Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Weyerhaeuser 031

Weyerhaeuser Spreader 031, Klamath Falls 1967. Robert E. Strahorn envisioned a railroad that would connect the Southern Pacific rail line in Klamath Falls with the Nevada-California-Oregon line in Lakeview, the Union Pacific line in Burns, and the Great Northern’s line in Bend.

Construction began on July 6, 1917 on the Oregon, California & Eastern Railroad. By 1923 the line had reached the community of Sprague River. Six years later the Railway reached Bly, which became the end of the line for the OC&E Railway.

Logging camps with spur railroads sprang up almost overnight, and by 1919, four lumber mills were located on the main line. The engines transported carloads of enormous pine logs to the mills, often carrying as much as one million board feet a day!

And this fragile looking wooden Spreader had pushed many a snowflake over the mountains into Bly.

Enter Weyerhaeuser. Weyerhaeuser had extensive timber holdings west of Klamath Falls, reaching all the way westward into Jackson County. In addition, the timber giant owned blocks east of Klamath Falls, and determined to run their own line eastward to tap that timber, rather than working out tariffs with the OC&E already established very close to their timber holdings.

In the end, however, concessions were agreed to, and Weyerhaeuser became OC&E’s largest customer, a relationship that existed into the mid 1970’s. This link will take you to the
compete history of this mutualistic relationship between the two entities.

In 1990, OC&E’s incarnation as a logging railroad ended. Weyerhaeuser Timber Company railbanked the right-of-way to the Oregon State Parks and Recreation Department, and the transition from a railroad to a trail began.

And so the line lives on! Welcome to the OC&E Woods Line State Trail, Oregon’s longest linear park! This 100-mile trail is built on the old railbed of the Oregon, California, and Eastern Railroad (OC&E).

The trail, which is open to all non-motorized recreation, begins in the heart of Klamath Falls, and extends east to Bly and north to the Sycan Marsh.

Bly, Oregon is also the site of the only American
causalities in the Continental US during the Second World War. Five Americans were killed here by a Japanese bomb.

And what became of Weyerhaeuser Spreader 031? Well she can be found at the
Train Mountain Railroad Museum in Chiloquin, Oregon.

Railroad Stuff: Weyerhaeuser Timber Company Spreader #031. I’m not so sure this is a Jordan Spreader. There were other manufacturers including Bucyrus, Mann-McCann, and even homebuilt. Let me know!

1 Comments - Click here:

Anonymous said...

This is an ex Great Morthern Ry snowdozer built by the railway. They still use more modern versions.

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