Portland and Western Railroad

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Portland and Western Railroad Overview

The Portland and Western Railroad is a 466-mile Class II railroad serving the U.S. state of Oregon, and is a wholly owned subsidiary of shortline and regional railroad holding company Genesee & Wyoming Inc. The PNWR includes a subsidiary, the Willamette and Pacific Railroad.

PNWR's tracks lie entirely within Oregon, extending from Astoria to Portland along the Columbia River, from Portland to Eugene through the Willamette Valley, and along several spurs through the Northern Oregon Coast Range.

The Portland & Western's roots are in sister company Willamette and Pacific Railroad, founded in 1993. This company was created to take over operations on many branchlines of the Southern Pacific, a Class I railroad. These branches included the Toledo Branch from Albany to Toledo and the Westside Branch from Monroe to St. Joseph (near McMinnville), plus the Bailey Branch west from Monroe to a sawmill, the Dallas Branch from Gerlinger to Dallas, the Willamina Branch from Whiteson (near Amity) to Willamina, and the southern portion of the Newberg Branch from St. Joseph to Springbrook (north of Newberg). Lumber products and paper are the predominate commodity on these branches, along with some agricultural products from various shippers. The Cascade Steel Rolling Mill in McMinnville is an important shipper as well, and propane shipments are handled to several distributors.

PNWR was created in 1995 to take over operations of the remainder of the SP's branchlines in the state consisting of the former Southern Pacific Tillamook Branch between Willsburg Junction (near Milwaukie) and Hillsboro, the Westside–Seghers Branch from Hillsboro to Seghers (near Gaston), and the remaining segment of the Newberg Branch between Cook (near Tualatin) and Springbrook (near Newberg), connecting to the existing Willamette & Pacific network to McMinnville and Corvallis. The W&P had trackage rights on the Newberg Branch and the portion of the Tillamook Branch between Cook and Willsburg Junction, along with trackage rights on a short portion of SP's mainline to Brooklyn Yard to facilitate interchange with SP, however in the year prior to the P&W's formation the W&P had been interchanging with SP exclusively through the Eugene Yard gateway.

The railroad's first day of operation was August 18, 1995, and it began with 52 miles of line, leased from SP. Shortly after PNWR's startup, class one railroad Burlington Northern "spun off" part of its Oregon Electric Railway branchlines north of Salem to the new carrier.

According to former WPRR/PNWR General Manager Robert I. Melbo, the Portland & Western was created to take over the new lines, rather than just extending the WPRR, due to regulatory issues then in force. Originally, the Portland & Western has been operated as a "paper corporation". Its officers were the same as those of the sister WPRR, with which its lines are contiguous. WPRR locomotives and other equipment were used to operate the line, and all locomotives are painted and/or lettered for the PNWR as a publicity move. Operating crews were divided between the two companies, but in practice, crews of PNWR or WPRR would be used anywhere they were needed on the system.

The late 1990s brought changes to the relationship. System additions which brought with them more operations in Portland led the company to move its headquarters north from Albany to Salem, Oregon. With an increasing profile in the metro area, the Portland & Western became the predominant corporate image in December 2000. Everything from locomotives to letterheads began to bear the brand Portland & Western. In effect, the situation of 1995 has been reversed, and WPRR is now the paper corporation.

The combined PNWR/WPRR system has expanded rapidly. In 1997, PNWR acquired the "Astoria Line", running from Northwest Portland through to the deepwater Port of Astoria from Burlington Northern. At nearly 92 miles in length, the line brought a significant number of paper, lumber, and chemical customers onto the system. In 2002, PNWR acquired a long-term lease of the remaining Burlington Northern branches in the state, giving the company access to Salem and Eugene via its own tracks. The acquisition of the former allowed PNWR to make through movements from its Portland-area lines to its central yard at Albany without routing over the steep and curvy Rex Hill. Most of the former SP branches are operated via a twenty-year lease agreement, which in the wake of the 1996 Union Pacific-Southern Pacific merger, are now held by UP. The operations on the former BN branches are mixed between leases and outright ownership.

PNWR has a diverse traffic base based on carload commodities. Woodchips, paper, agricultural goods, and aggregates are all major sources of traffic. Primary amongst the road's over 135 customers are Georgia Pacific, Stimson Lumber Company, Cascade Steel Rolling Mills, and Hampton Lumber Sales. PNWR handles over 90,000 carloads annually.

