BROOKS, Ore. – Former Oregon Electric Railway locomotive No. 21 has returned to its home state for the first time since 1946.
The locomotive had a homecoming on March 1 at the Oregon Electric Railway Museum at Powerland Heritage Park, which sits just a couple hundred yards from the former OE main line.
The locomotive was built in 1912 for the OE to move freight up and down the Willamette Valley between Portland and Eugene, according to the Oregon Electric Railway Historical Society. The locomotive was retired at the end of electric operations and sold to the British Columbia Electric Railway in Vancouver, B.C., where it continued to operate as No. 961 until 1980. From there it was sold to the Edmonton Transit System in Alberta. It was used there to help build the light rail tunnel extension as No. 2001.
Edmonton retired it in 1998 where it was moved to a local trolley museum, the Edmonton Radial Railway Society. The locomotive proved too heavy for them to operate at Fort Edmonton Park. In 2014, the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway, in Cloverdale, B.C., acquired the locomotive for its BC heritage. However, it did not fit their goals and they needed space for their growing collection of BC passenger interurbans, so they offered it for sale.
The historical society started a fundraising campaign in September and purchased the locomotive.