Local residents know the Mt. Hood Railroad trains usually leave the station going "backwards". This is the switchback where they change direction for the climb up the grade towards Parkdale.
This photo is by Sally Donovan, from 1992. It's good that we continue to document details of daily life, as we never know when something will fade into history. The Mt. Hood Railroad is still operating, but it had a close call in 2006 when flooding on the Hood River destroyed significant pieces of track.
I don't think there are many other railroads in the U. S. with this type of switchback still in existence. I think I used to know, but over time have forgotten. Does anyone know how many cars could be pushed back on the switchback?
Charlott on 29th July 2015 @ 7:14am
The tail of the switchback is and was the same length, as I remember about eight cars. The tail track is always uphill to help downgrade trains to stop and help up bound to get started again. The tail of this switchback was extended downgrade to the dam to bring in heavy equipment and can still be walked.. There was once a turntable here but it was small and only meant for the self propelled motor car, similar to a school bus on rails, which I have heard referred to as a jitney, skunk, or rattler.
Kenn on 29th July 2015 @ 7:49am
Speaking of daily life, these little rural spur trains must have made a tremendous change in the lives of the locals.
From the sound of a daily whistle, to making land more valuable, making your produce more valuable, and making life easier.
L.E. on 29th July 2015 @ 8:04am
Right on L.E. Brother Roger has a document showing our Sheribon grand parents leasing a box car for their move from Iowa to Odell that cost something like $900. The box car contents included a car, piano, horse and Purl Sheribon. Yes, he rode in the box car during the dead of winter
Arlen Sheldrake on 29th July 2015 @ 9:05am
Arlen, I guess the horse doubled as a space heater in the boxcar.
Arthur on 29th July 2015 @ 1:29pm
I think you are right Arthur as did running along side the boxcar as the train climbed the rockies (according to the story). The rest of Purl's family came via passenger train including my Mother, quite the adventure for a 6-year old. The HR History Museum has their Odell ranch sign, Netherby, somewhere in their collection.
Arlen Sheldrake on 29th July 2015 @ 5:01pm