The Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation (ORHF) has acquired the last remaining historic element of the Brooklyn Yard, a 100’ railroad turntable. The turntable, built in 1924 by the American Bridge Company, was originally installed in 1925. Before Union Pacific demolished the Brooklyn Roundhouse in 2012, the company gave this turntable to the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation.
Over the next year, the Foundation will be refurbishing and installing this vintage piece of rail history at our Center on SE Water Avenue in Portland, where it will occupy most of the Center’s front yard. As with nearly all of the pieces at ORHC, it will be operational, turning locomotives, and maybe even giving rides! In addition to the installation of the turntable and its supporting equipment, the project requires reconfiguring security fencing, relocating the Center’s main entrance gate and walkway, and new landscape and hardscape.
Few original turntables remain in the US - Portland is fortunate that ORHF acquired and preserved this piece of history that operated locally for more than 75 years. When installation is complete, this will be one of only a handful of powered operating turntables accessible to the public in the West, and a rare recreational and educational experience for Portland and the surrounding area.