February 2014 Open Letter to the Communities Along the Astoria Line
The Portland & Western Railroad (PNWR) is a 520-mile short line freight railroad that interchanges with the Albany & Eastern Railroad, BNSF Railway, Central Oregon & Pacific Railroad, Coos Bay Rail Link, Port of Tillamook Bay Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad.
Commodities transported include aggregates, chemicals, concrete, consumer goods, fertilizers, forest products, grain, non-metallic minerals, paper, petroleum products and steel.
The PNWR was acquired by Genesee & Wyoming in 1995.
Did you know that Oregon leads the country in freight rail shipments of lumber and wood products, followed by healthy quantities of fertilizers, grain, farm products, coal and cement? Learn more about the importance of rail transport to Oregon's economy.
We have the expertise and experience to handle your varied products safely and promptly. Each year we move more than 60,000 carloads of paper, steel, grain, forest products, chemicals, aggregates, fertilizers and consumer goods.
P&W aggressively seeks more traffic and new customers. Our full-time marketing managers work closely with their counterparts at Union Pacific and Burlington Northern-Santa Fe. As a locally managed property, P&W is sensitive to local issues and needs.
- The Tillamook District includes part of one of Oregon's first rail lines. In 1867, the Oregon Central Railroad Company had been incorporated to build a line toward Forest Grove and McMinnville, a route requiring heavy construction through the hills west of Portland. After a number of physical and financial problems, the first 20 miles from Portland to Hillsboro were completed December 18, 1871. Today, P&W's track from Lombard Street crossing in Beaverton to Hillsboro is part of the old Oregon Central.
- The Astoria Line between Willbridge and Goble--35 miles--is of historic significance, having been first operated by Northern Pacific Railroad Company, October 1884, as part of its route between Portland and Tacoma. A ferry carried cars and locomotives across the Columbia River between Goble and Kalama until June 25, 1908, when massive new bridges opened across the Columbia and Willamette Rivers to link Vancouver, Washington and Portland. Trackage along the Washington side of the Columbia then became the main rail route between Portland and Puget Sound, and the Goble-Willbridge line, which had been extended to Astoria in 1898, was relegated to branch line status.