Located along the deep canyon of the Upper Sacramento River, Dunsmuir, Calif., was an important railroad depot, first for the Central Pacific, and later the Southern Pacific Railroad.  Dunsmuir winters can be heavy and hard, with snows that compromise the railroads.

Oregon Works To Improve Trains For People

Nov 18, 2015

Oregon has been steadily building ridership on Amtrak's "Cascadia Corridor" from Eugene north to Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver, BC. 

But the population of the surrounding valley is expected to continue rapid growth for decades, so some decisions need to be made about passenger trains and where they'll travel. 

The preference is to expand capacity on the existing line, but the state is taking input in an online open house until November 22nd. 

Siskiyou Rail Line Open For Business

Nov 11, 2015
Liam Moriarty/JPR News

Rogue Valley residents south of Medford have to get used to new sounds: the rumbles and horn blasts of freight trains. 

The Central Oregon and Pacific Railroad closed the Siskiyou line south to California several years ago, forcing any Rogue Valley freight traffic to head north to go anywhere in the country. 

Now with new owners and a federal grant, CORP has reopened the line between Medford and Black Butte (South Weed). 

As Ashland, Ore., became a railroad center after 1890, women seized on an unusual opportunity to prosper. Inexpensive vacant lots between the town and the railroad offered widows, divorcees and other single women a chance to buy property and rent out homes to itinerant railroad workers and their families.

I Hear That Train A-coming...

Nov 24, 2014
Drew Jacksich/Wikimedia

There's an old connection between trains and the holidays. 

Think of all the pictures you've seen of model trains running around Christmas trees. 

In the Rogue Valley, Thanksgiving is the holiday associated with trains. 

Because Thanksgiving weekend is the time the Rogue Valley Model Railroad Club and other train groups present the Rogue Valley Railroad Show at the Medford Armory. 

Making Old Number 4 New Again

May 19, 2014

The world of railroading has its extremes: speeding bullet trains overseas… and Medco number 4. 

Number 4 is a steam locomotive built in 1925 for use in the logging camps of the Medford Corporation (Medco). 

It is a rare example of a particular type of locomotive, and in the eyes of railfans, worth bringing back to operating life. 

Expanding Passenger Rail In America

May 8, 2014

If the "Back to the Future" movies had been correct, we'd have flying cars by now. 

But we don't even have true high-speed trains in America… Amtrak's 150 mph "Acela" on the East Coast does not quite count. 

But trains do have plenty of fans, and more riders with each passing year. 

Getting The Railroad Show On Track

Nov 27, 2013
Graham Causer/Wikimedia

What IS it about trains? 

They're just like big trucks and busses on steel rails… but the people who love them think of them as far more than that. 

Crime On Rails: Murder In Lower 13

Nov 7, 2013
Public domain

The famous robbery-turned-murder outside Ashland may be Oregon's most famous railroad crime story, but there are others. 

Including the story of "Murder in Lower Birth 13," which is the title of a presentation on the 1943 crime, November 8th at the Ashland Library. 

Getting California's High-Speed Rail On Track

Oct 31, 2013
California High-Speed Rail Authority

High-speed trains zoom across countries in Europe and Asia, but the United States is moving slowly toward fast trains (150 mph and faster). 

California's planned high-speed rail system recently broke ground, amid lingering questions about costs and timelines.  We talk with the High-Speed Rail Authority about plans and progress.