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Banks to Tillamook Rail/Trail Feasibility Study

November 21, 2012
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Banks to Tillamook Rail/Trail – Chugging Forward

The Port of Tillamook Bay (POTB) rail road through the Salmonberry River canyon once connected the Willamette Valley to the Oregon Coast.  Decimated by significant floods and debris flow, the rail connection has been cut off since 2007.  A portion of the line is being used by the Oregon Coast Scenic Railway to conduct scenic tours of the Coast and Tillamook Forest.   Many people have expressed interest finding a way to restore the full connection to the Willamette Valley, not necessarily as a rail line, but as a trail opportunity.

Laying Tracks

A coalition of interested parties including: State Senator Betsy Johnson and Representatives of Tillamook County, Port of Tillamook Bay, Tillamook County, Cycle Oregon, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, and Oregon Department of Forestry have come together to explore the possibility of a trail connection along the 86 miles of the POTB rail road.  The primary focus of this group is to determine what challenges and obstacles need to be identified and overcome if a trail connection is to be considered through this area.  While not a full feasibility study, the examination of potential issues will look at ownership, existing use, natural and cultural resource considerations, construction costs, economic development opportunities, recreation potential, long term maintenance, and operation issues.  This high level analysis will be used to create a framework for interested parties to make decisions about moving forward with a more complete planning effort.

Time Table to the Station

The group has met to identify the resources and constraints each partner can bring to the table.  Oregon Parks and Recreation Department and Oregon Department of Forestry have been identified as lead partners in pulling together the high level analysis for the group’s consideration.  In the Fall, two listening post sessions were held in Banks and Tillamook, to get initial public reaction to the concept.  The goal is to have the analysis and framework for decision making ready by Winter, 2012.  If the framework identifies a reasonable path forward, a further series of public listening sessions will be scheduled to present this information and hear public comments in regards to a potential trail connection along this line.

How to get a Ticket

As the initial data gathering is being done, a website and general information about the Salmonberry Rail/Trail effort will be developed to help keep people informed about the process and invite feedback.  Interested parties are encouraged to comment via this blog, write to Mark Davison at mark.davison@state.or.us, or call 503-986-0744 to find out more information and get on the mailing list for updates.

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14 Comments leave one →
  1. Linda M. permalink
    November 30, 2012 12:49 am

    I would definelty support and utilize a multi-use trail that is in harmony with local land owners and respects the native environment it travels through.

  2. Jeff permalink
    December 4, 2012 7:45 am

    Glad to hear that this is moving forward, and excited to hear the results of the prelim study.

  3. December 27, 2012 1:38 am

    Own property on river and would support trail idea

  4. January 25, 2013 3:45 am

    Likewise, our family is a forestland property nearby. We support the idea wholeheartedly.

  5. Kathy permalink
    February 8, 2013 1:11 am

    This would be a fantastic use of our natural resources, and a great boost to the economy in Tillamook county.

  6. Lindsay Parks permalink
    March 15, 2013 9:16 am

    Love the idea of this rail to trails conversion. What fun to ride a bicycle from the Willamette Valley to the coast through this magnificent part of Oregon.

  7. Jerry W permalink
    March 15, 2013 11:00 am

    Tourists cycling, hiking, fishing or horse travel from Tillamook would spend on lodging, meals and other needs and bring a boost to the coast economy. In addition they would enjoy some of the most beautiful forests and mountain scenery in the world. The buzz among cyclist and travelers would provide a multiplier effect bringing more and more visitors as the word spreads of this wonderful travel resource. This is a huge win for Tillamook and the coast community.

  8. paula permalink
    May 24, 2013 11:41 pm

    I so look forward to the possibility of this trail!

  9. Perry Cabot permalink
    May 30, 2013 1:50 pm

    This would be an unbelievably great project and would draw attention and interest from all over the country.

    I sincerely hope to see it go forward.

  10. Zeke permalink
    September 6, 2013 10:53 am

    I hear the plan includes a 1 mile corridor on each side of the trail where no hunting or shooting would be allowed. All you adjacent land owners should ask about this.

  11. Jim Geddes permalink
    September 7, 2013 8:51 am

    In the early 70’s while hunting I discovered for myself the Salmonberry River canyon and the “Punk Rotten & Nasty” Rail road now referred to as the “Oregon Coast Scenic Railway”. Over the years I’ve been telling people about what a neat area this is and encouraging all to go and see for themselves and enjoy. I am in complete agreement with making a trail or route for others along this old rail line. However I am concerned about my hunting access into the area and the area I have hunted for years. As a hunter I am willing and cheerful to share this area with all who want to enjoy it and at the same time intend to keep safely hunting in and along this area as I have done for years.
    Thank you
    Jim Geddes

  12. October 12, 2013 12:09 am

    Own property along the tracks. Not really a fan of the trail going in

    • Walt permalink
      December 16, 2013 4:30 am

      I am a responsible bike writer and look forward to enjoying this new trail I believe that the majority of people that will use his trail or respect surrounding private property and act accordingly. The property surrounding the trucks will be protected by responsible individuals such as many and the Oregon State Parks Department I’m sure it will be policed. If I happen to see something going on other than people enjoying the core door I would be the first to step in and put a stop to it

  13. laurie permalink
    June 25, 2014 11:49 pm

    Own property within a few minutes of the train – trail and would love to have 86 miles of it.

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