Construction of the Pacific Railway and Navigation Line took six years (1905-1911) and included 13 tunnels and 60 bridges, 35 of which were more than 100 feet long. The original wood trestle bridges were replaced with steel like this one in the mid 1920s. During the flood, high water washed around this steel bridge and its concrete abutments threatening to leave it disconnected from the main line.
FOREST GROVE, OR—Oregon’s proposed Salmonberry Trail—connecting the Portland metro area and the Oregon Coast with an 86-mile long multiple-use trail—took a major step forward this week when it received national attention and funding from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC), the nation's largest trails organization dedicated to connecting people and communities by creating a nationwide network of public trails. RTC awarded the Salmonberry Trail project $30,000 to fund an economic and health benefit study to gauge future contributions of the trail to surrounding communities.
These ties and rails used to cross a small bridge at Kinney Creek, but were left hanging in mid-air when the Big Flood of 2007 washed through the canyon. Fiber optic cables running parallel to the track, which can be seen to the left, were also disturbed by high waters. This area is unsafe.
Cochran Pond. This was a pond used to hold logs that fed the C.H. Wheeler Lumber Company mill that stood on this spot from 1909-1932. Cochran is located at the summit of the Oregon Coast Range (elevation 1,833 feet), where the railroad line crossed over the top of the Coast Range from the Nehalem River watershed to the Salmonberry River watershed. During the 19-teens and 1920s, there was a full-fledged logging town here with railroad depot, a school, two pool halls, bunk houses, a big cookhouse and family houses. Cochran was named for brothers Joseph and J. Henry Cochran, lumbermen from Ashland, Wisconsin who began buying up large tracts of forest in this area in 1901. Railroad construction crews started in Tillamook and in Hillsboro in 1905-6 and worked toward the middle. They met just west of here in 1911.
If you’ve been through Tillamook lately, you’ve surely noticed the construction project near the intersection of Highways 6 and 101. It’s a major effort to upgrade a complicated intersection that was never designed to carry the traffic loads it currently does. Read more about the project at its website.
Even though we’re still several years away from major trail construction, there’s plenty of work to do to get ready: trail segment planning, engineering assessments, hazardous material surveys, public involvement, marketing plans, economic and health benefit studies, permitting, and what feels like a million other things to think about and prepare for. We’ve been busy collectively raising capacity funds to assist with this work, and we need your help.
Detailed planning for the valley segment of the future Salmonberry Trail—located between Banks and Reehers Camp Campground in the Tillamook State Forest—is about to begin, thanks to a significant grant from the Washington County Visitors Association.
Embark on visual tour of the Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad and the places that will eventually become the Salmonberry Trail.
In this short video, we start in the Washington County and make our way into the Coast Range along the Salmonberry River, the Nehalem River and bay, then to the Pacific Ocean.
All of the odds were stacked against the rail builders who opened the Salmonberry country in the early 1900s: heavy rains, high water, steep and inaccessible hillsides thick with timber, an ongoing challenge of finding sufficient workers, supplies and equipment.
Click on one of the tags above to see related posts