Last Update:  September 25, 2008
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Brian McCamish
In Search of History Expeditions
Active & Abandoned Railroads of the Northwest
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American Steel, a major Portland Metro Area steel manufacturing company, relocated its Portland facility to near the City of
Canby in 2007.   The new facility sits on more than 10 acres and includes an almost 200,000 square foot building and is
located at 525 S. Sequoia Parkway, Canby, Oregon.  
American Steel Homepage.

The new facility is part of a larger industrial park planned by the City of Canby with American Steel being the first customer to
build on the site.   Because American Steel will be shipping and receiving loads by rail and because the OPR Molalla Branch
is located right next to the industrial park, the OPR now has a new customer.   To service this new customer, a rail spur had to
be built off of the OPR Molalla Branch.   In addition to a spur dedicated specifically to American Steel, the OPR has begun
construction on a drill track that will parallel the current Molalla Branch next to the planned Canby Industrial Park expansion.  
This will allow for the OPR to store cars for American Steel and add new spurs as they become needed into the industrial park.

Planning and construction of the American Steel spur began in late 2007, with most work being done in the spring and early
summer of 2008.   The spur was completed in July 2008 and the first American Steel revenue loads were shipped over the
spur on August 11, 2008.

Construction of the drill track was begun in early 2008 and work continues on this project.

The American Steel spur has a grade of approximately 2.6% and is located approximately 1 mile south of the UP/OPR

In anticipation of the increased traffic, the OPR purchased an additional locomotive, the
No. 901 in the fall of 2007 and it was
transferred to the Molalla Branch in August 2008.
American Steel Complex Under Construction
American Steel's Canby Facility under construction in early 2008, Tim Samuels photos
American Steel's Canby Facility under construction in spring 2008, OPR photos
American Steel's facility is located several feet above the OPR grade and these photos show some early grading of the new spur.
Tim Samuels photos
Bringing the land down to grade level, early photos of the spur construction, Tim Samuels photos
Major excavation of land for the new drill track.   Most of the dirt was hauled by the dump cars and the 802 to the Canby wye.  Work continues
on this project.   Tim Samuels photos
Wes Rail constructed the spur leading from the derail switch onto American Steel property and into the facility, Tim Samuels photos
The OPR crew finishing up the final section of the spur, connecting American Steel's to the OPR, Tim Samuels photos
American Steel - Canby Industrial Park
American Steel Spur Under Construction
Canby Industrial Park Drill Track Under Construction
The completed spur as viewed from the Molalla Branch mainline, up the spur and into the American Steel building.
Moving the 901 from the East Portland Branch to the Molalla Branch
These views show the 901 behind the 1202 on its way to East Portland Junction, where it was taken by the UP to the Molalla Branch.   Three
pictures on the left are at the Milwaulkie Shops.   The picture on the far right is at Golf Junction with Mr. Samuels at the controls of 1202.
The 901 was moved over the weekend of August 9, 2008.
The 901 having arrived at the Molalla Branch in a string of cars delivered to the OPR by the UP.   In these pictures it sits in the middle of those cars
on the UP/OPR interchange track at Canby.
901 started switching the moment it was fired up for the first time on the Molalla Branch, moving cars back and out of the way, along with the 802,
in preparation for moving the first coil car to American Steel that morning.   The 901 will now be the primary locomotive on the Molalla Branch,
augmented by the 801 and the 802.  The 802 will eventually come back to Milwaulkie for some work and a possible repaint.
The first revenue move to American Steel
The first of many future moves included a single coil car.  The car was set out on the spur to allow the 901 to move other cars out of the way.   The
new drill track, will make these operations much easier when completed.   The 901 then backs the coil car up the 2.6% grade onto American
Steel property.
The 901 then backs the coil car into the American Steel building.  The large loading area will accommodate multiple cars.
The 901 then cuts away and heads out the huge door back towards the Molalla Branch.
From left to right:
Brian Samuels (OPR) - Steve Francis (American Steel) - Craig Samuels (OPR) - Steve Mikels (American Steel)
Richard Samuels (owner, OPR) - Tim Samuels (OPR)

A new video is now available, which showcases OPR's first day of switching cars at American Steel
and the customer appreciation barbecue given to American Steel and its employees by the OPR.

OPR and American Steel Video
28 minutes long,  101MB
Customer Appreciation Barbecue for American Steel
A view of the barbecue with the Jim Carr & the Countrymen band on hand to provide music for the crowd.
Speeder rides were given to the employees and families of American Steel.  They were first off loaded at RSG in Liberal.   Then the speeders
headed to American Steel where they picked up passengers and gave rides throughout the afternoon on the OPR Molalla Branch.
The OPR No. 901 was also at the event.  The 901 is the primary locomotive for the Molalla Branch and is now the regular switcher at  American
Steel.   Here, it was on display for the employees and families and Mr. Samuels gave a number of cab rides on the locomotive between American
Steel and the Canby wye.
On September 6, 2008, the OPR hosted a customer appreciation event at the American Steel facility near Canby, Oregon.  
American Steel is the OPR's newest customer on the Molalla Branch and a celebration was held for American Steel
employees.   The number of attendees was in the hundreds.  On hand were almost a dozen railroad speeders who gave rides
to the attendees on the Molalla Branch in addition to locomotive rides on the
No. 901 provided by Mr. Samuels.   Food and a
live country band was provided by the OPR.   Everyone appeared to have a great time!
Additional photos of the event, showing American Steel employees riding the speeders along the branch, viewing the locomotive and enjoying the
Check out our new video dedicated to American Steel.

OPR and American Steel Video
28 minutes long,  101MB