A Chicago Train Connecting Railroad - 1930's - 1940's
Spokane Portland and Seattle Railway

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sp&s herald

The Spokane, Portland and Seattle Railway, SP&S, was a United States-based railroad incorporated in 1905. It was a joint venture by the Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific Railway to build a railroad along the north bank of the Columbia River.(wik)
The SP&S provided a route from Spokane to Portland, so the GN and NP trains would not have to go over the Cascades to Puget Sound locations and then turn south to reach Portland, Oregon. In addition, it provided a link for the Great Northern's
S.P.& S.
S.P.& S.
Spring 1941
Oregon Trunk line to build south into California to compete with the Southern Pacific for Pacific Coast freight traffic. The GN and NP luxury trains the "Empire Builder" and the "North Coast Limited" sent separate sections to and from Portland using SP&S rails.
Short History of the Spokane Portland and Seattle Railway

cir 1880 - Northern Pacific Railroad completes lines in Washington west coast from north of Portland,OR to Tacoma. To reach Portland the NP built a short line from Portland to Goble where a ferry crossed the Columubia River to Washington State.
cir 1880's - Astoria, OR wanted a railroad to connect with the outside world.
1888 - The Astoria & South Coast Railway was incorporated for constructing a railroad southward to Tillamook County, and beyond.
1893 - The operating line of A&SC was sold to a new company: the Seashore Road Company.
1895 - The Astoria & Columbia River Railroad was incorporated for construction of a connection between Astoria and the Northern Pacific at Goble.
1897 - The owners of the Astoria & Columbia River Railroad purchased the Seashore Road Company.
1898 - A&CR completes connection with the NP and trains run from Astoria. A 99-year lease was signed with the Northern Pacific to allow the A&CR trains to use the Northern Pacific line into Portland Union Station (at the time referred to as "Portland Grand Central").
1905 - The Portland and Seattle Railway incorporated. Owned 50-50 by GN and NP, (Hill interests). To be built in order to provide a low lying railroad using Columbia River Valley to extend from Spokane to Portland and Seattle.
1907 - James Hill, owner of the Great Northern Railway, purchased the A&CR.
1906-1908 - Construction from Portland east along north bank of Columbia River
1908 - The line along the Columia and up intoo Washington name is changed to Spokane Portland & Seattle Railway.
1906-1908 - Massive Columbia River bridges constructed to allow direct entry into Portland from the north and east in Washington. (The SP&S never completed its line to Seattle. All SP&S traffic north used the GN and NP tracks. In fact the bridges were used in a "pool" including SP&S, GN, NP, UP, and SP traffic, and for a while the Milwaukee Road andm, later, the BN, BN/SF and Amtrak).
1909 - Construction of the Oregon Trunk to Bend, Oregon began.
1910 - Oregon Electric Railway purchased. This railway served the Willamette Valley. (see Oregon Electric page)
1911-1930's - SP&S maintained interests in several other Oregon branch lines and bus companies.
1970, - SP&S merged with the Great Northern Railway, the Northern Pacific Railway, and the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad to form the Burlington Northern Railroad.
19966 - BN and Santa Fe merge to form the BNSF.

SP&S 1941 map
Spokane Portland & Seattle 1941 Timetable Map

Our Sources
Private Collection of Richard R. Parks(rp)
Wikipedia the free Encyclopedia [web](wik)
Official Guide- April 1940
Pacific Railroad Preservation Association(pr)
Pacific Northwest Chapter, National Rialway Historical Society
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Web Page Written and Maintained by Richard Parks
Copyright Richard Parks, May 1, 2009, revised Oct. 29, 2011