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Brooklyn Yard's local rail history now on display

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - This visiting dad and son, Nate Sandvig and young James, get a close-up look at the Brooklyn Rail Yard display, a current exhibit at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, near OMSI.An exhibit illustrating the history of the Brooklyn Rail Yard was unveiled for the public on May 1 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, near OMSI.

The former home of Portland’s antique operating locomotives, the Union Pacific’s Brooklyn Yard is one of the largest rail yards in the region.

Maps and rare photographs showcase the early years of the “Car Shops” of the Oregon & California railroad in the 1870s, the Southern Pacific’s principal shop facilities in Oregon in the 1940s, and recently the Union Pacific Railroad re-purposing the facility into an important intermodal facility serving Oregon and southwest Washington.

In addition to seeing the three restored steam locomotives at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, opening day visitors discovered the history of the rail yard, the types of activities which took place there, and the variety of locomotives and rolling stock which called the yard home over the years.

Go see for yourself! The Oregon Rail Heritage Center is located at 2250 S.E. Water Street, almost under the MLK Viaduct, and just east of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.