On the evening of August 20th, more than a hundred people visited the Oregon Rail Heritage Center to hear Doyle McCormack describe his journey with the PA locomotive now called the Nickle Plate Road 190. Doyle has followed the life of the engine from a mainline workhouse in mid-America, to an abandoned and rusted-out hulk picked over by vultures in Baja California.
The beautiful blue and white locomotive is an ongoing labor of love. Doyle was twelve when he made up his mind he wanted his own locomotive. This was two years after he decided to be a train driver.
With heartbreak and setbacks galore, the PA’s road to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center has been colored with determination, resourceful thinking, and the hard work of many. The rebuilding has been done by hand. Parts were fabricated and made to fit even when they weren’t exactly original equipment. The engine is still shy a few parts, like a traction motor, so it’s not operational. But the work goes on. It just returned from Spenser, North Carolina where it was one of twenty-six streamliners on display.
You can see the PA, only one of five left in the world, at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center at 2250 SE Water St. in Portland. Plan to visit us soon.