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The Holiday Train Ride

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  • matt picio
    Do you like trains? Do you like to ride your bike? Come join us this Saturday, December 15th as we ride from Portland s Union Station to Oaks Park to see one
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 10, 2007
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      Do you like trains? Do you like to ride your bike? Come join us this
      Saturday, December 15th as we ride from Portland's Union Station to Oaks
      Park to see one of the world's last remaining (and largest) operating steam
      engines - the SP4449!

      (for those who don't want to read the details, summary at bottom of post)

      Built in May 1941, the Southern Pacific #4449 is possibly the most
      recognized and photographed steam locomotive in the world. Retired in 1958
      and donated to the city of Portland, the SP4449 sat idle in Oaks park until
      1974, when it was restored and used to pull the American Freedom Train
      during the US Bicentennial Celebration. Since that time, the SP4449 has
      been maintained and operated by a dedicated corps of volunteers by the
      Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.

      We're not planning to ride the 4449, but the ORHF is selling tickets to ride
      the 4449 from Oaks Park (in one of the passenger cars, NOT the locomotive)
      to the start of the Springwater Trail and back (a 5 mile ride). The trip
      lasts about 40 minutes and tickets cost $15.50 for adults and $9.00 for
      children. This is their premier fundraising event - ticket revenues support
      the continued maintenance and operation of the locomotive. If you're
      interested, check out http://www.orhf.org/events/07holiday/index.html for
      details.

      Our ride will start at Portland's Union Station at 11am. We will hit a few
      historical spots where the 4449 has been before, cross the Steel Bridge
      along the Esplanade walkway and ride the Esplanade down to OMSI, and then
      follow the rail alignment until we get to Oaks Park. Depending on where the
      4449 is during its trip, we may pass it along the way.

      The ride is about 6 miles, and should take about an hour including stops.
      There are porta-potties at the end of the ride in Oaks Park. This is not a
      loop.

      Those who are interested in taking pictures / movies of the locomotives, I
      and other interested individuals will be riding up and down the route pacing
      the train or finding locations to shoot pictures and video as it passes by.
      You're welcome to stick around past sunset - the train is lit with holiday
      lights and will provide an unparalleled photographic experience well past
      sunset. Since every trip is potentially the last (fuel and insurance costs
      keep going up), I will likely stay until they stop running for the evening,
      or at least until the last group of us decides to find a local bar & grill.

      It will likely be cold, and possibly wet. Please dress to accommodate the
      weather, keep in mind that if you stay afterwards to photograph, you will
      spend part of your time standing idle in the cold. Near Oaks Park there are
      coffeeshops, restaurants and a New Seasons within 1/2 mile if you get
      hungry.

      Hope to see you there!

      -------
      Ride Summary
      -------

      Who: People on bikes! Railfans, kids, and people who just want to see the
      train!
      What: Ride to see the SP4449 Steam Locomotive
      Where: Union Station, NW 6th and Irving
      When: Saturday, December 15th at 11am
      Why: Why Not? Maybe you like trains, maybe you just want an excuse to ride
      - come join us!

      Pictures / Video of the 4449 from her December 9th, 2007 excursion:
      http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattpicio/sets/72157603421905429/
      http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=mattpicio


      Thanks,
      -matt p
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