Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Crossing

Burlington Northern 7102, May 1989, Vancouver Washington. I’ve got two tubs of loose photos that I have been avoiding like the plague. Because I know most of the photos have no information on the back of them, you know, the “who, what, where, when, why and how.”

I guess at the time you think, “I’ll remember this and that.” But as time goes by, and the settings of life change, the information is lost.

This one really stymied me though, for two reasons: First, I had absolutely no interest in the Burlington Northern, and second, "Big Sky Blue" and “Cascade Green” are perhaps the ugliest paint schemes to come out of corporate. Yet there are not one, but two shots of this locomotive.

And of course, not a damn thing on the back of the photos - save a small machine stamped date: May. 1989.

Slowly but surely pattern matching began taking place in my mind: While the striped parking lot looks like the train station in Vancouver, the station has a raised sidewalk and plantings. So it wasn’t taken at the Amtrak Station.

Ah! May 1989. That was the year Patti and I got married at the Crossing Restaurant. And that is the back parking lot adjacent to the old Spokane, Portland & Seattle main (now BN. Well, now BNSF.) So I did not take this photo; Patti did. With her brand new Nikon 8008 that I got her for a wedding present.

Thus vindicated that I did not shoot a BN greenie, I wondered if "The Crossing" was still there. I emailed an acquaintance down at the "Colombian" in Vancouver. She responded yesterday confirming that it was gone.

"Location, location, location."
The Crossing Restaurant opened with great promise in 1975. The owners were restaurant savvy, with a proven track record in the area. While it was easy for the owners to crane their cars off the adjacent mainline, it was sequestered several blocks away from Main Street in the industrial area of Vancouver.

Looking down from the satellite, you can see the relationship "The Crossing" had to the Vancouver Amtrak station. "The Crossing" was adjacent to the old SP&S (now BNSF) line, which made it easy to move six rail cars onto the property, thus creating a rail theme restaurant.

The "site" was built around three dining cars; Spokane, Portland & Seattle, Great Northern, and Chicago, Burlington & Quincy. For meetings (and weddings) the Northern Pacific business car "Green River" with its magnificent dark mahogany woodwork and original massive mahogany conference table at one end.

Rounding out the "site," a Spokane, Portland & Seattle boxcar for storage, and a Northern Pacific caboose used as an office.

Everything was joined together with space for offices, reception, kitchen, bar, and dance hall.

[click photo]

Pattie and I were married in the Northern Pacific "Green River" in May 1989. Here the obligatory wedding party photo, on the rear deck of the "Green River."

It was a favorite venue for our Chamber of Commerce “Business to Business” after work mixers. I took business contacts there for lunch or dinner, simply because I was a “rail fan.” But it just never clicked with the population, due mainly to it’s out of the way location.

I understand the final operating name was "7th Street Station." After 31 years of struggling under various owners, it unexpectedly shut down just after New Years 2005. It sat idle until it was sold and trucked away, beginning in January 2006. In this Microsoft "BirdsEye" view, you can see heavy equipment "digging" the cars out for removal.

Apparently some fellow in Beaverton Oregon bought the cars. There was a lot of HO equipment on display, along with other memorabilia, some of which was auctioned off on eBay, and a collection has been donated to the City Museum.

Let me know through the “Comments” below if you know where the rolling stock ended up!

Railroad Stuff: Burlington Northern 7102, built by General Motors as a 3,000 horsepower Special Duty (SD) 40-2, in LaGrange Illinois, November 1978, serial number 786166-28. Became CEFX (CIT Group/Capital Finance Incorporated) 7102, and renumbered again CEFX 3175.

Photo Credit to Brian McCamish, who has a lot of cabeese photos!

See also: Annoying Loose Ends.

2 Comments - Click here:

Haley's Dad said...

One of the cars ended up west of the station at Rye on the Portland & Vancouver Jct. Railroad. I believe it is the green car that was near the front entrance.

Sheldon Perry said...

Sadly, some of the cars were destroyed on site. At least two that I know of.

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