Oregon Electric Railway Museum

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Oregon Electric Railway Museum
Sydney 1187 at Oregon ERM.jpg
Sydney car 1187 (built 1912) at the museum
Former namethe Trolley Park
Established1959
LocationBrooks, Oregon, United States
45°03′06″N 122°58′47″W / 45.051677°N 122.979589°W / 45.051677; -122.979589Coordinates: 45°03′06″N 122°58′47″W / 45.051677°N 122.979589°W / 45.051677; -122.979589
Websitemuseum.oregontrolley.com

The Oregon Electric Railway Museum is the largest streetcar/trolley museum in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. It is owned and operated by the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society and is located in Brooks, Oregon, on the grounds of Powerland Heritage Park[1] (formerly known as Antique Powerland).

The carbarn at the old site (1959–1995), in Glenwood, known as the Trolley Park

The original museum opened in Glenwood, about 40 miles (64 km) west of Portland, in 1959, with the first operation of streetcars taking place in 1963[2][3] and regular operation in 1966.[4] It was named Trolley Park or, more commonly, the Trolley Park, but its formal name in later years was the same as that of the present museum. The Glenwood museum was built on the site of a former steam logging railroad,[2][5] and OERHS re-equipped the former sawmill building of the Consolidated Timber Company as a four-track carbarn.[3] The museum property occupied about 26 acres (11 ha),[6] and trolley cars were able to operate on a 1.7-mile (2.7 km) line.[5]

Operation at the Glenwood site ended in autumn 1995.[2]

The current museum opened in Brooks in 1996. The museum consists of about one mile of mainline track with overhead wire. There is a four-track carbarn to store the international collection of streetcars.

The collection includes:

Porto car 210 (and PCC car 1159) inside the Brooks carbarn
Double-decker 48 was used on the Willamette Shore Trolley line, in Portland (as seen here), for several years, but was moved to the museum in 2006.
  • Two Portland 1904 Brill streetcars (nicknamed Council Crest type), Nos. 503 and 506[7]
  • Portland 1932 Brill "Master Unit", No. 813
  • Portland-built interurban, No. 1067
  • Blackpool, England, double-decker tram, No. 48, built in 1928. Acquired by OERHS in 1964.[3]
  • Sydney, Australia, O-class tram No. 1187, built in 1912
  • Porto, Portugal single-truck streetcar, No. 210
  • Los Angeles Railway car No. 1318
  • Two San Francisco PCC streetcars, Nos. 1118 and 1159
  • San Francisco Boeing LRV, No. 1213
  • Hong Kong double-decker tram, No. 12
  • Portland snow sweeper, No. 1455, built in 1899 by McGuire[8]
  • Oregon Electric Railway locomotive 21, an electric "steeple-cab" locomotive built in 1912; acquired in 2017[9]
  • Three other electric steeple-cab locomotives, from Montana, all of which were last used by the Anaconda Copper Mining Company
  • Three types of trolley buses: a Twin Coach and a Pullman-Standard from Seattle and a CCF-Brill from Vancouver
  • Nine ex-Brussels, Belgium, cars all moved to the museum from storage in Port Mellon, British Columbia in 2015, all but one of which are single-truck cars:[10]
    • Six work cars that are former passenger cars (Nos. 19, 25, 26, 31, 34 and 1247) built in the mid-1930s and converted for work service in the 1970s
    • One passenger car (No. 1048) that was built in 1937 (as #1608). Retired in 1975, it was sold in 1984 to the Grand Cypress Resort, a then-new 930-acre (380 ha) resort near Orlando, Florida, where a streetcar line opened in 1985 to carry guests around the vast property. The 3.5-mile (5.6 km)[11] streetcar line closed in the mid-1990s,[10] and two of its cars were eventually moved to B.C. after being acquired by the owner of the other ex-Brussels streetcars now at OERM.
    • One passenger trailer (No. 2190), built in 1931 and which otherwise has a history similar to that of No. 1048, having been used for service on the Grand Cypress Resort line in Florida, until that line's closure in the 1990s
    • Brussels car 7020, a 1952 PCC streetcar built by La Brugeoise and retired from service in the 2000s
  • Milan, Italy, interurban car 96, built in 1930; acquired from Issaquah Valley Trolley and moved to the museum in December 2016.[12]


One of the two Portland "Council Crest" Brill cars, No. 503, was loaned to San Francisco in 1983,[13] and again in 1985, for operation in the San Francisco Historic Trolley Festival, predecessor of the F Market & Wharves heritage streetcar line.[14] In the late 1980s, Portland's transit agency, Tri-Met, used cars 503 and 506 as the models for new replica-vintage streetcars it was planning to purchase for use on the then-planned Portland Vintage Trolley service.[15] Four faux-vintage Council Crest cars were eventually built by the Gomaco Trolley Company.[15]

The museum is open from May through October with trolley operations on Saturdays. The big event of the year is the annual Steam-Up, held on the last weekend of July and the first weekend of August. Thousands of riders use the trolley during these two weekends.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Oregon Electric Railway Museum". OERHS. Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  2. ^ a b c Young, Andrew D. (1997). Veteran & Vintage Transit, p. 90. St. Louis: Archway Publishing. ISBN 0-9647279-2-7.
  3. ^ a b c Price, J. H. (August 1978). "Museum News", five-page article about OERHS and its museum in Glenwood. Modern Tramway, pp. 270–273, 276. UK: Ian Allan Publishing.
  4. ^ "Trolley Park Opens Soon". The Oregonian. June 26, 1966, p. 35.
  5. ^ a b Marsh, Willard W. (March 29, 1983). "Trolley Museum: Head for Glenwood if a trip aboard a vintage streetcar is your desire". The Seattle Times, p. C4.
  6. ^ Pierce, J. Kingston (September 7, 1982). "The Land of Lost Trolleys: These old streetcars from days gone by have found a home at the Trolley Park". The Valley Times (Beaverton, Oregon), pp. C1–C2.
  7. ^ Thompson, Richard (2006). Portland's Streetcars, pp. 34 and 110. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-3115-4.
  8. ^ Thompson, Richard (2006). Portland's Streetcars, p. 97. ISBN 0-7385-3115-4.
  9. ^ "Oregon Electric #21". OERHS. Retrieved 2017-06-10.
  10. ^ a b "Museum News". Tramways & Urban Transit. No. 934. UK: LRTA Publishing. October 2015. p. 417. ISSN 1460-8324.
  11. ^ Phraner, S. David (1992). "Vintage Trolleys: A National Overview" (PDF). Transportation Research Board: 324.
  12. ^ "Milan Interurban #96". OERHS. Retrieved 2017-08-12.
  13. ^ Jung, Carolyn (July 15, 1983). "Historic Portland trolley car travels south". '"The Oregonian (Portland).
  14. ^ Ehrlich, Peter (2012). "Chapter 3: The Trolley Festivals". San Francisco's F-Line. Trafford Publishing. pp. 47, 55, 160. ISBN 978-1-4669-3739-0.
  15. ^ a b Morgan, Steve (Spring 1992). "Portland's New/Old Trolleys". The New Electric Railway Journal. Free Congress Foundation. ISSN 1048-3845. Retrieved 2017-08-12.

External links[edit]