PNWR operates between 20 and 30 trains per day over its system. PNWR's main yard, shops complex, and dispatcher are all located at Albany. Additional crew bases in St. Helens, Tigard, McMinnville, and Eugene. Executive offices are maintained in Salem.

Primary trains on the system are the "Harbor Turn/Albany Turn" pair, which runs from Portland through to Albany; the "Toledo Hauler", running from Albany over the Coast Range to Toledo; the "Eugene Hauler", from Albany to a Eugene interchange with UP over UP trackage rights; the "Westsider" running from Albany to McMinnville; and the Albany Hauler from Albany to a CORP interchange at Eugene, via the PNWR's leased BN trackage. In 2006, PNWR took over operation of the 663/664 train pair from BNSF Railway. These trains run between Vancouver, WA and Albany (663 is the southbound train, 664 goes north) and are PNWR's first to regularly operate outside of Oregon. They alternately use the Oregon Electric District out of Portland and a nearby Union Pacific line between Portland and Salem under an inherited trackage rights agreement. As of September 2008, PNWR was operating run-through unit grain trains from the BNSF to and from Port Westward on the Astoria Line west of Rainier. These trains currently run with BNSF locomotives.


Portland and Western Railroad interchanges with:

  • Albany & Eastern Railroad in Albany.
  • BNSF in Portland and Vancouver, WA.
  • Coos Bay Rail Line in Eugene.
  • Central Oregon & Pacific in Eugene.
  • Union Pacific in Eugene and Portland.

Commuter Rail

The PNWR line between Beaverton and Wilsonville is leased to TriMet for operation of its Westside Express Service (WES) commuter rail service. PNWR freight trains also continue to use the line, but not during times when the passenger trains are operating. Under a contract with TriMet, the trains are operated by PNWR crews.

Portland and Western Railroad Locomotives

Number Model Year(s) Built Paint Scheme History Notes
PNWR 101 RP-E4D 1961 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 101/NS 9728/NW 945.
PNWR 102 RP-E4D 1961 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 102/NS 9738/NW 956.
PNWR 1501 SD7R 1952 SP Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1501/SP 1530/SP 1401/SP 2701/SP 5280.
PNWR 1801 GP9E 1959 SP Black Widow w/WPRR Lettering Ex-WPRR 1801/SP 3855/SP 3693/SP 5830.
PNWR 1852 SD9E 1955 SP Paint w/WPRR Lettering Ex-WPRR 1852/SP 4397/SP 3916/SP 5438.
PNWR 1854 SD9 1955 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-LLW 4433/WVR 4433/SP 4433/SP 3904/SP 5426. Named "Beaverton."
PNWR 2005 GP38-3 1963 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-UTAH 2005/SP 6322/SP 6525/SP 7413.
PNWR 2152 GP38-2 1970 GMTX Paint w/PNWR Cab Markings Ex-GMTX 2683/LLPX 2023/CSX 9662/CSX 2118/BO 4818.
PNWR 2155 GP38-2 19?? G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-NS/SOU.
PNWR 2301 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2301/ATSF 3600. Named "Sheridan."
PNWR 2302 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2302/ATSF 3601. Named "Adair Village."
PNWR 2303 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-WPRR 2303/ATSF 3602.
PNWR 2304 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-WPRR 2304/ATSF 3603. Named "Corvallis."
PNWR 2305 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2305/ATSF 3604. Named "Dallas."
PNWR 2306 GP39-2 1974 ATSF Paint w/WPRR Logos Ex-WPRR 2306/ATSF 3605.
PNWR 2307 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2307/ATSF 3606. Named "Independence."
PNWR 2308 GP39-2 1974 ATSF Paint w/WPRR Logos Ex-WPRR 2308/ATSF 3607.
PNWR 2309 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-WPRR 2309/ATSF 3608. Named "Philomath."
PNWR 2310 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2310/ATSF 3609. Named "Monroe."
PNWR 2311 GP39-2 1974 ATSF Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2311/ATSF 3610.
PNWR 2312 GP39-2 1974 ATSF Paint w/WPRR Logos Ex-WPRR 2312/ATSF 3611.
PNWR 2313 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2313/ATSF 3612. Named "Lake Oswego."
PNWR 2314 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-WPRR 2314/ATSF 3613. Named "McMinnville."
PNWR 2315 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-WPRR 2315/ATSF 3614. Named "Willamina."
PNWR 2316 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-WPRR 2316/ATSF 3615. Named "Albany."
PNWR 2317 GP39-2 1974 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 2317/ATSF 3616. Named "Tigard."
PNWR 3001 GP40P-2 1967 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 3001/NS 1377/NW 1377. Named "Wilsonville." Slug mother.
PNWR 3002 GP40P-2 1967 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 3002/NS 1382/NW 1382. Named "Clatskanie." Slug mother.
PNWR 3003 GP40 1967 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-SLR 3203/LLPX 3203/EMDX 200/GOT 725/CRIP 3004/CRIP 380.
PNWR 3004 GP40 1967 SLR Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-SLR 3204/LLPX 3204/EMDX 201/GOT 726/CRIP 3000/CRIP 381.
PNWR 3005 GP40 1967 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-LLPX 3205/EMDX 202/GOT 720/CRIP 3005/CRIP 374.
PNWR 3006 GP40 1967 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos & 25th Anniversary Lettering Ex-LLPX 3208/EMDX 205/GOT 721/CRIP 3002/CRIP 375.
PNWR 3007 GP40 1967 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-LLPX 3007/LLPX 3211//LLPX 4401/EMDX 206/GOT 722/CRIP 3003/CRIP 376.
PNWR 3051 SD40-3 1969 KCS Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-KCS 612/CNW 943.
PNWR 3052 SD40-3 1970 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-PNWR 3603/IMRL 450/BP 450/HATX 7537/SP 7537/SSW 9153.
PNWR 3053 SD40-3 1968 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-PNWR 3604/IMRL 456/HATX 7565/SP 7565/SSW 8973.
PNWR 3369 SD40-2 1978 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-HLCX 7839/BNSF 7839/CS 7839.

