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Railroad Depot Museum and Caboose


Troutdale Depot rebuilt in 1907 after fire destroyed original 1882 Troutdale Depot.

473 E Historic Columbia River Highway
Hours of Operation
Monday, Thursday - Sunday: 9am - 5pm

Tuesday & Wednesday: 9am - 3pm

Free Admission - Donations gladly accepted

Troutdale Railroad Depot History


 c. 1890 A view to the west of the first (original) Troutdale railroad depot. Four unknown men stand on the platform. On the left is a stack of railroad ties awaiting shipment. The depot was built between 1882 and 1890, and burned in 1907. A new depot was built the same year.* 

On November 20, 1882 a rail line was built through what is now Troutdale and continued east through the Columbia River Gorge. Troutdale’s founder, Captain John Harlow, asked railroad builders to establish a depot at his town site. When they refused, he sailed his small riverboat up the Sandy River during a spring freshet and declared the river navigable demanding an expensive draw bridge to accommodate river traffic instead of the trestle planned by railroad builders. He obligingly withdrew his demand when the railroad bowed to his wishes for a depot. 

Troutdale grew up along the tracks, a one-sided main street facing what is now the Union Pacific line. The town flourished and once boasted a meat packing plant, a five-story distillery, a lumber mill, an opera house, and its own newspaper.


The original 1882 depot burned in 1907. The existing structure was built to replace it the same year. Indoor restrooms were later added and the trackside bay area altered. Otherwise, the building, which was the shipping site of many carloads of fresh vegetables, is much the same as when it was new. The station agent’s office contains railroad artifacts donated by local residents. 

The Union Pacific Railroad sold the depot to the City of Troutdale in 1976. It was moved from the original site, on the north side of the tracks, to its current location. The caboose was added to the grounds when it was donated by the railroad in 1987.​


c March, 1976. The original Troutdale railroad depot was moved by the Troutdale Historical Society with a grant from the U.S. Bicentennial Committee.  The final cost was nearly $25,000 to get the depot positioned on the new location; however, the depot was purchased from the railroad for only $1.

Troutdale Depot Rail Timeline


Rail line opens from Portland to Bonneville and the Original two‐story Oregon Railroad & Navigation (ORN) Troutdale Depot opens


Bathrooms added


The Union Pacific sells the rail depot to the City of Troutdale for $1.00. The rail depot is then moved to its current location and restored. 


Passenger service ends


Union Pacific 1975 CA-10 Caboose gifted to the Troutdale Historical Society and moved to the same site as the rail depot. 


 Renovations begin on the rail depot.


 Grand Opening of Depot Museum and Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center


Original two-story ORN depot burns and the second depot, which is now the Union Pacific has been built.


Angled bay windows changed to square bay windows


Troutdale Police Department renovates the office space and moves in. 


Troutdale Historical Society moves their office to the Barn Exhibit Hall storage area.


c-1890. A view looking east of Troutdale's first depot. On the right, a stack of railroad ties are being loaded onto a freight car. Broughton Bluff is in the center background. In the left background is a building housing the American Dressed Meat Company. The Troutdale Depot was built between 1882 - 1890 and burned down in 1907. A new depot was built the same year. 


c-1907. View looking east of the second Troutdale depot, taken shortly after completion of the building. At least 14 men are seen, three on an old hand car, many in the depot entrance and platform and several in the vicinity of a locomotive on the right. A caboose is parked behind the depot.


c. 1910. Troutdale Rail Depot. Five unknown men standing in front. Water tank to right. Broughton Bluff covered in fog in the background.


c 1976. Although this photo was taken in 1976, the dispatcher's phone shown was used in the depot built in 1907. It was moved to the depot built in 1976 and continued on display there.


1976. Station agent A. L. Holden is standing in front of the 1907 depot. He is holding a photo taken when the stationwas new (THS Photo #0342). The old building was in the process of being phased out for depot use by Union Pacific.


c-1910. Interior view of the 1907 Troutdale depot with left and to the right; Stationmaster A D (Albert Daniel) Kendall and Newt Parsons. Bay window with switch mechanism was "squared off" at a later date. Two photographs to the right of Parsons show the exterior of the depot, one photo of which is in the Troutdale Historical Society's files.


c-1976. The original depot building from 1907 is being moved, by truck, from its original site to a location opposite city hall. The truck, straddling the railroad tracks, is negotiating the depot, mounted on a trailer wheels, into a tight turn, narrowly missing a utility pole.


C-1978. George Skorney of Union Pacific and Sharon Nesbit holding the UP Logo for the Depot Museum of the THS.


A view of the Depot Museum taken about 1980 by Wayne Lampman. At this time the east end of the building was used by the Troutdale Police and the west end was the THS Depot Rail Museum. 

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Mayor Randy Lauer_Sharon Nesbit cutting ribbon_April 30 2022.jpeg

Ribbon Cutting - April 30, 2022

Mayor Randy Lauer and Sharon Nesbit cut the ribbon for the grand opening of the Gateway to the Gorge Visitor Center and the re-opening of the Depot Rail Museum

1975 Union Pacific CA-10 Caboose 

Thanks to a city grant, combined with matching funds and many volunteer hours from THS, our 1975 Union Pacific CA-10 Caboose is painted in bright yellow and red, and even glows in the dark.

In late fall of 2016, painters from Georgia came to restore the exterior of the caboose. Treasurer Marilee Thompson led the operation with help from Kelly Broomall, Stan Clarke and Jon Lowell. Clarke chased down and found a way to get new reflective decals, which is why it glows in the dark. Gerald Stephan has restored the stove. LeAnn Stephan's brother, Steve Mackley of Beaverton Auto Upholstery, has reupholstered all the chairs and benches, a gift of $2,600.  

We need to clean up and restore the exterior of the rusting refrigerator. We want to extend electricity to the caboose so we have lights and heat. The interior will require a careful cleaning and some paint touch up, the windows need polishing with a special compound, ditto the aluminum window frames.  We plan to leave the interior as it is. It has wonderful stenciled instructions explaining how to run a caboose and the autographs and other signs of use that occurred over the years. "It is a museum," says Clarke, who has done much of the research.

Our caboose rehabilitation caught the attention of Arlen Sheldrake, a reporter for The Trainmaster newsletter. The article made the front page of their January 2017 issue. Click on this link to read the entire newsletter.
The Trainmaster, January 2017, Issue No. 654 Thank you Stan Clarke for bringing this to our attention.


In 2017, the Caboose was decked out in Christmas lights. Thanks to Kelly Broomall, Tom & Linda Miller, Home Depot, and Orient Electric.

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