For an Albany rail fan, a sight to enjoy – Hasso Hering


A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

For an Albany rail fan, a sight to enjoy

Written April 20th, 2019 by Hasso Hering

Don’t worry. The train was standing still, waiting at the Second Avenue crossing Saturday afternoon.

In case you hadn’t noticed over the years, I enjoy watching railroad operations. And Albany is the place to be in that regard, since the town is crisscrossed with functioning rail lines.

On Saturday afternoon, I found myself at the Second Avenue crossing of the Portland & Western line from Corvallis. A locomotive was idling just short of the street. This “consist” or train of six locomotives, two of them B units without cabs, had come across the river and was waiting for a signal to proceed.

The train was headed, well, I don’t know where. Eventually it turned right at the wye, so apparently it was going to the Albany yard.

For a rail fan such as me, it was impossible not to get off the bike. I leaned the wheels against the real estate office next to the track, grabbed a couple of stills, and then attempted the short but noisy video below when the crossing arms came down and this short train got on its way. (hh)

[youtube video=”jxb1qamFqa4″ rel=”0″]

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5 responses to “For an Albany rail fan, a sight to enjoy”

  1. Jim Engel says:

    So what kid wouldn’t like train layouts H.H.. Me..Lionel ( 3-rail) and American Flyer (2-rail). I was a bit too late for the choo-choo’s of the early years. BUT, now do they have to honk their horns so loud!! Surely if the City Council got some feet they could pass an “loudness ordinance” as other cities have done!!

  2. Parcella says:

    Sometimes that train idles fast and keeps me awake while we both wait for the mainline to clear. I listen with them.

  3. J. Jacobson says:

    I do so enjoy Hasso’s idyllic love affair with the railroad, but that enjoyment turns to white-heat hate every time I must cross the tracks at Queen Ave. Perhaps it’s simply the yin and yang of it all.

  4. Jim Schulte says:

    Well, Hasso, those “b” units are actually slugs, and they actually convey power to the total ‘consist.’ by deriving power from the other actual locomotives in the lashup of power. I learned this many years ago and to Lou Thelen, yes, I know what a “wye” is, having learned it many years ago as well.

    You responded to one of my posts months ago about the former Oregon Electric Depot on the corner of 5th and Lyon Sts. in downtown Albany. I know what a wye is and I know a lot more about Albany Railroad history than you think. Thanks just the same.

  5. Bill Kapaun says:

    “…by deriving power from the other actual locomotives in the lashup of power…..”
    That doesn’t even make sense. What would be their point?


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