This Space for Rent

American Freedom Train 4449

Around 30 years ago, the Southern Pacific GS-4 4449 was dragged out of Oaks Park, put into operation, and used to haul the American Freedom Train around most of the western United States. The Freedom Train came through La Crosse at some ungodly early hour in the morning, so I missed it. Last summer, Metro (the local uber-government) had just finished converting the west side of the old Portland Traction line into one of the last bits of the Springwater Corridor, and celebrated, in part, by hiring the 4449 (and the SP&S 700) to run passenger trains from just south of the Portland Traction's East Portland yard to just south of Spokane street.

The 4449 was painted in AFT colors, so I ended up not missing it after all:

As an aside, when the 4449 was shoved into Oaks park back in the late 1950s, Portland Traction #100 is supposed to be the engine that did the pushing. It was also the engine that pulled 4449 out of Oaks park in 1974. It appears to be retired now, but it was running up through this spring, and it was also present for the Springwater trail opening.