Rolling Dreams Portraits of the Northwest's Railroad Heritage by Burkhardt SC

Rolling Dreams Portraits of the Northwest's Railroad Heritage by Burkhardt SC

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Rolling Dreams Portraits of the Northwest's Railroad Heritage by Burkhardt SC
 
Rolling Dreams Portraits of the Northwests Railroad Heritage by D C Jesse Burkhardt Soft Cover 1997 86 pages Focuses on Washington and Oregon, with glimpses into northern California and the Columbia River Gorge.  78 color images, 12 b&w images.  
It's amazing how suddenly everything shifted. Until the mid-1980s, the major railroads were holding on to most of their branchlines. Except for the occasional abandonment of aging, unprofitable lines without high-volume shippers, the big Western carriers -Southern Pacific, Union Pacific, Burlington Northern -continued to send trains into the rustic landscapes of the Northwest to pick up two or three hoppers at an isolated grain elevator; continued to venture far from the hustling metropolitan hubs to pick up a flatcar or two of lumber at a backwoods sawmill.
When Washington State University Press published my first book, Backwoods Railroads: Branchlines and Shortlines of Western Oregon, in June 1994, the rail transportation network in the Pacific Northwest was changing so quickly it proved difficult to set a rational stopping point for the work. Holding its publication until 1994 proved to be auspicious timing, however, because there were dramatic shifts in the Northwest's railroad network in 1993-94 - shifts that would alter the railroad landscape forever.
By the end of 1994, Southern Pacific Transportation Company's remaining Oregon branchlines had been axed, concluding a trend ongoing for a number of years. The process began in earnest in February 1993, as SP shed the West Side Branch, Bailey Branch, Toledo Branch, and segments of the Newberg Branch, all of which went to the fledgling Willamette & Pacific Railroad. At the same time, the Molalla Branch was sold to the Molalla Western Railway. Then,
SP's Geer Branch and Stayton Branch were leased to the Willamette Valley Railroad.
And the changes didn't end there.
On December 31, 1994, SP's Coos Bay Line and the storied Siskiyou Line were handed over to the newly-created Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad. CO&P bought most of the 300-mile Siskiyou Line outright, and signed a lease to operate the entire 138-mile Coos Bay Line. The $18 million transaction pulled another 438 miles out of the SP system. It also brought local management of the two rural lines closer to home, because while Southern Pacific was based in San Francisco, CO&P located its headquarters on the Siskiyou Line in Roseburg, Oregon - at the heart of one of the state's most intensive lumber-producing regions.
SP's plan to drop its anemic feeder lines was aggressive. In 1990, SP owned and operated more than 700 miles of branchlines in Oregon. By the beginning of 1995, SP operated essentially none.
Union Pacific was busily engaged in line spin-offs as well, selling its 84-mile Joseph Branch (between La Grande and Joseph, Oregon) to the Idaho Northern & Pacific Railroad in November 1993. The
Idaho Northern & Pacific bought three other UP branches as well, all of them in western Idaho: Nampa to Cascade, Payette to Emmett, and Weiser to Rubicon - in combination, about 295 miles.

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