Photos of readers

We have two contributions in the tank, and this is one of them. Do send me your contribution so this feature won’t die!

Today’s reader is David Jorling, who has an unusual hobby. I love all the different interests of the readers! David’s words are indented:

I am a retired lawyer and lifelong train buff.  I am a now member of the Board of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation, one of whose functions is to preserve and restore 3 steam engines that are owned by the City of Portland. Here is the link to our website.

Attached are two pictures of me with two of those engines.  Engine 4449 pulled the American Freedom Train in 1976, and has been kept restored ever since.  Engine  700 is undergoing its 15-year inspection by the Federal Railway Administration, and should be back up and running next year.  I spent the last 23 years of my law practice in the City Attorney’s office of Portland.  I was assigned, among many other areas, to the legal work involved with these locomotives. (Among which was negotiating leases to movie companies.  Engine 4449 appeared in two movies: Tough Guys and  Come See the Paradise.) If you are ever in Portland again, I would be happy to give you a tour.

Here is a nice 3-minute diversion from COVID – A video of engine 4449 pulling a train in the Columbia River Gorge. This occurred about 2 years ago.  Be sure to turn up the volume and expand to full screen.  Any guess who the singer is?  I think its Reba, but not sure.  Hope you enjoy it.

[JAC: The video is locked so I can’t embed it, but the link will take you there.  More from David below]:

A word about funding.  We are one of the rail museums that are not publicly funded.  We are a 501c3, and about 350 volunteers work to keep these locomotives in working order.  The City lent us about 1 million to help build the 5 million dollar facility to house the engines, which we have paid back.  The City and the Foundation have an agreement about the custody and care of the engines.  The engines were donated to the City in the late 1950s, and they languished in a park outdoors for many years.  4449 was the first to be restored with funding from the bicentennial commission, but other than that they are kept up and restored through private donations.

As you can tell, I get excited about talking about trains in general and these engines in particular.

Finally, a final 4-minute video of an 4449 excursion up the Columbia and Deschutes rivers from several years ago.  It was warm so you don’t see much steam.  Google 4449 and you will find many more videos.

24 Comments

  1. Joe Dickinson
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    If you love trains, I highly recommend the B&O museum near Baltimore, MD. The B&O was the first major railroad in the US, built to compete with the Erie Canal in reaching the Ohio River.

    • Joe Dickinson
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

      Once again, I can’t figure out how to add a photo.

    • Posted August 13, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      There is also a nice train museum in Golden, Colorado; the Colorado Railroad Museum. I grew up one block from a freight line, and steam locomotives are a fond memory as are the treats that the caboose man would toss to us.

  2. Posted August 13, 2020 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

    Nice to see the shots of the Gorge. My stomping grounds.

  3. Posted August 13, 2020 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Nice shots of the Willow Canyon Trestle!

  4. Randall Schenck
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 3:01 pm | Permalink

    Really nice videos, especially that first one. The BNSF I believe is owned by Warren Buffet. In fact I think Omaha has a bit of a Museum there. From my old career in logistics, trains were always a part of it. For those old enough to remember, Railroads were the first transportation system to come under regulation by the government if you recall the (ICC) Interstate Commerce Commission. The railroads were part 1 of the act. Added later were Trucking, Airlines and Pipelines.

  5. Debra Coplan
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

    Both videos show such beautiful train rides.
    I still get excited when I hear a train. It’s a wonderful sound. I can see why you love trains.

  6. jezgrove
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Great feature as always, thanks! It’s years since I’ve seen Tough Guys but it was a funny film and the train played a significant role!

  7. Jim batterson
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Videos of rolling stock were great! I never tire of hearing the sounds of vintage engineering…a B-25 flying low overhead at an airshow…my neighbor’s 1966 427 corvette firing up…tnx david.

  8. Jon Gallant
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Years ago, Portland enjoyed a funny little tourist railroad line that ran, IIRC, for a mile or two south from the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The owner was named Sam, so the line was called SAMTRAK.

  9. Mark R.
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Nice engines, and extremely complex looking. On the 4449 engine, are both those lenses on the front lights? Anyway, great way to stay busy during retirement (or during the pandemic for that matter).

    • Randall Schenck
      Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

      I think one light is the daytime light and one is at night?

      • Mark R.
        Posted August 13, 2020 at 11:13 pm | Permalink

        Aha, that makes sense.

  10. Pliny the in Between
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    That entire area has undergone such a revitalization over the last decade: OMSI, The Train Museum, the Tilikum Crossing Bridge, The new 99 bridge, The Esplanade, the OSHU south campus, Springwater Corridor. all within 10 minutes of osprey and Bald Eagles.

    Last time I was in the museum was during the festival lights, which is pretty cool in itself.

  11. rickflick
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I’m impressed! What a charming old technology. Well worthy of preservation. Congratulations to you David, and your organization.

    Question on funding – do you charge for rides to raise funds? I’d love to get a ride.

    In the second film, the cars look like they are pacing the train just to gawk out of admiration.

    • David L Jorling
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for your questions. Our main source of funding, besides grants and donations, is what we call the Holiday Express, which is our normal major fundraiser. Unfortunately, because of Covid, we had to cancel it this year. We also charged for rides on the excursion to Bend pictured in the second video. Unfortunaly, under the new Amtrack Rules, (and COVID) excursions like this are becoming rare. To keep up to date on our activities, check out our website:

      orhf.org

      And here is a video of the Holiday Express:

      https://orhf.org/events/holiday-express/

      Hopefully we will survive these troubled times.

      • rickflick
        Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        new Amtrack Rules: You must mean the one that says, People should spend more time studying their bible and worshiping God, and less time enjoying life. 🤨

  12. scruffycookie
    Posted August 13, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    Thanks so much! Fascinating stuff!

  13. Jonathan Wallace
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    I would not describe myself as a railway buff but I certainly enjoyed that video. What a magnificent machine! Wonderful landscape too. Thank you!

  14. Bruce
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    Thanks for all your work and efforts to help keep these trains alive – from a fellow Portlander

  15. Bob
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    The engines are beautiful. I am a third-generation railroader on the Erie Railroad. My father would take me down to the roundhouse in the Briar Hill area of Youngstown, Ohio where the Erie maintained these locomotives. Both my father and grandfather were engineers and drove the locomotives on the raod, shitching yards and in the Sheet and Tube steel mills in Youngstown, Ohio. I hired out as a yard brakeman in 1956 just as the Erie retired the last steam locomotive.

    As a child, my Dad took me on a steam locomotive and showed me how to toast my sandwich by putting it on a shovel and sticking it in the firebox.

    The steel mills died as did the railroads, mostly, and I ended up flying helicopters.

  16. Bob
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    The engines are beautiful. I am a third-generation railroader on the Erie Railroad. My father would take me down to the roundhouse in the Briar Hill area of Youngstown, Ohio where the Erie maintained these locomotives. Both my father and grandfather were engineers and drove the locomotives on the raod, shitching yards and in the Sheet and Tube steel mills in Youngstown, Ohio. I hired out as a yard brakeman in 1956 just as the Erie retired the last steam locomotive.

    As a child, my Dad took me on a steam locomotive and showed me how to toast my sandwich by putting it on a shovel and sticking it in the firebox.

    The steel mills died as did the railroads, mostly, and I ended up flying helicopters.

  17. Terry Pedersen
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Wonderful story, I love trains, beautiful examples shown here. The River trip is a thrill.


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