WES questions

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WES questions

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:45 am

Hello everyone. In about 2 months I will be visiting Portland and Seattle and I heard about the Portland WES opening. I did see a brief video of it on youtube but I have a question since I dont know much about it. Is this considered a light rail or railroad operation? What are the best spots to get get pictures and video? Are there any links to railfanning the line or info on it?Any help would be greatly appreciated. :-D
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Re: WES questions

Postby wigwagfan » Sun Feb 15, 2009 12:36 pm

WES is a commuter rail operation that runs on the Portland & Western Railroad's Oregon Electric (and part of what was formerly known as the Tillamook) Districts between Beaverton and Wilsonville. It uses four heavy-rail coaches, three of which are self-propelled, manufactured by the now-defunct Colorado Railcar company.

It runs during weekday rush hours only; a complete schedule can be found at http://www.trimet.org/wes/index.htm.

As for railfanning there are quite a few places. (notes below are from north to south)

The area immediately south of Beaverton TC, along Lombard Avenue, provides a number of locations with sidewalk access.

From Lombard/Farmington/Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway south to Tigard is a little more difficult as the line passes alongside Highway 217 and behind commercial/industrial properties, but there are grade crossings at Fifth Avenue, Hall Boulevard, Scholls Ferry Road, and Tiedeman/North Dakota Streets. There are also two overpasses, at Allen Boulevard and Denney Road, for overhead shots. (Denney Road is located on a slight curve). Note that bus access to either of these locations is difficult - the only route serving both locations is the 53 bus which is also a rush-hour shuttle.

In Tigard, to the north of the downtown area is a wide open area where you can take pictures from the old OE right-of-way but there is a chain-link fence between you and the tracks; there is a pedestrian path south of the Tigard TC stop down Hall Boulevard for more pictures.

In the Tigard Yard area (between Hall and Bonita Road) access is next to impossible; there is a trail off of S.W. Milton Court (where Medical Teams International is located) that will take you back to the yard which is on public property, but the view isn't great.

You can parallel the WES line from 74th Avenue to Durham.

From Durham to Tualatin, there is a bike/pedestrian path accessible from Tigard's Cook Park, Durham's Community Park or Tualatin Community Park which parallels the WES line; you can get a great picture of WES crossing the Tualatin River from the nearby pedestrian bridge. Probably the easiest, most scenic area.

In the south of Tualatin, by using residential streets there are some ponds/lagoons that some local folks have gotten some great pictures in and around, but they are difficult to reach. (Note, there is ZERO bus access here - you WILL need a car, or be prepared for a several mile bike ride.) This area is where I've seen the best pictures of WES.

At Tonquin Road, you can get a picture of WES passing the old OE substation.

At the end of Cahalin Road you get pretty close to the tracks. Just make sure you aren't acting suspicious here, because you're close to the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and they use roving patrols. (I've never had a problem, but if you start taking pictures of the prison itself you might open yourself up for a visit.)

In Wilsonville there's a couple places where you can get close to the tracks, but the view isn't spectacular.
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Re: WES questions

Postby BuddSilverliner269 » Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:12 pm

wigwagfan wrote:WES is a commuter rail operation that runs on the Portland & Western Railroad's Oregon Electric (and part of what was formerly known as the Tillamook) Districts between Beaverton and Wilsonville. It uses four heavy-rail coaches, three of which are self-propelled, manufactured by the now-defunct Colorado Railcar company.

It runs during weekday rush hours only; a complete schedule can be found at http://www.trimet.org/wes/index.htm.

As for railfanning there are quite a few places. (notes below are from north to south)

The area immediately south of Beaverton TC, along Lombard Avenue, provides a number of locations with sidewalk access.

From Lombard/Farmington/Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway south to Tigard is a little more difficult as the line passes alongside Highway 217 and behind commercial/industrial properties, but there are grade crossings at Fifth Avenue, Hall Boulevard, Scholls Ferry Road, and Tiedeman/North Dakota Streets. There are also two overpasses, at Allen Boulevard and Denney Road, for overhead shots. (Denney Road is located on a slight curve). Note that bus access to either of these locations is difficult - the only route serving both locations is the 53 bus which is also a rush-hour shuttle.

In Tigard, to the north of the downtown area is a wide open area where you can take pictures from the old OE right-of-way but there is a chain-link fence between you and the tracks; there is a pedestrian path south of the Tigard TC stop down Hall Boulevard for more pictures.

In the Tigard Yard area (between Hall and Bonita Road) access is next to impossible; there is a trail off of S.W. Milton Court (where Medical Teams International is located) that will take you back to the yard which is on public property, but the view isn't great.

You can parallel the WES line from 74th Avenue to Durham.

From Durham to Tualatin, there is a bike/pedestrian path accessible from Tigard's Cook Park, Durham's Community Park or Tualatin Community Park which parallels the WES line; you can get a great picture of WES crossing the Tualatin River from the nearby pedestrian bridge. Probably the easiest, most scenic area.

In the south of Tualatin, by using residential streets there are some ponds/lagoons that some local folks have gotten some great pictures in and around, but they are difficult to reach. (Note, there is ZERO bus access here - you WILL need a car, or be prepared for a several mile bike ride.) This area is where I've seen the best pictures of WES.

At Tonquin Road, you can get a picture of WES passing the old OE substation.

At the end of Cahalin Road you get pretty close to the tracks. Just make sure you aren't acting suspicious here, because you're close to the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility and they use roving patrols. (I've never had a problem, but if you start taking pictures of the prison itself you might open yourself up for a visit.)

In Wilsonville there's a couple places where you can get close to the tracks, but the view isn't spectacular.

Thanks for all of your help wigwag.I greatly appreciate it.
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