Weyerhaeuser Company (Springfield)
1949-1987
Back To Lane County
Wendling Branch
In 1949 Weyerhaeuser leased the existing Southern Pacific Wendling branch from Hendricks to Hyland Siding. They
then built new track from their large Springfield mill WNW to Hendricks, and relaid track from Hyland Siding north
through Mabel on the old Coast Range L. Co. and Robert Dollar grades to a point just west of where Log Creek
empties into the Mohawk River. From here the grade crossed Marcola Road and ran east to their reload. The point of
this railroad was to access their timber holdings around the Linn and Lane County border. The logged into the hills
around and above the reload with trucks since they were more accommodating to road grades and curves, transferred
the loads to rail cars, and hauled the logs to the mill. This operation lasted until 1987 when their timber was depleted
and they figured that just hauling the extra distance to the mill would be easier with trucks. Also at this time the forests
around Wendling were once more ready to cut so, rather than rebuild the rail lines here they went to all trucks. The
rails were torn up in 1987 all the way back to Hendricks, and then slowly the line was taken up from there. I can
remember riding with my dad on a fishing trip to Cougar Reservoir in 1988 and seeing the bridge across Marcola
Road still up. However, when I went through the area in 1992, only the concrete tiers remained of the bridge. A few
years later even these were removed. However, for the most part the grade is easily traceable today. It should be
noted also that this operation never used steam, only small diesel engines to comply with the 84 ton load restriction on
the old truss bridge across the McKenzie River.
I would like to note that for the purposes of this page I am not going to list anything from Hendricks to Hyland Siding so
as not to repeat myself, but rather focus on the part of the grade from Hyland Siding to the reload. For the grade from
Hendrics to Hyland Siding you can look at the Wendling Branch page.
Bridge crossing Shotgun Creek. At the time I visited this site the blackberries were a little bad, but there
was a trail. Now the blackberries are taller than I am and there is no trail. (Summer/1995)
Looking North along the old right-of-way between the Shotgun Creek crossing and the Marcola Road
crossing. (Summer 1992)
Looking south along the old right-of-way between the Shotgun Creek crossing and the Marcola Road
crossing from the same place as above. (Summer 1992)
An old cement box culvert between the Shotgun Creek crossing and the Marcola Road crossing. (Summer
1995)
The old trestle tiers and grade barricades at the Marcola Road crossing.
Today all of this is gone and one has to look closely to see where the grade
crossed the road. (Summer 1992)
Looking east along the old right-of-way just after the Marcola Road crossing. I tried walking this route
again a few years later and found that the brush was somewhat substantial. All I could find walking east
from here were a few ties here and there. Unfortunately, I did not have my camera then. (Summer 1992)
Created 2/29/08