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Central Oregon & Pacific Locomotives.

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When I first moved to the US in 1995 I lived in Southern Oregon a block away from the Central Oregon & Pacific RR. The line which had recently been taken over from the Southern Pacific was part of the original SP main route from California to Oregon but due to steep grades and tight curves was bypassed from Black Butte in Northern California to Eugene Oregon. The original route, known as the Siskiyou line remained open principally due to heavy forest products traffic. When I got to know the line CORP were about to reopen the southern portion of the line which had been closed by SP a few years before. This section has some of the steepest grades on any mainline in the US. 3.5% in places, tight curves and tunnels. A truly spectacular piece of railroad. My fondest memory of this line was chasing a southbound freight out of Medford up the hill to Siskiyou tunnel at the summit. CORP's power at this time was second hand GP38's newly painted in red and grey, GP40's, in Burlington Northern green and more with high hoods still in Norfolk Southern black. On this day the fifty plus car train, the heaviest I had seen on the line, loaded with forest products was powered by six locomotives up front and five pushing on the rear. The noise the smoke the smell was an experience I will never forget.

While sorting through some old models recently I came across some GP38,s I built back then with a view to modeling CORP. They are old Athearn GP38-2 models backdated by replacing the truck sideframes with the older Bloomberg style, replacing the frameS with ones from GP40-2 where appropriate and filling in the water sight gauge opening on the right hand side. A lot more work could have been done but they were good enough for me as they were intended as operating models. They were photographed on my Irish layout on a spot which could pass for some areas along the Siskiyou line.

corp model.jpg

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