Pacific Northwest Raiload History

Below is a partial list of Northwest railroads, some long-gone but many living on as part of the current network of mainline and short-line railroads that link the towns and industries of the Northwest to the rest of the world. This list is intended as a starting point for those seeking more information. Underlined listings are "clickable" links to brief histories.

Educate the World! Do you have a favorite railroad? Would you like to contribute a history overview to this growing online reference? Please submit your writings to pnwc@pnwc-nrhs.org. We will do our best to maintain authorship credits, but please remember that the purpose of this content is to educate and we cannot assume liability for credit in perpetuity. Please do not submit copyrighted material unless you are the copyright holder.

Columbia River railroads, and the Union Pacific:

Main Line Connections from the North:

South Into California:

Portland Area Short Lines:

Tualatin Valley Short Lines and Branch Lines:

Branch lines are short extensions operated by larger companies. Short lines are small railroad companies that are entirely their own operation, almost always with a connection of some sort to interchange traffic with another company.

The two major railroads operating branch lines through the area were:

With short line companies:

Willamette Valley Short Lines and Branch Lines:

Branch lines are short extensions operated by larger companies. Short lines are small railroad companies that are entirely their own operation, almost always with a connection of some sort to interchange traffic with another company.

The tiny portage operation at Oregon City was the first attempt to build a railroad-like means of transportation in Oregon.

Railroads into Central Oregon:

Southwestern Oregon Branch Lines and Sort Lines:

Eastern Oregon: