Portland is a train town. From its history as a 19th Century railroad outpost up to the present with its light rail and streetcars, steel wheels on tracks seem to have forever resonated in the The City of Roses.
One place where old meets new in Portland is the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, located on Portland’s eastside. To get there from downtown, take Portland’s sleek Eastside Streetcar over the Willamette River and get off at the stop at S.E. Caruthers, near the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. The train museum is a short walk away.
The center is housed in a cavernous roadhouse in the historic Brooklyn Yard. Inside is a rare working turntable, along with historic steam and diesel locomotives.
The star of the show is the Southern Pacific Daylight No. 4449, a bright orange and black locomotive built in 1941. It was retired in 1957 and donated to the museum. It is the only one of the Daylight locomotives still in working shape. It was completely restored in 1974 in time to bask in the glory again when the Daylight pulled the American Freedom Train around the U.S. to celebrate the nation’s Bicentennial.