On Saturday, December 10, 2005 the SP&S 700 steam locomotive, operated by the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association, derailed while double-heading (with the SP 4449 on the point) a "Holiday Express" excursion for the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (ORHF). No one was injured. The derailment was in Southeast Portland on the Oregon Pacific Railroad. All of the 700's locomotive wheels were on the ground as well as the entire engine and tender of the SP 4449. The most damage incurred was on the brake rigging on the 700's pilot truck. The time of the derailment was about 12:15 PM. A broken rail was the cause. Through great efforts of the Oregon Pacific and Portland and Western Railroads, and the locomotives' crews, both engines had been re-railed by about 4:00 PM. Track work commenced immediately, on several hundred feet of track and went late into the evening. It started again the next morning at daybreak. The last spikes were driven in at about 1:30 PM on Sunday. The locomotives then ran back to the ORHF Holiday Express station. The remaining weekend excursion trips were cancelled as well as the Santa Train for the BNSF in Vancouver with the 700.
The PRPA is very disappointed to not be able to bring Santa to Vancouver for the BNSF Employees and families. The calls were very hard to make to inform the BNSF that Santa was not able to come to town on a steam engine this year.
The ORHF was running the Holiday Express as a promotion and fundraising effort in conjunction with OMSI showing the movie, Polar Express.
The ORHF is a non-profit organization made of the city of Portland's locomotive groups, volunteers and community leaders to establish a permanent home for the city's steam locomotives. Information regarding ORHF and the Holiday Express can be found at: www.orhf.orgJim Vanderbeck
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