This Space for Rent

Trainspotting in the countryside

Silas, the best, and I went out to Carlton to get a couple of cases of wine from our favorite defunct winery -- Lion Valley, which used to be out west of Forest Grove, OR. When the owner sold off his vineyards, he was left with about 20,000 bottles of wine, which he's been selling off bit by bit. We've got a lot of Lion Valley pinot at home, and we've been buying extra cases whenever we have some spare money for it. On the weekend after Thanksgiving, Lion Valley sets up camp in Carlton (right down the street from the very good, but unaffordable, Ken Wright Cellars) so we go down there to get a few cases.

To get from Portland to Carlton, we need to take highway 99W, which more or less parallels the ex SP Red Electric line from Portland to McMinnville. We've been up and down that road quite a bit (and it gets grosser every year; Oregon's urban growth boundaries are somewhat porous, and the developers who build at the edges of that boundary are not cursed by the ravages of having any sort of taste or artistic sensibilities) and, until today, have never seen a train moving on the Red Electric line.

When you turn off 99W onto Oregon 240(W), you cross the Red Electric line almost immediately. I had my camera ready, just in case, and when we crossed the line I did my usual look one way, then the other. Looking west, there was nothing, but when I looked back to the east I saw the headlight of a P&W train. A quick right turn, down a block, another right turn, then we were at the next railroad crossing, and the P&W train was right there: