When you're riding your bike around town on a sunny afternoon, you have the chance to stop and take a closer look anytime you see something, well, not exactly spellbinding, but unusual anyway.
Thursday afternoon I'm pedaling along Water Avenue along the riverfront and I see this big machine working on the Portland & Western track. Here's a look at the thing. It appeared to be spreading out ballast along the roadbed. This track is part of the old Oregon Electric line from Albany to Eugene. I'm glad to see the P&W taking care of it so it can keep operating freights on it.
The P&W has been doing other work on its facilities in the Albany area as well, having recently finished construction of the "Santiam Lead," a short section of new track allowing freights coming across the Willamette River to bypass the Union Pacific mainline on their way to the Millersburg yard. The Main Street crossing remains closed, though, apparently awaiting the completion of new gates and signals. (hh)