Pacific Railroad
Preservation Assoc.

The PRPA is a non-profit,
all-volunteer organization dedicated
to restoring, maintaining, and operating
historic railway equipment of the Pacific
Northwest. We are the official caretakers of
the SP&S 700, a 4-8-4 steam locomotive
that ranks among the largest steam
engines still in operation.

Click here to join the PRPA Click here to join the PRPA

Latest News

Rebuilding Steam logo of the SP&S 700 1472-day boiler rebuild and inspection project.

The PRPA has just begun the SP&S 700's 1472-day boiler rebuild and inspection. We have the skills and the will to get our favorite steam locomotive back out on the line, but we need your support! Click on the logo above for more information about the project and to do your part to help!!

  • Annual Meeting Rescheduled The PRPA Annual Membership Meeting will be held on February 11th, 2017, starting at 10:00am at the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 SW Capitol Highway, Portland (same as previous years). ALL ARE WELCOME!! Click here to view a map or get directions.
  • $20,000 Matching Grant Offered!!!! Al Baker—member of the PRPA and ORHF, among other railroad organizations--has offered the PRPA an extraordinary private matching grant of $20,000!!!! Said Al, "I love Portland's locomotives, and feel it is very important they are preserved for future generations. The SP&S 700 is certainly one of the premier large steam locomotives in the country. I truly admire and appreciate all the efforts of the PRPA members who work to preserve and keep her running." Thank you, Al, for your unbelievable generosity!!! This our second match grant, and we still have a long way to go to meet our first one. We really need your support now to take advantage of these stupendous opportunities. Please donate, join, or sponsor a superheater now!!
  • Another Grant Awarded!!!! The BNSF Foundation has donated $5000 to assist us in the 1472-day boiler inspection and rebuild for the SP&S 700! It is through gifts like this that we are able to maintain this beautiful piece of history and to preserve it for future generations. You too can join with BNSF in contributing to the SP&S 700's boiler rebuild campaign by sponsoring a superheater, becoming a member, or by making another donation of your choosing. Thank you BNSF Railway for this grant and for all of your support thoughout the years!!!
  • The last of the superheaters are out. Next up: ultrasonic testing of the boiler while new superheaters are built.
  • HUGE State Grant Awarded!! The PRPA has been awarded the Preserving Oregon Grant in the generous amount of $20,000 for the SP&S 700's boiler rebuild and inspection! We are extremely appreciative for the State of Oregon's offer to support the continued operation of the SP&S 700. This a matching grant, though, so we also need you to demonstrate your support in order to earn the full extent of the State's help for this monumental cultural and historical project. Please donate now!!
  • Grant Awarded!!!! We are excited to announce that the Tom E. Dailey Foundation has awarded a $2500 grant toward the SP&S 700's boiler restoration! The PRPA is very pleased to be honored with this award, the Foundation's only grant this quarter for railroad heritage, and we heartily thank the Tom E. Dailey Foundation for their generosity. And thanks to all of you who have already chosen to support the 700.
  • Work Progressing Steadily on the SP&S 700's Boiler Rebuild: PRPA volunteers are making good progress in preparing the engine for the FRA 1472-day inspection. All of the jacketting and lagging has been removed from the boiler, exposing the shell. The steam dome and the hatch over the superheater header and throttle have also been removed. Come on down to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center during our Saturday work days (ORHC is closed during our Wednesday sessions) to watch the progress. While you're there, introduce yourself to any of our crew to see how you can help. And you don't have to wait for the weekend to learn more about the project and support the engine... just visit the 2016 ReBuilding Steam page!
  • The SP&S 700's Boiler Rebuild is officially underway! PRPA volunteers took the first steps to disassemble our favorite steam locomotive's boiler in preparation for the FRA 1472-day inspection. Visit our 2016 ReBuilding Steam page to learn about the project and lend your support to the engine!
  • The PRPA launched the SP&S 700's boiler rebuild fundraising campaign as its Annual Meeting at the Multnomah Arts Center.
  • The Oregon Pacific Railroad and the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association will be running the Chris McLarney Memorial Train on Sunday, November 29, at 2:00 pm in honor of the late PRPA founder. As is only fitting, the SP&S 700 will lead the train from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, current home of the Lady, to Oaks Park, in which she rested when Chris first started dreaming of restoring her to service. Seating is limited to Chris's family and close personal friends (who are encouraged to indicate their intention to attend on our facebook page for the event), but the public is more than welcome to share in this celebration of Chris's life and accomplishments trackside.
  • The SP&S 700 comes due later this year for the 15-year/1472-service-day boiler inspection mandated by the FRA's "Steam Locomotive Inspection and Maintenance Standards" CFR49 Part 230. In anticipation of this major project, we take a look at the last rebuild on a new web page. Reach it by clicking here or by going to the Gallery and selecting the "Photo Essays" link near the top (which is also new).
  • The PRPA is proud to celebrate 25 Years in Steam with the SP&S 700! The first steam-up after restoration occurred on May 15, 1990, and the Lady made her first test run to Longview, WA, about a month later on June 13.
  • Several years ago, the SP&S 700 was inspected by a recognized expert in steam locomotive operation and mechanics at the request of Amtrak. Though the engine had been passing the annual FRA certifications for decades (and has continued to do so), the detailed inspection turned up several additional needed repairs. In the ensuing years, the PRPA not only completed all the identified repairs, but also disassembled, inspected, and rebuilt every component of the running gear "back to blueprint." We are happy and proud to announce that in November 2014, the engine was re-inspected by the same individual and declared safe to operate on any railroad. Most of the repairs were related to wear which undoubtedly arose in the locomotive's final years in regular service in the 1950s, so in some ways this effort may be seen as the final stages of "restoration." Without a doubt, the "First Lady of the Northwest" is in the best shape she's been in for more than 60 years!
  • A "v-scale" SP&S 700 model for RailWorks rail simulator has been offered for sale by G-TraX Simulations as part of its "Preservation Series" of offerings. Net proceeds from the sale of this model are donated to the PRPA for the continued preservation of the 700. Even two years after the release of their product, G-TraX continues to be one of the PRPA's top donors based on this program! View the G-TraX website for details or to make a purchase.
View older news items in the archives.