Railfan.net Home Railfan Photos ABPR Archives Staff Safari Photos Railfan Links

Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums Railfan.net Forums
Welcome, Guest. Please Sign In or Register. Jul 25th, 2017, 6:46am
Categories •  FastIndex •  LongIndex •  Help •  Search •  Members  •  Sign In •  Register


Portland, Or question
   Railfan.net Web Forums
   North American Railroads
   BNSF Discussion
(Moderators: dti407, BNSF_1088)
   Portland, Or question
« Previous topic | Next topic »
Pages: 1  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint
   Author  Topic: Portland, Or question  (Read 194 times)
hawleywe
TRAINing
View Profile   WWW  

Posts: 10
Portland, Or question
 
« on: Apr 23rd, 2011, 3:48pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

My brothers live out in Portland and I'm spending some time with them this Summer and I'll be railfanning for a few days. I'm kinda curious as where are some really good spots that are close by Portland.
 
Thanks! Everything's appreciated!


Logged

http://www.youtube.com/user/hawleywe?feature=mhum

Norm_Anderson
Historian
Posts: 1724
Re: Portland, Or question
 
« Reply #1 on: Apr 24th, 2011, 6:22am »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

hawleywe,
 
Oh, my goodness, I envy you . . .  Portland is one of the most beautiful cities in the US.  The Columbia River Gorge is spectacularly beautiful, and there are major rail arteries running along both banks of the river.  Union Pacific's main line parallels I-84 along the south bank, and along the north bank is BNSF's ex-SP&S mainline, running alongside Washington State Highway 14.  On both lines, rail traffic is fast, frequent, and major-league.  In my opinion, the south bank is a bit "flatter," and the areas for viewing are more abundant, with more opportunities for "panorama" shots.  The north bank is a bit more rugged, with the river bluffs often reaching right to the water's edge, and the railroad (and highway) having to tunnel through them.  But the rugged scenery may be worth the extra effort.  Bottom line-- it's a win-win.
 
The Willamette (wil-LAM-ette) Valley south of Portland is very picturesque.  UP's ex-SP mainline to Oakland/San Francisco follows the east bank of the Willamette River, alongside Oregon Route 99E.  There are dozens of miles of "pacing" opportunities here.  North of Portland, the mainline to Seattle roughly parallels I-5.  In the Portland area, it is difficult to point your camera anywhere that's NOT scenic.
 
In Portland itself, most of the action takes place near the rivers.  I'm not sure exactly where the rail yards are (and these days, they may not take too kindly to "lurkers").  But there should be several good vantage points, if you take the time to look for them.  Like all large cities, Portland has its "rough areas" (last time I was in Portland --admittedly decades ago-- it was the area bounded by the Willamette River on the west, I-84 on the north, and I-205 on the east).  But on the continuum of big-city woes, Portland has fared much better than most.
 
If riding trains is part of your itinerary, I can't recommend strongly enough investing about 24 hours in the "triangle trip" from Portland to Seattle, then east to Spokane, and finally back to Portland from Spokane.  If Amtrak's schedules still allow this kind of connection in Spokane, you will remember this trip the rest of your life.  You will curse your need for sleep.  If such an ambitious trip is not feasible, a day-trip to Seattle would still be worth every nickel of the fare.
 
 
Regards,
 
Norm
 
 
P.S.  Not rail-related, but since you're in the area-- the steamship ride from Seattle through the Puget Sound to Victoria, BC is also worth whatever effort and expense is required.  It can be done as a day-trip from Seattle, or you could even spend a night or two in Victoria, and check out the E&N action there (I guess this could be rail-related, after all . . .)


« Last Edit: Apr 24th, 2011, 6:34am by Norm_Anderson » Logged
hawleywe
TRAINing
View Profile   WWW  

Posts: 10
Re: Portland, Or question
 
« Reply #2 on: Apr 24th, 2011, 4:23pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

Norm,
 
Thanks a bunch for the tips! I've been to Portland several times, but never for a true railfan trip. I know I will be spending time at Union Station downtown, as well as at Multonomah Falls (I believe that will be UP since it is right on the river).  
 
My brother lives right next to a yard, I'm not sure which company it is as he has virtually no knowledge of the railroad. I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out!
 
Thanks a bunch!,
Will
 
P.S. I'm riding Amtrak Cascades from Portland to Seattle, spending a day in Seattle, and coming back


Logged

http://www.youtube.com/user/hawleywe?feature=mhum

Pyronova

View Profile  

Posts: 2058
Re: Portland, Or question
 
« Reply #3 on: Apr 26th, 2011, 1:29pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Apr 24th, 2011, 4:23pm, hawleywe wrote:       (Click here for original message)
Norm,
 
Thanks a bunch for the tips! I've been to Portland several times, but never for a true railfan trip. I know I will be spending time at Union Station downtown, as well as at Multonomah Falls (I believe that will be UP since it is right on the river).  
 
My brother lives right next to a yard, I'm not sure which company it is as he has virtually no knowledge of the railroad. I'm definitely looking forward to checking it out!
 
Thanks a bunch!,
Will
 
P.S. I'm riding Amtrak Cascades from Portland to Seattle, spending a day in Seattle, and coming back

Check out the steam societies/excursions about an hour north of Portland.  
http://www.steamtrainride.com/
http://www.mrsr.com/


Logged

Moderator of: Mainline - Rail Safety; Regional Areas - British Columbia & Vancouver Island; Fallen Flags - The Milwaukee Road; & Model Railroading - N-Scale .


hawleywe
TRAINing
View Profile   WWW  

Posts: 10
Re: Portland, Or question
 
« Reply #4 on: Apr 26th, 2011, 7:32pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

on Apr 26th, 2011, 1:29pm, Pyronova wrote:       (Click here for original message)

Check out the steam societies/excursions about an hour north of Portland.  
http://www.steamtrainride.com/
http://www.mrsr.com/

 
Thanks!


Logged

http://www.youtube.com/user/hawleywe?feature=mhum

x600
Historian
Posts: 1095
Re: Portland, Or question
 
« Reply #5 on: Jun 29th, 2011, 10:27pm »
Quick-Jump   Reply w/Quote   Modify

A nice ride is along the Washington side on 14. Slower pace than 84 and a lot of cool places to watch trains on both sides of the river.
The Overlook above Wishram is a cool place to see BNSF cross the river and UP and head into the former GN Inland Empire route.
If you have a whole day, Up one side of the river and back down the other will give you a nice fill of railfanning.  
Vancouver Station is a great place to sit and watch trains if you don't have time to travel far. Just across the river, Exit into downtown and watch for signs for the Amtrak Station.
4449 is doing an excursion on July 3rd from Portland to Wishram and return.
Enjoy, whatever you chose to do !!
Greg O.


Logged

Pages: 1  ReplyReply     EMail TopicEMail Topic   PrintPrint

« Previous topic | Next topic »