Correction: Sherwood train trestle will be rebuilt
A misread email resulted in the mistake
Almost one year after an iconic 85-year-old Sherwood train trestle burned to the ground railway officials say they will rebuild the structure.
A previously misread email resulted in a story in the Sherwood Gazette saying the trestle would not be rebuilt. The Gazette regrets the mistake.
Michael E. Williams, vice president for corporate communications for Genesee & Wyoming Railroad Services, Inc., said Portland & Western Railroad will rebuild the 600-foot-long wooden trestle, which will cost millions of dollars.
The trestle caught fire on Aug. 10 around 4:20 p.m. in a field near Southwest Tualatin-Sherwood Road, east of Langer Farms Parkway. The creosote-soaked structure burned spectacularly throughout the night, drawing onlookers from throughout the area. A large piece of the structure fell between 1:30 to 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 11. Another large chunk collapsed between 3:30 to 4 a.m., officials said at the time.
By morning, only about 20 percent of the trestle remained, much of it still smoldering. In addition, creosote (a tar-like substance used to preserve railroad ties) created extra headaches for firefighters by causing spot fires.
The fire forced evacuations of nearby businesses as firefighters worked to get the blaze under control. At least 7,000 residents were notified at the time (using a communications system that telephoned, texted or emailed residents) to keep their windows and doors closed for two days in order to keep from breathing hazardous air produced by smoke and fumes.
Sherwood police subsequently arrested three Washington County juveniles, charging them with reckless burning (smoking was blamed as a cause of the blaze), along with a 27-year-old man who was charged with furnishing alcohol to a minor.
The two-alarm fire was battled by 50 firefighters, one of whom received minor injuries when two logs shifted and trapped him. Crews had to use chainsaws to cut away the logs to free the firefighter.
In its heyday, the trestle, which rose 50 feet above Rock Creek, carried freight trains across a small ravine to Newberg and on to Willamina.