In General

Location / Name:
Portland OR, Multnomah County

What's Here:
TriMet's MAX Light Rail - Orange Line

GPS Coordinates: as needed
Phone A/C: 503
ZIP: n/a

Access by train/transit:
Amtrak (in downtown Portland)
Portland Streetcar (in downtown Portland, SW Moody, and SE Water)
MAX Red, Blue, Yellow & Green Lines (in downtown Portland)

The Scoop:

The Orange Line, as far as a ride goes for railfans, is probably one of the more "fun" and interesting lines in the Portland area, with the Tilikum Crossing Bridge, sharing some of the route with the Portland Streetcar, passing the Oregon Rail Heritage Center, passing the Milwaukie UP Yard, and going over several other bridges/causeways.  If you're short on time, and want to take a ride on just one line, my vote would be for the Orange Line.

The Orange Line is the last of the MAX Light Rail lines to open, having opened on September 12, 2015.

Steve Morgan
Denver Todd

Websites and other additional information sources of interest for the area:

Getting Here

Exit 18 off I-405/I-5 just after crossing the Willamette gets you off at 4th Ave.

The Ross Island bridge, on  the east side drops you off onto McLoughlin Blvd, which the Orange Line follows for a good bit of it's way south.

In the Milwaukie area, the light rail R-O-W runs alongside the Union Pacific, so you will have to catch the light rail trains at crossings, like SE Harrison or Monroe St.


Station by Station

SW 6th & College Station
SW 5th & Jackson Station
Green & Yellow Lines Turnaround Loop
Lincoln / SW 3rd St Station
South Waterfront / SW Moody St Station
the Tilikum Crossing Bridge
OMSI / SE Water Station
Oregon Rail Heritage Center
Clinton / SE 12th St Station
SE 17th & Rhine St Station
SE 17th & Holgate St Station
SE Bybee St Station
SE Tacoma / Johnson Creek Station
Milwaukie / Main St Station
SE Park St Station

PSU South / SW 6th & College Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.509500, -122.683706
This is a "NB" station only, as the street is one-way.  For inbound trains (into the city), this is the last Orange Line stop.  Green and Yellow Line trains start here.

PSU South / SW 5th & Jackson Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.509127, -122.682902
This is a "SB" station only, as the street is one-way.  This is the last stop on the line for Green Line trains.  Yellow Line trains already "stopped" back in the downtown area at NW Glisan - where the Orange Line begins.

Green & Yellow Lines Turnaround Loop

GPS Coordinates: 45.508611, -122.683623

An interesting spot on the MAX system.... At the 5th Ave station, the Orange Line ends, and the Green and Yellow Lines begin.  At the SB 6th Ave station, the Green Line ends, and the Orange Line runs thru, as the line began further north at Glisan.

The light rail bar signal shown in the streetview below is circled in the aerial view above.  It displays a clear for one of the two turnaround tracks, or for a straight move onto the continuation of the Orange Line.

Lincoln / SW 3rd St Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.507923, -122.680492

Over Harbor Drive

This is the start of a causeway that goes under I-5, and over: the Portland Streetcar on Harrison St, Harbor Dr, a substation (not a TriMet one), some misc open space, and South Sheridan St.  It is also used by busses.  Yellow arrows point at the causeway, and The Portland Streetcar follows the route with the green lines.

Steve Morgan, 2019

Trackwork at the Waterfront/Moody Station

Here, the two lines of the Orange Line cross the two tracks of the Portland Streetcar.  Additionally, there is an interchange between the two streetcar lines that cross the river, and the Streetcar Green Line that continues south on Moody Avenue.  There is however, no interchange between the two systems at this interlocking, it happens on the "far" side of the Waterfront/Moody station where the two systems go into one track for each direction, in order to cross the Tilikum Crossing Bridge.  This is Toronto and Philadelphia level trackwork! :-)

Traffic Lights for the bike lanes.... go figure.... and in case you didn't catch on, the green lanes are for bicycles....


South Waterfront / SW Moody St Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.502749, -122.671283
This is one of the very few stations where you can catch either the Portland Streetcar, or the MAX Light Rail.

Over the Willamette / the Tilikum Crossing Bridge

GPS Coordinates: 45.504934, -122.667068 (center of)

OMSI / SE Water Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.506561, -122.662763

Oregon Rail Heritage Center

GPS Coordinates: 45.507274, -122.661837

This museum is quickly becoming one of the best in the country, mostly through the efforts of one guy - Doyle McCormack.

This location is a new location, having moved most of what they could from the UP yard in Milwaukie.  The latest "catch" is a 100 foot long turntable.

Steam engines of the museum are the infamous Southern Pacific #4999, Spokane, Portland & Seattle 700, and Oregon Railway & Navigation #197.

The OMSI / SE Water Station is located across the street from the museum, making it extremely easy to get to.  The Portland Streetcar SE Water/OMSI station is located just on the other side of the light rail station.

Clinton St / SE 12th Ave Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.502794, -122.653281

Over Powell Blvd

GPS Coordinates: 45.499942, -122.648905

Quite an array of bridges going over Powell Blvd here: Light Rail, the Union Pacific, SE 17th Ave, and a walkway/bikeway.

SE 17th & Rhine St Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.497843, -122.648160

SE 17th & Holgate St Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.490902, -122.648499
Across from the station is one of TriMet's Bus Depots.

Steve Morgan, 2019, passing TriMet's HQ

Just down the street, where the tracks curve off of 17th Ave, and head south along McLoughlin Blvd, was this TriMet bus....

Over the Harold St Yard Entrance

GPS Coordinates: 45.483146, -122.642924
You may be lucky to catch a UP freight while running along the outskirts of the Milwaukie Yard.

SE Bybee Blvd Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.474806, -122.640030
This station is just south of UP's Milwaukie Yard, where the roundhouse used to be that stored SP #4999 and SPS #700.
Styling is reminiscent of a 100 year old NYC Subway station.

SE Tacoma / Johnson Creek Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.462789, -122.637649

from McLoughlin Blvd

Milwaukie / Main St Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.441241, -122.639964

I don't know if it is here all year round, but I noticed an interesting feature: the lot next to the station has about a dozen or so food vendors operating out of trailers with a seating area!  I hope with the covid thing going around, that they are still in business....

Over SE Lake Rd

GPS Coordinates: 45.440906, -122.640162
This is the beginning (or end) of a massive bridge structure that crosses two roads and Kellogg Creek.  The end of the Milwaukie station platform can be seen in the picture.

Over Kellogg Creek

GPS Coordinates: 45.440235, -122.640489

Over McLoughlin Blvd

GPS Coordinates: 45.439098, -122.641096
Anyone know what the "green things" are that are on the underside of the bridge?

SE Park Ave Station

GPS Coordinates: 45.430702, -122.635129
Park St is the current end of the Orange Line.  Just before getting into the station, there is a double crossover before going into three tracks.


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.

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 :-)

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.

Aerial shots were taken from either Google or Bing Maps as noted.  Screen captures are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 

By the way, floobydust is a term I picked up 30-40 years ago from a National Semiconductor data book, and means miscellaneous and/or other stuff.

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!  Please be NICE!!!  Contact info is here

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


New SEP02/2013, AUG12/2020
last Modified: 23 Aug 2020