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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Russian Locos in Portland

Russian gauge track at Oregon Rail Heritage Center
Now I remember how I got started on my last post: Jack and I stopped at the Oregon train museum Monday on account of we were in the neighborhood. They were closed but we hung on the fence and drooled over the thoughts of massive iron machines. Then we noticed a slab of concrete that was sitting next to the path. It looked like an old section of roadway, but why does it have 3 rails embedded in it?

American built locomotives loaded on Russian ships for Vladivostok in Portland harbor Nov. 6, 1944. Larry Barber.
Willamette Iron and Steel Works:
During WWII Willamette assembled over 800 Russian gauge Baldwin steam locomotives and shipped them to Vladivostok. NW Front Ave. in Portland had a short distance of Russian gauge track for the engines to move from the engine house on the west side of Front to the loading dock on the east side of street. These were shipped across the Pacific on USSR flagged ships, since the USSR and the Empire of Japan were not at war. A Porter 0-6-0 was bought from the US Government in Panama to switch the broad gauge track.

UT 1580 Russian Freighter "Felix Dzerzhinsky" 47-46 N 129-53 W 288 7. 1 June 44. 
1851 B.M.T. OR 14321420 . 150 PT. "U.S.C.H". Carrying locomotives.

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