Portland & Southwestern Railroad
Back To Columbia County
Created 1/22/06
Nehalem Divide Tunnel:
Looking West into the through-cut from the western portal of the tunnel. Although when first constructed,
I imagine that there was a good drainage system for the grade. However, that ditch system has become
filled in and a wet and soggy area is what the grade has become at this spot today. (1/30/05)
Here is the south wall of the through-cut just to the west of the western portal of the tunnel. (1/8/05)
Looking east at the western portal of the tunnel. There are two creeks that flow down the grade from the
portal. One is on the right and one is on the left. (1/8/05)
Looking west out of the western part of the tunnel. (1/8/05)
My friend Jeff just inside of the western part of the tunnel, seen from the western portal. (1/8/05)
Part of the side braces on the bottom edge of the tunnel. This is just inside of the western portal of the
tunnel. (1/8/05)
Here is the intact section behind the side braces just inside of the western portal of the tunnel. (1/8/05)
Here is another shot of the low braces on either side of the first part of the western end of the tunnel.
(1/8/05)
One more shot of the northern side brace on the western end of the tunnel. Note the build up of water.
There is standing and flowing water throughout the tunnel. (1/8/05)
My friends Ammon and Joe inside of the western part of the tunnel, seen from one of the many debris
piles inside of the tunnel. (1/30/05)
One of the debris piles that litter the tunnel, especially on the western end. These are the flat, small
lining boards and filler wood from the roof woodwork (1/30/05)
This picture shows the tongue-in-groove method for beam joints in the tunnel. These joints would also be
fastened together by a steel spike running down the center of each beam. (1/30/05)
An intact section of the tunnel. Notice how black the timbers are. There is a lot of soot on the timbers
inside of the tunnel from all of the steam trains that passed through here. (1/8/05)
The side of an intact section on the western part of the tunnel showing how the side timbers were pretty
much laid flat against the rock walls, but that filer was needed for the roof. (1/8/05)
Here is a shot on the western end of the tunnel showing the wood filler above an intact section of the
tunnel. (1/8/05)
An excellent view of the rock ceiling, the wood filler, and the timber construction of the tunnel on the
western section of the tunnel. (1/8/05)
Here is a collapsed section of the tunnel in the western end. This pile is composed of rock that has fallen
with the wood filler that kept it up. (1/8/05)
Here is a shot showing a collapsed section within the western section of the tunnel. Mostly wood filler
and wooden planks. (1/8/05)
Here is a shot of an intact section of the tunnel in the first third of the tunnel. Unfortunately it was cold
and I didn't hold my breath while snapping the photo. (1/8/05)
A strange vein of rock in the roof of the tunnel above the tunnel timbers, about midway down the tunnel.
(1/30/05)
Here is a shot of the wood filler that was used between the wooden planks and the top of the rock shaft.
This filler appears to be nothing more than split wood kindling. (1/30/05)
Here is part of an intact section of the tunnel, about midway through. Note the flat planks behind the
actual beams. (1/30/05)
Another shot of an intact section of the tunnel, about midway through. (1/30/05)
Here is another shot of the wood filler that was used in between the wooden planks and the top of the
rock shaft. (1/30/05)
Walking through the remains of the wooden structure, I couldn't find much metal. However, here are
two bolts still in place in an intact section of the tunnel. (1/30/05)
An intact wall section on the eastern end of the tunnel. (1/30/05)
Here is an pic showing an intact section of the roof about midway through the tunnel. (1/30/05)
An intact section of the southern side of the tunnel about midway down. (1/30/05)
Looking down the northern side of the tunnel and the remaining beams about midway through. (1/30/05)
Looking down the southern side of the tunnel at the beam still in place, about midway through. (1/30/05)
Looking east at an intact section of the tunnel. (1/30/05)
Looking east in the eastern part of the tunnel which is the most intact section of the tunnel. Here is the
roadbed still in place with the intact timbers on each side, in between two collapsed sections. (1/30/05)
Here is an intact section of the road grade with the ties still in place on the eastern end of the tunnel.
(1/30/05)
This is one of three rail plates that were still in the ties, which were still in place on the eastern end of
the tunnel.  (1/30/05)
Here is another shot of the tie that is still in place with the rail plate spiked in place as well (1/30/05)
My friend Joe adjusting his boots after finishing the grueling hike through the tunnel. (1/30/05)
Looking east down the grade from the eastern portal of the tunnel. (1/30/05)
Sources:
"Stations West" by Edwin Culp
"This Was Railroading" by George Abdill
This rail plate was found on the large fill just before the eastern portal of the Nehalem Divide tunnel.
Some of the fossils in a layer above the eastern portal of the tunnel. This layer can be seen along most
of the right of way.
Looking at the ties still in place on the eastern end of the tunnel.
My friend Ryan Noffsinger walking between the collapsed and intact sections of the tunnel on its eastern
end.
Looking at a collapsed section of the tunnel and Ryan at about the middle of the tunnel.
My friend Ryan standing outside of the western portal of the tunnel.
Looking at Ryan and the eastern portal of the tunnel.
Trestle still partially standing across the East Fork Nehalem River, looking at what's left on
the east bank.
Lone piling of the trestle shown above, standing on the west side of the river.
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