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Batterson to Cochran

Batterson to Foss Road Crossing
MapBlast Map! Departing Batterson westbound, the tracks follow Foss Road, crossing twice and then darting back into the woods to the left hand side. The tracks will follow Foss Road for the 10 miles up to Salmonberry, crossing twice once before skirting to the other side of the Nehalem River for the run up the canyon. After crossing the bridge across the Nehalem River, the road goes from pavement to gravel and dirt, and varies in condition from rough to just plain crappy. Donít count on making any time here, but donít despair. Across the river an barely visible in the trees, the POTB isnít making more than 15 mph either.

Take it easy on the speed through here as there are a number of hill, blind curves. Pedestrians, cyclists and horses arenít uncommon.

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Salmonberry (mp 815.1)
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Where the Nehalem and Salmonberry rivers meet is the tiny siding of Salmonberry, once home to a depot and other amenities. Historically, Salmonberry was the northernmost point on the former Southern Pacific. Now, the POTB uses the short siding for storing maintenance of way equipment, and the occasional train layover. By road, turn left (north) where a bridge crosses the confluence of the two rivers. You canít miss it. Itís the only road for miles and miles and miles.

A covered bridge once helped the rails across the Nehalem River at this point, but todayís bridge is a more spartan truss bridge. (still not bad looking, just not a wooden covered bridge). About 50 yards after crossing the river, the tracks cross Lower Nehalem River Road.

There are a few houses in the private community at Salmonberry, and a fair number of private roads. Be careful not to trespass. If you are up to a good hike, or have a mountain bike, Enright is only five miles east, and there is a good parking area just beyond the road crossing that is used heavily by the local anglers.

Donít follow Foss Road up the canyon, as there is no further access to the rails.


Elsie and Highway 26
MapBlast Map! Follow Lower Nehalem River Road about 12 miles north to the junction with Highway 26, about two blocks east of the small town of Elsie. If you are headed towards Salmonberry, you will have to go into Elsie and turn around. Likewise if you are headed away. About a mile west of Elsie is the Camp 18 museum, with a number of logging artifacts, and a water tank that came off the line at Cochran.

If Foss Rd. leading to Salmonberry was bad, L. Nehalem River Rd. is even worse. Take it nice and slow unless you hate your car, or were wise enough to pack a Jeep. Itís not impassable ó Iíve driven it in my Oldsmobile a few times now. Just donít get in a hurry.

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Enright (mp 811.0) and the Salmonberry River Canyon
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While you are braving the network of funky backroads between Salmonberry and Cochran, the railroad takes on a more direct route that takes it past the siding at Enright, and a spectacular series of bridges and tunnels that would make horse or motorcycle ownership a worthwhile proposition.

At Enright stands one of the true artifacts of the line ó an original steam era water tank. Also, Enright marks the spot where the grades increase in earnest. Just a few miles east, the grades stiffen from a modest 1.1 percent to 2.2, and later to a strenuous 2.7 percent.

The first of 11 tunnels on the line is just beyond the siding, and before the train reaches Cochran, it will make spectacular passages of the Salmonberryís many tributaries on Wolf Creek and Big Baldwin bridges.

There are a myriad of logging and forrest service roads that penetrate down into the canyon area, and one even crosses the tracks near MP 806. But access is still limited, and according to Camron Settlemeyer, this site's official "Scout who has a four wheel drive", this is almost the exclusive territory of Jeeps and quads. But if you dare, arm yourself with a copy of Delorme's Oregon Atlas and Gazetteer, or a similar USGS or Forest Serice map.


Cochran (mp 800.0) west
MapBlast Map! Cochran marks the summit of the line over the Coast Range, at an elevation of 1833 feet above sea level. Eastbound from Enright, the tracks have gained nearly 1400 vertical feet in only 11 miles.

It is possible to walk west from Cochran to the many tunnels and bridges on the line.

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