Columbia Southern Railway

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United States  Gotoarrow.png  Oregon Gotoarrow.png Columbia Southern Railway

Wasco railroad station.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

The Columbia Southern Railway built a rail line extending 69.46 miles (111.79 km) from Biggs (on the Columbia River) south to Shaniko, Oregon, U.S. The company was incorporated on March 5, 1897, and intended to continue beyond Shaniko to Prineville, with a branch to Canyon City. Operations began October 6, 1897 on 8.5 miles (13.7 km) from Biggs to Wasco, and the line was extended to Moro on January 13, 1899, Grass Valley on March 27, 1900, and Shaniko on May 13, 1900. The Union Pacific Railroad (UP), owner of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company (OR&N), which followed the Columbia River through Biggs, gained control of the Columbia Southern in 1905,[citation needed] and leased it to the OR&N on June 30, 1906. The properties of the OR&N and Columbia Southern Railway were conveyed to new UP subsidiary Oregon–Washington Railroad and Navigation Company on December 23, 1910.

No extension was ever built beyond Shaniko, but UP subsidiary Des Chutes Railroad built a line to the west along the Deschutes River, reaching Bend in 1911; Prineville built its own railroad, the City of Prineville Railway, to a connection with this line in 1917 and 1918. The Interstate Commerce Commission authorized abandonment of the old Columbia Southern Railway from Shaniko to Kent in 1943, and of the remainder between Kent and Biggs in 1967.