Former Portland and Western Railroad Locomotives

Number Model Year(s) Built Paint Scheme History Notes
BPRR 301 GP40 1968 BPRR Paint Ex-BPRR 301/ALY 301/ALY 101/CR 3242/PC 3242. Reassigned to BPRR in 2004. Now BPRR 3021.
PNWR 1201 SW1200 1953 WPRR Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1201/PS 1866/PS 232. Sold in 2019 to AERC.
PNWR 1202 SW1200 1953 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1202/PS 1774/PS 233. Sold in 2000. Now RLIX 1202.
PNWR 1551 SW1500 1969 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1551/GNWR 47/HBT 50. Reassigned to CWRY.
PNWR 1552 SW1500 1970 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-PNWR 41/IMRR 41/SP 2556. Reassigned to CWRY/HOG.
PNWR 1802 GP9 1956 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1802/AUNW 44/KYLE 5944/DRGW 5944. Wrecked 2004. Scrapped 2005. Named "Lake Oswego."
PNWR 1803 GP9E 1957 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1803/LDRR 1752/SP 3790/SP 3579/SP 5738. Reassigned to OYLO in 2017 and PSAP in 2018.
PNWR 1804 GP9R 1958 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WC 4508/CNW 4508/MSTL 710. Now NVR 69. Named "Eugene."
PNWR 1805 GP9E 1959 White Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-SP 3822/SP 3659/TNO 455. Now PT 1805.
PNWR 1851 SD9 1954 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1851/SP 4326/SP 3819/SP 5360. Scrapped. Named "Hillsboro."
PNWR 1853 SD7R 1953 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1853;/SP 1532/SP 1409/SP 2709/SP 5288. Scrapped 2009. Named "Forest Grove."
PNWR 1855 SD9 1974 CIM Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-WPRR 1855/CIM 54. Scrapped 2004.
PNWR 3300 SD40-3MR 1968 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-EMDX 2000/EMDX 6340/BN 6340/CS 880. Now AEX 100020. Named "Salem."
PNWR 3601 SD45 1967 G&W Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-IMRL 462/HATX 462/HCRY 462/HATX 922/SP 7496/SP 8862. Reassigned to BPRR. Now BPRR 462.
PNWR 3602 SD45 1968 SP Paint w/PNWR Logos Ex-IMRL 463/HATX 463/HCRY 463/HATX 4532/SP 7562/SP 8941. Reassigned to BPRR. Later scrapped at LTEX in 2012.

