Railroad operation at The Dalles, OR

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Railroad operation at The Dalles, OR

Postby RailVet » Tue Jan 27, 2009 8:37 pm

This article in the local paper in The Dalles, OR, notes the dormant rail operation at The Dalles Dam, run by the US Army Corps of Engineers, will not be revived.

http://www.thedalleschronicle.com/news/ ... 9-01.shtml

Note that the article inaccurately describes the rail operation as narrow gauge.

Two locomotives known to operate there were an ex-Army GE 25-ton and a GE 45-ton that was operated by the Army, Navy, and Marines before coming to this location. Both were built during WW II. A picture of the 45-ton can be found on this page:

http://www.u-s-history.com/or/d/dalledtt.htm
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Re: The Dalles, OR

Postby wigwagfan » Sat Feb 07, 2009 12:37 am

Wow, thanks for the link - I have not seen any reference of this until now.

I'm a little surprised that they don't consider a trolley. After all, it'd be electric, and they generate plenty of cheap electricity right on site - what could be "greener"? I'm sure that if they talked to the folks over at the Oregon Electric Railway Museum (in Brooks, near Salem) that the OERHS would gladly accept the Whitcomb and the flatcar in exchange for a trolley and some labor to be used to rehabilitate the dam track for a trolley. TriMet has four Vintage Trolleys that see very little use (and there have been internal calls to get rid of them), so why not move one east?
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Re: The Dalles, OR

Postby RailVet » Sat Feb 07, 2009 7:38 pm

I'm told the tours were suspended after 9-11 due to security concerns, so it doesn't matter what equipment is used. Also, I think that's a GE 45-ton, not a Whitcomb.
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Re: The Dalles, OR

Postby wigwagfan » Tue Feb 10, 2009 10:06 pm

Maybe you're right, I swore it was a Whitcomb but it's been years since I've seen it...

The security concerns can be resolved -- in fact at The Dalles Dam, it's probably easier to secure it since private automobiles are always kept from the powerhouse. Just run everyone through a metal detector before boarding the train/trolley, prohibit bags...

Unlike Bonneville Dam to the west, where all vehicles must go through a vehicle inspection before driving over the bridge over the navigation lock, over the south powerhouse, and onto Bradford Island where the Visitor's Center is located. Plus, at Bonneville tours of the powerhouse are still available - however they are now guided tours unlike before when you could just "walk right in" (to a vistor's balcony on the south powerhouse, and along a special walkway at the north powerhouse).

The Washington side Visitor's Center is built into the north Powerhouse...

At Bonneville, the only thing that has been more-or-less permanently closed to the public is the navigation lock (which is unfortunate because it was built specifically with a number of visitors' features). At The Dalles, the lock is located on the north side of the dam, well away from the visitors' facilities.
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Locomotive

Postby RailVet » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:38 pm

The GE 45-ton locomotive used at this location was ex-USMC 279670. It had previously been USA 8513 and later USN 65-00522. It was sold to the US Army Corps of Engineers at The Dalles, Oregon by May 1995.
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