Welcome to the official Friends of SP 4449's website. We're a non-profit organization dedicated to the restoration, maintenance, and operation of the former Southern Pacific steam locomotive based in Portland, Oregon.
Photo by Steven Kramer
What's happening on the SP 4449?
The rods on the SP 4449 are greased with a very thick grease. The grease first must be made into sticks so it can be shot into the bearings with an air powered grease gun before each run and during scheduled maintenance stops on longer excursions. Grease sticks are being made using a hydraulic press to form the shape. They are then cut into roughly foot long pieces and stored until needed.
Click here to see more of what the SP 4449 has been up to recently.
When can I ride behind the SP 4449?
SP 4449 2018 Fall Excursion cancelled due to Amtrak policy changes!
Amtrak announced recently that it will no longer operate charter services or special trains. This unfortunately means that the SP 4449 excursion that was being planned for late summer/early fall of 2018 will no longer be possible. Amtrak stated that these operations caused significant operational distraction as a reason for the change. We regret Amtrak's decision but have no choice but to cancel the excursion at this time.The next opportunity to ride behind the SP 4449 will be the ORHF Holiday Express held each year on weekends between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Tickets will go on sale in October.
On December 14, 1974, Southern Pacific 4449 was towed out of Oaks Park in southeast Portland, OR. and taken to Burlington Northern's Hoyt Street Roundhouse in what is now the Pearl District.
There, the 4449 was disassembled, inspected, repaired, and reassembled to pull the American Freedom Train in 1975-1977, a train full of historic artifacts that toured around the United States.
Over the course of 40 years, this steam locomotive and the crew that kept her operational has continued to pull officer specials for railroads, star in a Disney film, run excursion trains for the public, and return to Oaks Park during Holiday Express events.
Some of the same crew members who took part of the activities in 1974 continues to be involved today with a whole new batch of volunteers working to carry 4449 into the next generation.
Come see us!
Come see the SP 4449 at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center located at 2250 SE Water Ave, Portland, OR. Now is a good time to visit! For those taking transit, the MAX orange line passes right by the front gate. See MAX and Streetcar websites for more information.
Heritage Center hours are 1-5 PM Thursdays and Fridays, 12-5 Saturdays and Sundays. There is no charge to enter the facility, but your support at the donation box or concessions shop is much appreciated!
Friends of SP 4449 Inc. - P.O.Box #42486 - Portland, OR 97242