Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Riders glimpse Holiday Express steam train on Springwater Trail

Posted by on December 6th, 2010 at 9:22 am

Riders on Cycle Wild’s weekend bike camping trip out to Champoeg State Park over the weekend got a special treat as they rolled out via the Springwater Corridor Trail…

The “Holiday Express” historic steam locomotive on the Springwater Corridor Trail this weekend. The Ross Island Bridge is in the background.
(Photo © Russ Roca/PathLessPedaled.com)

The train is an historic steam locomotive operated just two weekends a year by the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation. If you missed it this weekend, you’ve got one more chance. Matt Picio, Director of Cycle Wild (old train buff) will lead a ride to see the train in all its fully-lit, nighttime glory. Meet at Union Station this Saturday at 3:30 pm. Learn more about the train at ORHF.org.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
h
Guest
h

it was much prettier with lights at night…

Ethan
Guest
Ethan

I heart 4449

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Wish I could have been riding by on my orange, black, silver Wabi “Lightning!”

A.K.
Guest
A.K.

Wow, that is so cool! In all my riding along the Springwater I’ve never once seen a train use those tracks.

How fast does it go along there? It would have been fun to try to race it!

matt picio
Guest

A.K. – 5-10mph. They will sometimes hit 15, but they take it pretty slow to maintain a 40 minute trip time for the kids (the train runs from Oaks Park to 4th & Ivon and back)

Paulie
Guest
Paulie

Do any of the steam locomotives come in Duck colors?

Susan Hayden
Guest
Susan Hayden

Thanks, Jonathan and Matt. It’s a spectacular site to see one of these engines under steam, at night outlined in lights. More information on the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation and the Holiday Express at
http://www.orhf.org/
They have to find a new home for these superb engines.

Susan, cyclist and train fan

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

4449 is a fixie too.

matt picio
Guest

For those who are interested – our ride report from our trip this weekend is here:
http://www.cyclewild.org/2010/12/champoeg-ride-report/

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I live close enough to Oaks Bottom to hear the steam whistles from my house. Sends a chill up my spine every time. Seeing these behemoths — nearly as tall as 2-story houses — in person and under steam is always a fantastic experience.

craig
Guest
craig

Where the heck do they turn the thing around?

Bob_M
Guest
Bob_M

Matt Picio
Sir you are to be corrected. The beautiful and awesome 4449 is unparalled at parallel track standing.
🙂

Carlsson
Guest
Carlsson

I live between Multnomah Village and Garden Home and clearly heard it’s whistle this weekend! I attribute it partly to the east wind & atmospheric conditions. Pretty cool!

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

Thanks for all the info, Matt.

First time I saw 4449 was at the dedication for the “Freedom Train” in 1976: a sleek gigantic beast slithering across the yard at Union Station.

These things are alive!

Duncan
Guest
Duncan

I hate to be the one bitching here, but when I attempted to stop to take a picture of it on my bike I was faced right away with someone waving a “stop” hand sign inches from my face and yelling at me to slow down. I was pretty much stopped getting my camera out! Feeling pretty unwelcome I made my way (walking pace) through the crowd and their volunteers kept yelling at me “slow down”. If they are going to be jerks then dont be surprised if they get the same back.

Bill
Guest
Bill

It was the opposite for me, the volunteers were very polite when I went slowly through at night (passed about seven of volunteers), and during the day a train engineer even blew the horn for the group pictured above as we rode along side the train.

CaptainKarma
Guest
CaptainKarma

The volunteer I chatted with was also uber-nice. Maybe the one dude needs to go back to volunteer-community interface training. hah.

I could not get a toot, though, and felt maligned over that for awhile. But then I figured maybe they have to limit their toots per hour or something. Whatever. It was totally awesome anyway, and their group is looking to add younger volunteers. Just sayin.

jim
Guest
jim

I like the cattle catcher on the front. They should have these on the max trains for the idiots that insist on sharing the tracks

Duncan
Guest
Duncan

Jim- sometimes you make a good point, but I think you went a little wide on that turn.

On track- I am glad not everyone had the experience I had I was really excited to get that photo and check out the train (I am a steam geek) and the dude pretty much made me feel I better get my bicycle-shorts covered ass on down the road ASAP. I could have been an interested person, hell sometimes I decide to donate to odd causes that amuse me… but that interaction pretty much let me know I was not welcome there.

Bill
Guest
Bill

Just as a general reminder, on the path, we are the large vehicles and there are many young kids at the train stop eager to get a better look. Slowing down is important, but so is focusing on our surroundings at the same time (this means waiting to fully stop to get a camera out or marveling at the train, etc.). It is not fun if a little one gets hurt.

Thank you for being respectful and courteous multi-purpose trail users.

Bill
Guest
Bill

I was there twice and all my comments accurately reflect what I experienced. Yes you had one unpleasant experience, but as in life, one experience does equal the whole.

Not sure why you are calling me out since my general reminder was something we can (and should) all keep in mind. It’s the holidays, I prefer to be festive.

Happy celebrations and I hope many of you get to enjoy the train both at night and during the day!

Bill
Guest
Bill

…I am here now and you are getting pretty aggressive for no apparent reason with me. In a non-passive way your last post reflects pretty poorly on you.

My comment about the camera again was from my own experience, check out the above picture a bit more closely. The guy in grey is not waving at the train, but rather as filming the train while riding in the left lane. I tensed each time another trail user approached.

As for your last comment, while I probably will not comment again, I still enjoy this site even though you are being an obnoxious commenter. There are bad applies everywhere.

Please do not try and spoil the fun for the rest of us. I truly hope you let this one go.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
Guest

Bill and Duncan, I’d really rather not host personal back-and-forth discussions like this in the comments. I’m going to close this thread. Thanks for your contributions.