Columbia River to Mansfield

The Mansfield Branch

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Map submitted by Joseph Loop.

This former Great Northern Railway branch line was built in 1909 and branched from their main line at a site named "Columbia River", located alongside the actual Columbia River, northwest of Quincy, WA. It extended 61 miles to the town of Mansfield, to the north.

It was abandoned in 1985 under ownership of the Burlington Northern Railroad.

There is not much left of the abandoned line other than a dusty road. I have 4 wheeled some of the route as it goes through the Douglass Creek canyon. Due to the collapse of the tunnel which took the main road with it, access by non 4 wheel drive is severely restricted but possible. My 4 runner is jacked up and still when crossing one of the streams flooded the floorboard. If you are really determined the south end of the tunnel has been dug out at the top and is accessible as of 2005. There is remnants of a bridge and if you look real hard to the north you will find a dynamite shed.

The real attraction is at the tunnel there is a cataract where Douglass Creek enters a sandstone strata. This has produced about 3/4 mile of beautiful falls and swimming holes. This alone is worth the trip even if you are not interested in railroads.

I am having problems with the picture email link. If the webmaster of this page will email me I will download a bunch of nice pictures.

Dave Cox
Yakima, WA
4/13/2015

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