Lewis and Clark's Columbia River
Lewis & Clark's Columbia River - "200 Years Later"
"Railroad Bridge, Vancouver to Hayden Island to Oregon"
Includes ... SP&S Railroad Bridge ... Vancouver ... Hayden Island ... North Bank Railway ...
Image, 2007, Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia at Vancouver, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia River connecting Vancouver, Washington, with Portland, Oregon. View from Vancouver Station, Washington. Hayden Island, Oregon, is in the background. Image taken April 1, 2007.


Vancouver-Hayden Island Railroad Bridge ...
In 1906 the Spokane, Portland & Seattle Railway (SP&S) began construction of the railroad bridge (the "North Bank Bridge") connecting Vancouver, Washington with Hayden Island, Oregon, bringing to an end the rail-car ferry which went between Kalama, Washington and Goble, Oregon (see more below). Throughout history this bridge carried the SP&S trains as well as the Northern Pacific, the Great Northern, and the Union Pacific, on their routes between Seattle and Portland. This bridge is now part of the Burlington Northern Sante Fe system and seves Union Pacific and Amtrak as well. Heading south, the tracks from the Vancouver Depot cross Hayden Island and the North Portland Harbor and continue on to Portland's Union Station. The bridge is located at Columbia River Mile (RM) 105.5.

Early Bridge ...
According to the Clark County Washington Historical Register website (2005):

"... One of the major bridges on the Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railway is a double-tracked swing bridge which spans the Columbia River between Vancouver and Hayden Island. The nearest rail crossing over the Columbia River was over the Oregon Trunk Railway at Celilo, 105 miles to the east. The Vancouver-Hayden Island Bridge replaced the Northern Pacific ferry that had transferred entire trains across the Columbia River between Goble, Washington and Kalama Washington since 1883. This bridge provided a crucial connection between Oregon and Washington facilitating the movement of all north-south bound rail traffic through Portland.

Completed in 1908, the Columbia River Bridge is the oldest pin connected swing bridge remaining within the state of Washington. Ships can pass through the 2,808 foot structure through the opening of the swing span which rotates by means of electric power and an auxiliary gasoline engine. Its 492 foot swing span was extremely long for its day which is reflected in the fact that the bridge was acknowledged in Henry Grattan Tyrrell’s History of Bridge Engineering.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982. ..."

Note: In November 2005, this web author was unable to locate the railroad bridge on the National Register of Historic Places website. The Interstate 5 Bridge however was listed in on the site, added in 1982, Structure #82004205.


Views ...

Image, 2017, Railroad Bridge, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia River, Oregon side. Image taken September 13, 2017.
Image, 2005, Hayden Island, Oregon, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Hayden Island, Oregon, as seen from Vancouver Landing, Washington. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia River connecting Vancouver, Washington, with Portland, Oregon. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2005, Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia at Vancouver, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Open for traffic, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia River connecting Vancouver, Washington, with Portland, Oregon. Span for river traffic is open. View from Vancouver Landing, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2005, Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia at Vancouver, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia River connecting Vancouver, Washington, with Portland, Oregon. Span for river traffic is open. View from Vancouver Station, Washington. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2005, Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia at Vancouver, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad Bridge crossing the Columbia River connecting Vancouver, Washington, with Portland, Oregon. View from Vancouver Station, Washington. Image taken July 3, 2005.
Image, 2005, Amtrak arriving at Vancouver Station, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Amtrak arriving at Vancouver Station. Train on the left is a Burlington Northern Santa Fe heading south. Image taken July 3, 2005.


Vancouver Railroad Bridge, etc.

  • Portland and Puget Sound Railroad ...
  • SP4449 Excursion, 2011 ...
  • Vancouver Station (Depot) ...


Portland and Puget Sound Railroad ...
The 1888 NOAA Chart #6145, "Columbia River, Sheet No.6, Fales Landing to Portland", shows a railroad bridge between Vancouver and Hayden Island, which is labeled "Portland & Puget Sound R.R.".

An 1888 Plat map however shows no railroad bridge, and with a ferry from Vancouver (from the foot of "B Street") heading to the Oregon shore (passing around the upper end of Hayden Island) labeled "Steam Ferry".

This bridge was destroyed during the flood of 1894.

"... The flood badly wrecked the Portland and Vancouver railroad trestle and it would have to be completely rebuilt. The last trip over the trestle by the electric cars was made on May 31st, and the ferry came up and tied to the trees in one local's yard. ..." ["Columbian.com" website, 2005]


SP4449 Excursion, 2011 ...
[More]

Image, 2011, SP4449 Steam Engine, Vancouver railroad bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
SP 4449 Steam Engine crossing the Columbia River, from Hayden Island, Oregon, to Vancouver, Washington. View from Vancouver Landing. Image taken July 2, 2011.
Image, 2011, SP4449 Steam Engine, Vancouver railroad bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Closeup, SP 4449 Steam Engine crossing the Columbia River, from Hayden Island, Oregon, to Vancouver, Washington. View from Vancouver Landing. Image taken July 2, 2011.
Image, 2011, SP4449 Steam Engine, Vancouver railroad bridge, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
SP 4449 Steam Engine approaching Vancouver. Image taken July 2, 2011.


The Vancouver end of the railroad bridge swings to allow river traffic to pass.

View (and foreground pilings) from Vancouver Landing.


Vancouver Station (Depot) ...
[More]

Image, 2007, Vancouver Station, Vancouver, Washington, click to enlarge
Click image to enlarge
Vancouver Station, Vancouver, Washington. Image taken April 1, 2007.


"The Golden Age of Postcards" ...

The early 1900s was the "Golden Age of Postcards", with the "Penny Postcard" being a popular way to send greetings to family and friends. Today the Penny Postcards have become a snapshot of history.


From the Journals of Lewis and Clark ...

Clark, November 4, 1805 ...




Vancouver PlainsReturn to
Menu
 






*River Miles [RM] are approximate, in statute miles, and were determined from USGS topo maps, obtained from NOAA nautical charts, or obtained from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website, 2003

Sources:
  • Clark County Washington Historic Register website, 2005;
  • "Columbian.com" website, 2005, "History";
  • National Register of Historical Places website, 2005;
  • NOAA Office of Coast Survey website, 2005;


All Lewis and Clark quotations from Gary Moulton editions of the Lewis and Clark Journals, University of Nebraska Press, all attempts have been made to type the quotations exactly as in the Moulton editions, however typing errors introduced by this web author cannot be ruled out; location interpretation from variety of sources, including this website author.
/Regions/Places/vancouver_railroad_bridge.html
September 2008