Todd's Railfan Guide to
UP's Albina Yard and the east side of the Willamette



The Portland Railfan Guide is divided up into the following sections:
Portland Home Page
Map 1 - the Amtrak Station area
Map 2 - UP and the east side of the Willamette - You're on this page
Map 3 - BNSF and the west side of the Willamette
Map 4 - South of Downtown, Milwaukie

Map 8 - the Vancouver Amtrak Station

I have the following transit maps available for the Portland area:
   Portland Transit Home
    MAP 2 ..... the Portland Streetcar
MAP 3 ..... WES - the Westside Express Service Commuter Train
MAP 4 ..... the Downtown Area
MAP 5 ..... the Westside Light Rail Guide
MAP 6 ..... the Eastside Light Rail Guide
Please note, these are only maps, and not guides, so there are no pictures or information contained within.


Click Here for the above map in a PDF


     1         UP's Albina Yard

Albina Yard is UP's "showpiece" of the Portland area, followed by the Milwaukie Yard, which it acquired along with the Southern Pacific.  When I was there, railfans were OK with being on the southern access road to take pictures, as long as "we" don't enter the yard itself..... Don't know if they are still easygoing.  The south end of the yard hits the wye at the east end of the Steel Bridge, and then heads on south and east.

     2         UP's Tunnel

Upon leaving the north side of Albina Yard (above), the single track enters the tunnel before getting to N. Willamette Ave.  It looks like the east side of the tracks is a good place for pictures from a parking lot there off N Cutter Circle.

On the north side of the tunnel, it crosses the diamond, and then to a bridge crossing the Columbia Slough (a small, very small branch of the Columbia River which splits off at Kelly Point), then joins up with the BNSF to cross the Columbia River in two places (bridge - Hayden Island - bridge) into Vancouver and the Amtrak station there.

The third aerial shot gives you some idea of where everything is in relation to each other.

     3         Peninsula Junction

This junction sports a full four way wye and a single track diamond.  It is fairly well signaled, and it is almost all easily shot from N. Columbia Blvd, which runs right through the middle of the junction... how lucky we are!



I love trains, and I love signals.  I am not an expert.  My webpages reflect what I find on the topic of the page.  This is something I have fun with while trying to help others.  My webpages are an attempt at putting everything I can find of the subject in one convenient place.  There are plenty of other good websites to help me in this effort, and they are listed in the links section on my indexa page, or as needed on individual pages.  Please do not write to me about something that may be incorrect, and then hound the heck out of me if I do not respond to you in the manner you would like.  I operate on the "Golden Rule Principle", and if you are not familiar with it, please acquaint yourself with how to treat people by reading Mathew 7:12 (among others, the principle exists in almost every religion).  If you contact me (like some do, hi Paul) and try to make it a "non-fun" thing and start with the name calling, your name will go into my spambox list! :-)

Please Note:  Since the main focus of my two websites is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  For those of you into the modeling aspect of our hobby, my indexa page has a list of almost everything railroad oriented I can think of to provide you with at least a few pictures to help you detail your pike.

If this is a railfan page, every effort has been made to make sure that the information contained on this map and in this railfan guide is correct.  Once in a while, an error may creep in, especially if restaurants or gas stations open, close, or change names.  Most of my maps are a result of personal observation after visiting these locations.  I have always felt that a picture is worth a thousand words", and I feel annotated maps such as the ones I work up do the same justice for the railfan over a simple text description of the area.  Since the main focus of my website is railroad signals, the railfan guides are oriented towards the signal fan being able to locate them.  Since most of us railheads don't have just trains as a hobby, I have also tried to point out where other interesting sites of the area are.... things like fire stations, neat bridges, or other significant historical or geographical feature.  While some may feel they shouldn't be included, these other things tend to make MY trips a lot more interesting.... stuff like where the C&O Canal has a bridge going over a river (the Monocacy Aqueduct) between Point of Rocks and Gaithersburg MD, it's way cool to realize this bridge to support a water "road" over a river was built in the 1830's!!!  

My philosophy: Pictures and maps are worth a thousand words, especially for railfanning.  Text descriptions only get you so far, especially if you get lost or disoriented.  Take along good maps.... a GPS is OK to get somewhere, but maps are still better if you get lost!  I belong to AAA, which allows you to get local maps for free when you visit the local branches.  ADC puts out a nice series of county maps for the Washington DC area, but their state maps do not have the railroads on them.  If you can find em, I like the National Geographic map book of the U.S..... good, clear, and concise graphics, and they do a really good job of showing you where tourist type attractions are, although they too lack the railroads.  Other notes about specific areas will show up on that page if known.

Pictures and additional information is always needed if anyone feels inclined to take 'em, send 'em, and share 'em, or if you have something to add or correct.... credit is always given! BE NICE!!! Contact info is here

Beware: If used as a source, ANYTHING from Wikipedia must be treated as being possibly being inaccurate, wrong, or not true.


New 10/23/2011
last Modified: 03 Jul 2014