Friday, March 30, 2012


Expanding beyond published books, research resources for a prototype-themed layout should include resources located in the geographic area to be modeled.  Heading this list are local and state museums.  For the Cascade Line, the Oakridge Museum is a great place to start.  Oakridge was founded a century ago to support the railroad.  Oakridge represents the logical point to begin the steep assault upon the Cascades.  It became the steam-era helper station.

The Oakridge Museum is located at 76433 Pine Street, Oakridge, OR 97463, with a mailing address of PO Box 807, Oakridge.  The physical location is along First Street in Oakridge, just across from the former depot , offices and MOW sheds.  The museum is open Saturday: 1pm - 4pm, and Tuesday and Thursday: 9am – noon.

At the moment, the museum has an interesting collection of artifacts, including station sig ns and a speeder (under a pile of other items).  The museum recently gained additional space and has plans for improved presentation and interpretation.

A treasure in the museum is the collection of nine binders of photos documenting the railroad in and around Oakridge and up the Cascade Hill.  One must thank the original photographers for preserving this bit of history.  Equally, one encounters the research and preservation efforts of Larry Castle.  Larry has become central to the collection of material on the Cascade Line.  He sought out the photo collections around town, scanned them for further preservation and use, and provided the photo binders to the museum.  Over five hundred photographs provide us with essential images of the Oakridge helper station, construction and maintenance along the Cascade Line, and even wreck clean-up coverage.  Print copies of the photographs may be purchased from the museum.

A related treasure trove of information and photographs of the Cascade Line appears in the website established by current RR engineer, Joel Ashcroft: Southern Pacific Railroad in the Cascades of Oregon, By Joel Ashcroft:

Joel has posted a number of the photos from the Oakridge collection plus many others, gathered from SP railroaders.   In addition, he has details on the civil engineering of the line and much more.

The photos and information collected by Larry Castle, Joel Ashcroft, Tom Dill and Ed Austin represent a tremendous resource to support a prototype-based model railroad.  Thanks guys for your efforts that preserved and distributed the photographs and information of prior generations of railroaders!

1 comment:

  1. Outstanding research for what will be an outstanding model railroad. I can't wait to see it.