Todd's Railfan Guide to
Portland OR

In General


The individual transit maps for Portland are as follows:
HOME ..... the Portland Transit Homepage
    MAP 1 ..... Portland Light Rail Overview
    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
    MAP 7 ..... the Yellow Line
MAP 8 ..... the Red Line
MAP 9 ..... the Blue Line/east
MAP 10 ... the Green Line
    MAP 11 ... the Yellow & Green Lines Downtown
MAP 12 ... Downtown to Gateway/east
MAP 13 ... the Blue & Red Lines/west
MAP 14 ... the Blue Line/west - Beaverton to Hillsboro

Please note, some of the above transit pages are maps only, not guides - as such, there are no pictures or information contained within.

If you want to know where the train action is, check out my other set of maps:
     HOME ..... the Portland Railroading Home Page

MAP 1 ..... the Amtrak Station Area
MAP 2 ..... The Union Pacific and the east side of the Willamette
     MAP 3
..... the BNSF and the west side of the Willamette
     MAP 4
..... South of Downtown Portland, the Milwaukie area

In General

The Portland Streetcar began operation on July 20th, 2001.  I was lucky to have been able to go to Portland for work after they started running.  it's a great operation and should be the blueprint for any city that is contemplating a rail transit system!  Portland's streetcar system was the first NEW streetcar system in the U.S.A. since WWII to use modern vehicles.

Although the operation is separate from Tri-Met's MAX Light Rail system, it uses MAX operators and maintenance people in their shops.

One of the most noticeable aspects of the system are there colorful streetcars.  For picture taking, they can't be beat.

A single curve of track at 10th and Morrison connects the the Portland Streetcar system to the Tri-Met MAX system, in the event maintenance is needed on the cars that can not be performed at their own shops.

The Portland Streetcar's website is here.

Additional information can be found here on Wikipedia.

Aerial shots were taken from www.bing.com/maps. The snap-shots from Bing are made with Snagit, a Techsmith product... a great tool if you have never used it! 
As always, if you have something to add or correct, my email is here



Since the Portland Streetcar runs almost exclusively in the streets, there is no need for signals.


This set of pictures comes from the Portland Streetcar website.

From Wikipedia

One of the newer models streetcar, assembled in the U.S.A.  It's built by United Streetcar, under license from Skoda, and based on their 10T model.
They entered service in September 2012.
photo by Steve Morgan

A vintage streetcar ran on the Portland Streetcar tracks until 2005 :-( 
It is one of two that are a replica of a 1904 Brill streetcar, built in 1991 by Gomaco.
photo by Steve Morgan

The following three pictures are courtesy Rick Holm.

Bing Maps Birds-Eye View Aerial Shots

Trackwork Plus!
As the
Portland Streetcar makes it way south thru downtown Portland on SW 11th Ave,
          it crosses the Max Light Rail Line at SW Morrison St and SW Yamhill St.
Before the MAX headed west thru the tunnel to Hillsboro, the three loops are where the line ended.
The middle loop/streetcar crossover has some especially tricky trackwork due to the turnout for the loop track!

One of the few places the Portland Streetcar runs on what we can consider "Private Right-of-Way"....
         it's on the south side of downtown at Montgomery Rd and 4th Ave.
The yellow arrows point to single track mainline that is used by both outbound and inbound trains.
The green arrow points to private ROW for outbound cars, coming over from Mill St.
The Red arrow is pointing to the inbound track running NB in 5th St.

Above: current south end of the streetcars route in southwest Portland.

Above: current north end of the streetcars route in northwest Portland.
The green arrow is pointing to a streetcar on the turnaround.
The red arrows are the direction of travel.

Disclaimer: 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, 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!!! 



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NEW 08/30/2013
Last Modified 02-Sep-2013