Astoria District Customers

  • Runs from Gasco (Portland) to Wauna.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
Pacific Terminal Services Portland Bulk Liquid Transload Tank Cars
ExxonMobil Portland Oil Products Tank Cars
Nustar Energy Portland Oil Products Tank Cars
Atlantic Richfield Portland Oil Company Tank Cars
Harmer Steel Products Linnton Steel Products Flatcars
Kinder Morgan Energy Linnton Petroleum Products Tank Cars
Owens Corning Trumbull Linnton Asphalt Manufacturer Tank Cars
Knife River Linnton Asphalt Manufacturer Tank Cars
Letica St. Helens Plastic Packaging Company Covered Hoppers
McCormick Piling & Lumber St. Helens Pilling & Lumber Yard Flatcars
ORPET St. Helens Plastic Recycling Boxcars
Cascades Tissue St. Helens Tissue Paper Products Boxcars
West Oregon Wood Products Columbia City Wood Products Boxcars
Dyno Nobel Deer Island Industrial & Mining Explosives Covered Hoppers/Tank Cars
Teevin Terminal Rainier Log & Lumber Transload Centerbeam Flatcars/Log Flatcars
USG Corporation Rainier Building Materials Centerbeam Flatcars/Boxcars/Covered Hoppers/Tank Cars
Columbia Pacific Bio Refinery Clatskanie Bio Refinery Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers
Stimson Lumber Clatskanie Lumber Mill Centerbeam Flatcars
Georgia Pacific Wauna Tissue Paper Products Boxcars/Covered Hoppers

Dallas District Customers

  • Runs from Gerlinger to Dallas.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
Nutrien Ag Solutions Rickreall Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers
Willamette Biomass Processors Rickreall Oil Seed Processor Covered Hoppers

Oregon Electric District Customers

  • Runs from Eugene to Beaverton (TriMet BTC).
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
Specialty Laminates Eugene Scrapyard Gondolas
M&P Reload and Warehousing Eugene Transload Terminal & Warehouse Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars
Schnitzer Steel Eugene Scrapyard Gondolas
Ferrellgas Eugene Propane Supplier Tank Cars
Murphy Company Eugene Engineered Wood Products Boxcars
Georgia-Pacific Chemicals Eugene Chemical Company Tank Cars
Tyree Oil Eugene Petroleum Products Tank Cars
Teevin Brothers Eugene Log Yard Log Flatcars
PakTech Eugene Packaging Company Covered Hoppers
Carson Eugene Petroleum Products Tank Cars
Murphy Plywood Eugene Plywood Manufacturer Boxcars
McFarland Cascade Eugene Utility Poles Flatcars
Seneca Jones Timber Eugene Sawmill Centerbeam Flatcars
States Industries Eugene Engineered Wood Products Boxcars
Lafarge Eugene Cement Terminal Covered Hoppers
Alpine Lumber & Building Products Junction City Lumber Yard Centerbeam Flatcars
Junction City Reload Junction City Transload Terminal & Warehouse Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars/Bulkhead Flatcars
Hunton's Seed Warehouse Junction City Agricultural Products Covered Hoppers/Tank Cars
Cascade Warehouse Junction City Lumber Transload Centerbeam Flatcars
Eagle Veneer Junction City Plywood Supplier Boxcars
CHS Nutrition Harrisburg Animal Feed Manufacturer Covered Hoppers
Eagle Plywood Specialties Harrisburg Plywood Manufacturer Boxcars Active shipper?
Willamette AG Harrisburg Fertilizer Supplier Tank Cars
Knife River Prestress Harrisburg Concrete Supplier Covered Hoppers
Hayworth Seed Warehouse Harrisburg Agricultural Products Covered Hoppers
Lonnie Parker Farms Harrisburg Agricultural Warehouse Boxcars Active shipper?
Pimm Warehouse Halsey Agricultural Warehouse Boxcars/Covered Hoppers Active shipper?
Georgia-Pacific Halsey Tissue Paper Products Boxcars/Covered Hoppers
Smith Seed Halsey Agricultural Seed Boxcars
Wilbur-Ellis Halsey Agricultural Nutrition Products Covered Hoppers
Parker & Parker Warehouse Shedd Agricultural Warehouse Boxcars Active shipper?
Mclagan Farms Tangent Agricultural Warehouse Boxcars Active shipper?
Corvalis Feed & Seed Albany Agricultural Products Covered Hoppers/Boxcars Active shipper?
ATI Metals Albany Metal Products Tank Cars
Arauco Albany Wood Products Boxcars
Weyerhaeuser Millersburg Lumber Distribution Center Centerbeam Flatcars/Boxcars
Camco Manufacturing Millersburg RV & Camping Products Tank Cars/Covered Hoppers
Cascade Warehouse Salem Warehouse Boxcars
Capital City Companies Salem Warehouse Boxcars
Cascade Warehouse Salem Lumber Yard/Transload Centerbeam Flatcars
Fitzmaurice Fertilizer Salem Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers
Nutrien Ag Solutions Brooks Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers/Tank Cars
Marion Ag Service Brooks Grain Elevator & Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers Active shipper?
Knife River Corporation Brooks Aggregate Loading Open Hoppers
Agricultural Transload St. Louis Transload Terminal Covered Hoppers
Wilbur-Ellis Company Woodburn Animal Feed & Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers
Skylane Farms Woodburn Feed Mill Covered Hoppers
Marion Ag Service Hubbard Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers
Valley Agronomics Donald Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers
Foster Farms Aurora Feed Mill Covered Hoppers
Knife River Corporation Tonquin Aggregate Loading Open Hoppers
Praxair Tualatin Industrial Gases Tank Cars
Willamette Graystone Tualatin Stone Products Boxcars Active shipper?
Huttig Building Products Tigard Building Products Boxcars
Suburban Propane Tigard Propane Terminal Tank Cars
International Paper Recycling Beaverton Paper Recycling Boxcars
Pacific Lumber & Truss Beaverton Lumber Yard Boxcars
International Paper Beaverton Paper Container Plant Boxcars

