The Oregon Rail Heritage Center is home to six organizations that share this goal: to provide for the preservation and public enjoyment of Portland’s historic locomotives, railroad equipment, and artifacts, as well as to educate about Oregon’s rich and diverse railroad history.

Friends of OR&N 197 is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of the former Oregon Railroad & Navigation Company 197 steam locomotive. This treasure of the early 20th Century era of steam locomotives arrived in Portland just in time for the 1905 Lewis & Clark Centennial Exposition. In 2012 she was moved to the Oregon Rail Heritage Center where she is undergoing restoration today.

The PRPA is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization dedicated to restoring, maintaining, and operating historic railway equipment of the Pacific Northwest. They are the official caretakers of the SP&S 700, a 4-8-4 steam locomotive that ranks among the largest steam engines still in operation.

Friends of SP 4449 is a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, maintenance, and operation of the former Southern Pacific steam locomotive based in Portland, Oregon. Built in 1941 as a 4-8-4 GS-4 locomotive, SP4449 is one of the six most powerful steam locomotives operating today. Friends of SP 4449 volunteers have been maintaining and operating this iconic engine for decades. They are proud members of the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.

The PNWC was formed in 1955 as a non-profit Oregon corporation affiliated with the National Railway Historical Society. The Pacific Northwest Chapter is one of more than 171 affiliates throughout the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Over 250 members contribute to the PNWC-NRHS by collecting and preserving historical data and artifacts, advocating for modern railroad transportation, and hosting rail-related events in the greater Portland area.


The Northwest Rail Museum is a nonprofit organization incorporated in the State of Oregon in 1986. They are dedicated to the preservation of the excitement and history of steam engines and rail travel, with a focus on the Pacific Northwest.

The three steam locomotives at the ORHC are owned by the City of Portland. Volunteers at our Center maintain and operate these locomotives for the benefit of our community. We are affiliated with the Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau who provide care to over 10,000 acres of parks and natural areas and offer thousands of programs for all ages at its community centers, swim pools, and other recreation facilities.