Here is another “trail report” that is not really a trail report, but really just a collection of photos and information about a trail or a location. In this case, though, the trail is now closed. Really closed.
Earlier tonight, while putting together a “trail report” for the main Gresham-Fairview Trail, I started throwing in these pictures from the old rail grade path/road that was closed in 2011 to protect the Western Painted Turtles.
I decided that these photos should be a part of a separate post, instead. A post on the actual Gresham-Fairview Trail is in the works.
This route was, of course, the original planned route for the Gresham-Fairview Trail, but eventually the trail route was moved over concern that the increased traffic on the route would chase off the turtles, which are a native species who’s local population is considered to be at “critical” risk due to habitat loss from development and from other, invasive species of turtle.
What little history I could find in a couple quick internet searches on the Troutdale Line of the Springwater Rail Line can be found at the bottom of this post.
For more information on the turtles, see: http://www.oregonturtles.com
The original Gresham-Fairview plan also included a board walk connecting the rail grade to the currently undeveloped South West Community Park along an old farm road that has mostly been reclaimed by the wetlands.
Drawing from original 2002 trail plan: Gresham-Fairview Trail Master Plan
The trace of the old farm road is clearly visible, running east-west across the rail grade, in this Google Earth image.
View from the old farm road. Fairview Creek Headwaters / Southwest Community Park. Gresham, Oregon. April 5, 2011.
I miss this trail. While surrounded by suburbs, it still felt like we were out in the country on this path. I don’t really want to risk a $2500 fine, though, to reclaim those memories.
We used to have to bushwhack our way down to the path from the south end and, on our last trip down there, once we made it to the path it would have been a hard scramble through the blackberries to get back to the current trail, so we risked the fine and took a final, farewell walk…
There used to be an abandoned shack at the south end that was demolished when the new trail went through. It was pretty much used as a homeless camp and I am not sure about it’s history. I do not think I ever got a really good picture of it, and I cannot find one tonight.
Now, some photos…
June 24, 2011.
July 3, 2009
April 24, 2009.
Western Painted Turtles. Taken on April 24, 2009. I think I miss the turtles the most. That being the case, though, if staying away will help ensure their well being…
The rail grade was for the Troutdale Branch of the Springwater Line, discussed here: http://www.abandonedrails.com/Portland_to_Cazadero
The city of Gresham is building a new rail-trail that will connect with the Cazadero (Springwater) Line at the old Linneman station.
The trail follows portions of the the right-of-way of the old Troutdale Branch north to where the ROW crossed what is now NE Halsey Street in Fairview.
There is an elevated overcrossing of Powell Boulevard near the junction with the Springwater Trail, and surface crossings of Division Street, Burnside Street, and Glisan Street.
The trail segment between Powell and Division actually diverges from the old ROW for most of its distance because the ROW here passes through a protected wetland area.
There were still two intact track segments along the ROW, both of them just north of division. Construction crews removed them in September 2010.
Historically, the Troutdale Branch was an interurban connection to the Cazadero Line from 1907 to 1927. After passenger service was abandoned, the segment from Linneman to Ruby Junction remained in service as a freight route into northeast Gresham. From Ruby Junction east, trains operated on a segment of the old Bull Run interurban.
The old Bull run ROW from Ruby Junction east to Cleveland Avenue in Gresham is now the east end of the TriMet MAX Blue Line light rail.
The Troutdale Branch segment from Ruby Junction south to Linneman was last used in 1985-1986 for the delivery of TriMet's original light rail cars to the Ruby Junction shops. The north end of this segment disappeared when the shops complex was built.
Additional information from Mr. McCann…
This overgrown track in northwest Gresham, Ore. is a remnant of the old Troutdale branch of the Portland Railway Light and Power Company, which operated interurban service over the branch from 1907 to 1927.
Passenger service along this branch ran from Troutdale to Linneman Junction along the company's Cazadero, or Springwater Line between Portland and Estacada. The old Cazadero ROW is now the popular Springwater Trail.
The fence in the far background marks the southern edge of TriMet's Ruby Junction light rail yard and shop complex.
After the end of interurban service, this portion of the line remained open as far as Ruby Junction, where it connected with the old Mount Hood Railway interurban line between northeast Portland and the Bull Run area east of Gresham.
These tracks, as part of the East Portland Traction Company route to Gresham, were last used around 1984-1985 for deliveries of TriMet's original light rail cars to Ruby Junction.
The City of Gresham has developed this portion of the old ROW as a follow-on phase of its Gresham-Fairview Trail, which covers the old Troutdale branch from Fairview, just north of Gresham, to a junction with the Springwater Trail at the old Linneman Junction site in southwest Gresham.
Photographed by Thomas McCann, August 4, 2009.
Added to the photo archive by Thomas Mccann, August 5, 2009.
Electric interurban service connecting Troutdale with Gresham began in 1907, operated by the Portland Railway, Light and Power Company and connecting in Gresham with interurban service through to Portland. The line was abandoned in 1927. From at least the 1940s through the 1960s, bus transit service connecting Troutdale with Gresham and Portland was provided by a private company named Portland Stages, Inc.
Flikr Slideshow of the length of the Gresham-Fairview Trail, including these photos…