Seghers District Customers

  • Runs from Hillsboro to Stimson-Forestex.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
Cement Transload Hillsboro Transload Terminal Covered Hoppers Located in the middle of the Hillsboro Wye.
Lakeside Industries Hillsboro Paving Materials Open Hoppers
MGC Pure Chemicals Forest Grove Chemical Company Tank Cars Future customer?
Stimson Lumber Stimson-Forestex Lumber Mill Boxcars/Centerbeam Flatcars

Tillamook District Customers

  • Runs from Brooklyn (Portland) to Banks.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
Alpine Food Distributing Milwaukie Warehouse Refrigerated Boxcars/Boxcars/Covered Hoppers
Fought & Company Tigard Steel Fabrication Flatcars/Steel Coil Cars
Hampton Lumber Banks Lumber Mill Centerbeam Flatcars

Toledo District Customers

  • Runs from Albany to Toledo.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
TTT Timber Philomath Pole Yard Flatcars
Georgia-Pacific Philomath Lumber Mill Centerbeam Flatcars
Patrick Lumber Philomath Lumber Mill Covered Hoppers Unsure if this is active?
Lumber Transload Toledo Lumber Yard Centerbeam Flatcars
Georgia-Pacific Toledo Lumber Mill Boxcars/Woodchip Hoppers

Westside District Customers

  • Runs from Cook (Lake Oswego) to Corvallis Juncton.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
Northstar Chemical Sherwood Chemical Company Tank Cars
Ultra Quiet Floors Newberg Concrete Contractor Boxcars
Tool Craft Dayton Metal Fabrication Tank Cars Active shipper?
McMinnville Gas McMinnville Propane Terminal Tank Cars
Cascade Steel McMinnville Steel Mill Hoppers/Gondolas/Steel Coil Cars/Covered Hoppers/Flatcars
RB Rubber Products McMinnville Rubber Products Boxcars
Land O'Lakes Purina Feed McMinnville Feed Mill Covered Hoppers
Valley Agronomics Whiteson Agronomy Company Covered Hoppers
Buchanan Cellers Whiteson Winery Warehouse Boxcars Active shipper?
Marion AG Services McCoy Agricultural Company & Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers/Tank Cars/Boxcars
Burlingham Seeds Derry Seed Supplier Covered Hoppers
Derry Warehouse Derry Grain Elevator Covered Hoppers
Simplot Grower Solutions Independence Fertilizer Supplier Covered Hoppers
Wilbur-Ellis Suver Fertilizer Supplier Tank Cars
Valley Landfills Process & Recovery Center Adair Village Landfill Hoppers Active shipper?

Willamina District Customers

  • Runs from Whiteson to Willamina.
Customer Location Company Description Type of Railcar Notes
McFarland Cascade Sheridan Utility Pole Manufacturer Flatcars
Hampton Lumber Willamina Lumber Mill Centerbeam Flatcars

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