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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

The caboose is loose

September 3, 2015

The Johnson Creek Watershed is one of Portland’s most important ecological resources. About 170,000 people live within the 52 square mile watershed, including forests, farms, neighborhoods, and more.

Our new Watershed Health Report Cards show that the Johnson Creek Watershed averages about a C in overall health. The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is working hard to restore stream banks, water quality, and habitat to improve our grades.

BES purchased land along SE Tenino Street for one of those restoration projects. The land purchase came with a unique find – a vintage 1921 railroad caboose! The caboose had once been used as an apartment, but sat empty for several years.

Usually, BES crews will deconstruct buildings or other structures on purchased property. But the caboose is so unique, the owners of local company Lorentz Bruun Construction wanted to keep it!

Last month, crews loaded the caboose onto a flatbed truck, and hauled it to its new home next to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The Bruun family hopes to restore the caboose and make it open to the public.

The Oregon Rail Heritage Center is home to the historic SP 4449, SP&S 700, and OR&N 197 locomotives. In 2012, Nick was proud to partner with the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation to secure a permanent home for our historic trains.

Learn more about the Rail Heritage Center on their website.