Rating:
4 votes

PNWR - Holcomb Creek Trestle

Photos 

Side view from the road

Photo taken by Bob Woolhiser

BH Photo #161444

Map 

Video 

Holcomb Creek Trestle

844Steamtrain

Play video on YouTube

Description 

The largest wooden bridge in the U.S. still in use at 1168 feet long and about 90 feet tall.

Facts 

Overview
Timber stringer bridge over Holcomb Creek and Dick Road on Portland and Western Railroad
Location
Washington County, Oregon
Status
Open to traffic
History
Built ca. 1905 for the interurban Oregon Electric Railway
Railroads
- Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W)
- Interurban
- Oregon Electric Railway (OER)
- Portland & Western Railroad (PNWR)
- Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway (SPS)
- United Railways (Oregon)
Design
Timber stringer
Dimensions
Total length: 1,168.0 ft.
Approximate latitude, longitude
+45.59696, -122.89827   (decimal degrees)
45°35'49" N, 122°53'54" W   (degrees°minutes'seconds")
Approximate UTM coordinates
10/507934/5049273 (zone/easting/northing)
Quadrangle map:
Hillsboro
Inventory number
BH 44802 (Bridgehunter.com ID)

Update Log 

  • December 26, 2017: New video from Geoffrey Moreland
  • October 27, 2017: New photos from Mike Garland
  • April 7, 2010: Added by Jacob P. Bernard

Sources 

  • Jacob P. Bernard
  • Mike Garland - Rapier342 [at] comcast [dot] net
  • Geoffrey Moreland

Comments 

PNWR - Holcomb Creek Trestle
Posted March 11, 2017, by Matt (wmfbook [at] gmail [dot] com)

Does anyone have any updated information on how frequently the P&W runs trains over the Holcomb Creek Trestle now that the shortcut has been built in Wilksboro (just east of Banks)? I have only been able to get out there on Friday nights to see the train crossing the trestle, but if they are running during the day now, that would be great to see.

Holcomb Creek Trestle
Posted July 9, 2012, by Jeremy Klitzke

I believe the bridge was constructed by the United Railways, not the Oregon Electric. Later on, a line connecting the UR line at Bowers Jct. (just west of the Holcomb Creek Trestle) with an Oregon Electric branchline in Hillsboro was constructed. At the time, the OE's mainline ran from Portland to Eugene, but Portland wanted the railroad off of its streets. The connector allowed the OE to abandon it's direct line into Portland (now occupied by I-5) and instead routed its trains on a more round-about route through Hillsboro, Bower's Jct., this trestle, and Cornelius Pass to come in to Portland from the northwest. Both United Railways and the Oregon Electric were subsidiaries of the Spokane Portland & Seattle Ry., so this arrangement kept all the traffic in the family.

The OE's branch line is now used by MAX light rail, and the Hillsboro-Bowers Jct. connector was severed something like a decade ago. Portland & Western gained control of the former OE and UR lines as well as many Southern Pacific branch lines. Trains arriving in Tigard from the Willamette Valley and points south still travel over this trestle, but they use the former SP line to go through Hillsboro to Banks, where a connection to the former United Railways line is made. The railroad sends one train (once in each direction) over the trestle 5 days per week, Tuesday-Saturday, but unfortunately, the train operates late at night.

The current connection in Banks between the UR and SP lines is a little cumbersome, and the P&W has won a ConnectOregon II grant to build a better connection just east of that town. Once construction is complete, the railroad may begin sending a second train per day over the route.

Holcomb Creek Trestle
Posted July 6, 2012, by Jacob P. Bernard (jacob_bernard [at] yahoo [dot] com)

Who keeps editing this page by adding the railroad initials? I would like it to stop, please.

Holcomb Creek Trestle
Posted May 16, 2010, by Joe (jcasperctd [at] verizon [dot] net)

They use it Daily still

Holcomb Creek Trestle
Posted April 20, 2010, by Kristin

I believe the trestle is no longer open to traffic