Oregon Coast Scenic steps in to save locomotive, cars facing eviction from park

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The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad has stepped in to help save this former logging locomotive and two cars on display in Garibaldi, Ore.
Martin E. Hansen

GARIBALDI, Ore. — The Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad has answered a call for help to rescue a deteriorating steam locomotive and trainset on local display, averting the potential sale or scrapping of the equipment and setting the stage for its eventual restoration to operation.

The Lions Club of Garibaldi had purchased the locomotive, Baldwin 2-8-2 No. 90, in 1963 when logging company Rayonier Inc. converted its Hoquiam, Wash., railroad to diesel power. The 90-ton locomotive, built for Rayonier predecessor Polson Logging Co., was purchased for its scrap value of $1,250, and shipped to Garibaldi along with a coach and caboose for display in a park in the small fishing village.

The equipment has been subject to weather and salt air ever since, and its deteriorating condition became a concern to the Port of Garibaldi, owner of the land where it was displayed. In 2018, the port ordered that the Lions Club needed to repair or stabilize the locomotive or it would have to be removed, with a deadline of May 8, 2019.

The display site was just 100 feet from the facilities of the Oregon Coast Scenic, which has operated steam excursions since 2002. When the Lions Club placed a newspaper ad seeking bidders to buy the equipment because of its eminent eviction, the railroad called a board of directors meeting, recognizing it was the only viable option to save the locomotive. Meetings between the railroad, port, and Lions Club led to an agreement transferring ownership of the equipment to the railroad. The Oregon Coast Scenic was granted a year to raise funds for cosmetic restoration of the equipment and construction of a protective fence.

The railroad is also committed to restoring No. 90 to full operation — an option made possible only because of the collaborative effort of the three groups.

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