Welcome to Highway213.com
An Informational Site for Oregon's Cascade Highway South

The Molalla Branch of the Oregon Pacific Railroad
Canby to Liberal (formerly to Molalla)

[ History ]  [ Company Info ]  [ Pictures ]  [ Maps ]  [ Links ]

Originally this highway running from Liberal to Salem was a county road. Prior to its current designation as Oregon State Highway 213, the "Cascade Highway South", it was numbered as Oregon Route 215.

Other Local History Links

The Community of Liberal, Oregon

Wilhoit Mineral Springs History Page

Willamette Valley Southern Railway

Evangelical Community Chapel

Victor Hugo Dunton House (1916)
and the
Dunton Family Farm



Click for Heirloom Tomato Seed Selection

Save Seeds - Victory Horticultural Library

matersearch.com - online tomato resources


The Oregon Pacific Railroad is a shortline railroad that operates on an old Union Pacific right-of-way. It was originally built in 1912 to compete with an electric interurban line called the Willamette Valley Southern Railway and eventually became part of the Southern Pacific Railway system. It should be noted that the Southern Pacific was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad in 1996.

801 photographed on September 6, 1998In 1993, Richard A. "Dick" Samuels leased the Southern Pacific Molalla Branch, which ran from a connection with the main line at Canby, Oregon to the southwestern corner of Molalla, Oregon (10 miles). He named the operation, the Molalla Western Railroad. Mr. Samuels also owned the East Portland Traction Company and in May 1998, he combined the two operations forming the Oregon Pacific Railroad. [Note: There was another railroad called the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern (1914-1994) but the OPR has no connection with that defunct company.]

The Molalla branch of the Oregon Pacific Railroad originally provided freight service into and through Molalla. However, as of 2003, the last three miles of the track from Liberal, Oregon to Molalla have been abandoned and the tracks ripped up. The traffic now consists of transporting lumber from RSG Forest Products (sawmill) in Liberal, Oregon to Canby and products used to make chicken feed at Satrum-Dybvad Milling, also in Liberal. The train typically runs two days per week depending on the operation of the mills.

The Oregon Pacific Railroad is headquartered out of an industrial area in Milwaukie, Oregon on Ochoco Road and 17th Street.

Company Information

Mailing Address P.O. Box 22548
Portland, OR  97222
Phone 503-659-5452
Fax 503-659-6546
Contacts Dick Samuels, General Manager       
Interchange Points Canby and East Portland, OR
Agreement Type Handling Carrier

Photos of Locomotives and Yard Scenes

11/18/06 - Number 801 is an EMD SW8 diesel-electric engine built in August, 1951. It once served on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad as well as other larger railroads. It was purchased by Samuels in 1993 for the Molalla Division.  As of this date (8/30/08) it has not been run in several years.

11/18/06 - Engine #802, also an EMD SW8, was built in April, 1953. It was purchased from the Lewis & Clark Railroad in 1995 and to date, still wears their markings.

 The EPTC (East Portland Traction Co.) markings stenciled on the side predate the organization of OPR. Number 802 is the most recent engine to appear here in the Liberal yard and is now the primary work horse on the line.

11/18/06 - Engine #803 is yet another EMD SW8 and was built in March, 1953. It was purchased in 1996 for the Molalla Western Railroad.

11/18/06 - Number 602, also an EMD SW8, was built in July, 1951. It originally served on the Oregon, Pacific & Eastern Railroad and was acquired from an auction sale when that line was dissolved in 1994. The engine has not been moved in years and looks like it is cannibalized for parts.

11/18/06 - This is a view of the yard at Liberal standing on the tracks and facing west towards the RSG Sawmill.

11/18/06 - Standing in the same point as the picture to the left but in the opposite (SE) direction towards the Satrum-Dybvad Feedmill.


Map of the Liberal Division of the Oregon Pacific Railroad

Map of the Liberal Branch of the Oregon Pacific Railroad showing the current location of the "end of the line" as well as the rail yard in Liberal at the north of our farm and east of RSG Lumber Mill.

Dick Samuels of the Oregon Pacific Railroad in Jan. 2005
Image Copyright
Brian McCamish

Sources and Interesting Links:

Copyright 1996 - 2022 - Network Services Group
Some images are used with permission from their owners and are noted.