Special thanks to the Oregon Pacific Railroad, the Pacific Railroad Preservation Assoc. and
all the volunteers for a wonderful event!
Click here to visit the official PRPA SP&S 700 website
Click here to return to our SP&S 700 website
Click here to return to our Abandoned & Active Railroads of the Northwest Mainpage.
Last Update:  September 17, 2006
SP&S 700 Farewell to Steam Anniversary Excursion Movie
77 Mb - 17 minutes long  -  Requires Quicktime  Click here if you have a PC.

This movie is a condensed version of a 1 hour DVD made of the event.   The full movie will soon be available on DVD
through the
PRPA Concessions to help support the SP&S 700.
50th Anniversary Celebration of the Farewell to Steam Excursion.

Very Special Thanks to Dick and Kelly of the Oregon Pacific RR and the entire
PRPA crew for a job well done.   This event was
a success that everyone who worked very hard to put it on, should be proud of.   

On June 10th and 11th,  the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association brought the SP&S 700 out for public excursion rides.   
Once again, the Oregon Pacific Railroad graciously allowed the 700 to be run on their East Portland line, between Oaks Park
and near Omsi.  

This event was meant to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Farewell to Steam Excursion.
That event occurred on May 20, 1956 after the three 700 series SP&S locomotives were retired from service.   The SP&S
repainted the No. 700 and gave a final excursion run carrying 1400 passengers in 21 cars from Portland, Oregon to Wishram,
Washington and back.

Within a few years, the No. 700 would be donated to the City of Portland and placed on display in Oaks Park.   It may have
never been envisioned then, but 50 years later would prove to be anything but farewell to steam and the 700.  

On June 10, 2006, the SP&S 700 returned to Oaks Park, its former home for some 30 years.  But this time, instead of sitting
silently in the park, it was alive and well and once again carrying passengers on yet another excursion run.  

Dick and Kelly of the Oregon Pacific Railroad were gracious enough to allow the PRPA to operate the 700 on their railroad.   
This was not the first time the 700 visited the Oregon Pacific Railroad and it will likely not be the last.  

Tickets were offered to the public for an extremely reasonable price, which included a run from Oaks Park to Omsi and back.  
Runs occurred roughly every hour both Saturday and Sunday.  

Despite a busy weekend, with numerous other events going on around the city of Portland, including the Rose Festival, turn out
was a success.   Beautiful weather, a hard working crew and well running 700 combined to create a wonderful and successful
event as evidenced by all the smiles and amazed expressions of the passengers fortunate enough to ride behind one of the
largest operating steam locomotives around.
Map of the area and specific locations.  This map is from my Holiday Express 2005 page, but shows the same railroad that this event was run on.
Specifications of the SP&S 700 from a PRPA board that was on display at the event.
June 9, 2006
On June 9th in the mid afternoon, the 700 and her crew prepared for departure from the Brooklyn Roundhouse in Portland, Oregon.    By the time I arrived, the 700 was
already back out of the roundhouse, sitting on a siding preparing to hook up to her consist.
A quick tour of the cab while waiting for approval from UP to depart to Oaks Park.
Just before departure, the 700 was hooked to the consist to two passenger cars.    The 700 then departed the Brooklyn yard, rear first.   This would allow the 700 to arrive at
Oaks Park with the front end facing south and giving the best view for everyone coming to see the locomotive over the weekend.
June 10 & 11, 2006
Demand to ride the train was high enough that the first passenger run was actually moved up so that waiting folks could ride the train sooner.   Speeders were invited to the
event and also gave rides to passengers in between the 700 runs.    The PRPA was on hand with its concessions trailer as well as the
Operation Lifesaver educational trailer.
On my first ride of the 700 I spent a good deal of time at the rear of the caboose with a great view of the Oregon Pacific's East Portland trackage.    Note the very popular
and often crowded bike trail on the left.   At one time this line was a double track with the bike trail actually being a former rail line.   Later, the track on the right (the one
the that the train rides on today)  was abandoned and torn up.   But after the city decided to run a trail through this area, they relocated the Oregon Pacific trackage back
to what is the right side in these views and built this paved trail over the railroad grade.
Views from the Oregon Pacific Caboose and another view of the 700 as it backs up for another trip down the railroad.
A speeder club was invited to the event and made a major showing, offering rides to dozens of passengers between Oaks Park and the Oregon Pacific shops.   Note how
the jack mechanisms that allows the speeders to be easily lifted up and turned around by one person.
Views of the 700 and caboose both leaving and returning to Oaks Park.    The photo on the right shows the crew of the 700 filling up one of the car's air conditioning
system.
These views of the 700 include a rare view of the 700 at the Oregon Pacific East Portland Yard from the Ross Island Bridge and several cab views while the 700 was
preparing to depart East Portland back to Oaks Park.
These views include a view from the Oregon Pacific caboose, refilling the tender from a fire hydrant at East Portland and myself filming from the caboose on a return trip
from East Portland to Oaks Park.
Some final views of the 700 one of the last runs of the weekend.   The event by all accounts was a success.   
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