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The Little Railroad That Did: The Northwest's SP&S

Oregon Trunk Railway on February 15, 1911
Oregon Trunk Railway on February 15, 1911

The creation of the modern American West has a lot to do with railroads.

Railroads connected the West Coast to the East, reducing travel times, and moving people and goods into the region to stay. The big names fill the history books: Union Pacific, Southern Pacific, Great Northern, Santa Fe.

There's another one peculiar to just the Northwest: the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway, which ran from Spokane to Portland with significant branches.

The Oregon Historical Society maintains a large collection of photographs of the SP&S in its heyday (since absorbed into BNSF Railway).

We visit with OHS Digital Librarian Laura Cray and researcher and Digital Collections Assistant Ilana Sol.

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Charlie Zimmermann is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.