PGE Flume Train

6For almost a century, a 3.2 mile long wood flume carried water from the Little Sandy Dam to Roslyn Lake. The Lake supplied water to run the Bull Run powerhouse at the forks of the Sandy River. The Mount Hood Railway (MHR&P) began construction of the project in 1906, with the railway hauling in the supplies. The powerhouse was completed in 1912, and the Company merged that year with the Portland Railway, Light and Power Company, the predecessor of PGE. In 1913 the Marmot Dam was built on the Sandy River to supplement the Little Sandy Dam.

The flume was 14 feet wide and 9 feet deep, supported by a wooden trestle that snaked alone the side of the valley. Workers walked the length of the flume each day to inspect it for leaks, decay or other problems. Rails on top of the flume provided a way to bring in equipment for maintenance. The original speeders were powered by Ford Model T engines. They were replaced in the 1950’s by speeders with automatic transmissions and diesel motors. Unlike the original cars, that workers had to brake for the many curves, the new speeders were geared to run at a slow pace.

In November of 2008 the flume was dismantled. In the end it was a matter of fish and money that closed the powerhouse and brought down the flume. The dams were a barrier to salmon passage. PGE had made an effort to fix the problem, but the cost had become too high.

The flume was cut into sections and hauled out by helicopter. The flume trains found a new home at the Museum. This included 2 speeders, a matching lunch car, 2 electric crane cars and 4 flat cars.

Technical Information

  • Car #:  Flume Train
  • Year Built: 
  • Builder: 
  • Last Operator: PGE
  • Car Type:  Flume Train
  • Year Museum acquired
  • Common Name:Flume Train
  • Track Gauge: Standard
  • # of trucks/Wheels
  • Car Status: Operational
  • Other details: