|Southern Pacific Railroad|
|Docket: 11348||9/26/1936||Section: 1|
|App. of Southern Pacific Company to abandon that portion of its so-called Yaquina Branch, between Milepost 767.082 at or near Altree, and the end of such branch line at Milepost 774.342, at or near Yaquina [located in Lincoln County, Oregon], a distance of approximately 7.260 road miles, together with all sidings, spur tracks and appurtenances.|
|Length: 7.260 miles||Citation:|
If the Yaquina Branch is only 0.6 miles long, thus coinciding with the first ICC Abandonment Filing, why is a second ICC Abandonment Filing listed for what appears to be the same branch covering 7.26 miles? A similar situation exists with several other routes in Oregon listed on this site.
The Yaquina Branch, lately the Toledo Branch, extends from Albany OR, in the Willamette Valley, to Toledo on the Oregon Coast. A sawmill at Yaquina, on salt water, was abandoned, thus causing the abandonment of the westernmost end of the branch. The remaining branch remains alive and well. By the way: it's Wil LAM ette.
This railroad was actually built under the name Willamette Valley and Coast Railroad, which was owned and operated by the Oregon Pacific Railroad. It ran from Yaquina City, two miles east of Newport, through Corvallis and Albany and reached as far as Idanha, with more than twenty miles of unfinished grade between Idanha and the summit of the Cascades, and twenty miles of unfinished grade and two miles of track along the Malhuer River canyon. Construction began in 1880 and ended with the Oregon Pacific Railroad's bankruptcy in 1891. The SP later abandoned the section from Yaquina City to Toldedo - evidently in sections, as noted above - and the portion between Albany and Shelburn in 1937. The portion between Gates and Idanha was abandoned after the construction of Detroit Dam and Big Cliff Dam in the 1950s. I don't know when the track between Gates and Mill City were abandoned. I have vague memories of seeing rails in place through Gates in the mid 1960s.
1) If you take Yaquina Bay Rd. west from Toledo toward Newport, along the north bank of the river, you can see along it wooden pilings which were once part of trestles along this line. This is about 3 or so miles from Toledo. You can see them to the left or on the river's side as you pass Boone Island to the right.
2) After operations to Detroit and Idanha ended 1952 with the completion of the dams, the tracks between Mill City and Gates were used to store freight cars until they were removed about 1970. About 10 years after that, I remember seeing where the rails ended then, at the railroad bridge over the Santiam River and right by the old Mill City depot which, I believe, today houses a museum. The railroad bridge still stands today and is now the beginning of a bike path over the old right of way immediately to the west. The rail line from Albany now ends about a mile from here at a mill complex