying shed. Note the spare Baldwin parts stacked up on the floor.

Another shot of the #4 and the spare parts. The #1 is by the open door.

FRRS members rented a log skidder from Tecton Laminates to move the locomotives out of the shed. The poor track conditions forced only one locomotive to be moved at a time. The #2 and caboose #300 were the last to come out of the shed, and the skidder is seen here dragging them out.

Once the four locomotives and the caboose had been moved into the daylight the skidder started the task of pushing them one at a time down the siding to a point that the Oregon Eastern locomotive could reach. The #1 has already been moved, and the skidder is seen here pushing the #4 down the track to join it.

The final move of the day saw the skidder shoving the #2 and caboose #300 down to join the other three locomotives.

The last rays of daylight of 24 October 1990 finds the four O&NW locomotives and the caboose together again. The next step of moving them to their new homes could now begin.

The #1 and #2 left during the first half of 1991, the #1 bound for the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum collection in Campo, CA, and the #2 bound for the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society collection near Portland, OR. Caboose #300 was far to fragile to move by rail, and it was trucked to the Feather River Rail Society museum in Portola, CA. Only the #3 and #4 remained; however, the friction bearing trucks on both units prevented them from making their movement to Portola by rail. Union Pacific agreed to handle them- with a 25-mile per hour speed restriction- from the Oregon Eastern interchange at Ontario, OR, to the Morrison-Knudson plant in Boise, ID, where the two would be placed on flatcars for the final movement to Portola. The afternoon of 18 July 1991 finds the #3 and #4 ready for the trip while Oregon Eastern's #1608 completes its switching chores in the background.

The morning of 19 July 1992 finds the Oregon Eastern train ready to depart with the #3 and #4 tucked into the consist along with eight lumber and laminate loads.

The plan to move the two units out together quickly fell apart, as the #4 developed some problems with its air brakes that could not be resolved. The Oregon Eastern crew has set the #4 back out onto a siding and it departing eastbound with only the #3.

Repairs on the #4's brake system consumed two months. The unit finally departed Hines on 4 September 1991. The unit waits patiently on a siding while the Oregon Eastern finishes its switching chores prior to departure.