The Oregon, California, & Eastern line runs east from Klamath Falls to Lakeview, Oregon. Allen Keller asks designer David Trussell to give him a brief history of the line. Around the turn of the century, Strayhorn, a speculator, decided to build the OC&E in the hopes that it would become such a pain in the side of the Southern Pacific of the Union Pacific that he would be able to sell it to them for a large profit. He attempted to build the line on borrowed money and ultimately went under when his plans fell through.
David Trussell and his volunteers stepped in at that point in time with owner Thomas Augustus Dobbins who owned a couple of gold mines in the area, one of which is still producing. He was in the right place at the right time with ready cash and got it for next to nothing. That’s the story of how we have our OC&E, which is a bridge line that runs between Klamath Falls and Lakeview.
We’ve covered half of the line in this show from Quartz Mountain Summit to the staging yard at Fairport Yard. Along this route there’s the Sycan branch which is gold mining and logging that operates in reality, out of Bligh, Oregon. It’s really a fun part of the railroad because of the operating Lucky Lass mine and the 500 transfer, which in reality, was the last transfer place for log trucks to the railroad that existed right up until the last days of, 1992 when they actually took the railroad out.
The line has about 80 scale miles of track and Allen wonders if that was what the group and David bargained for when they started. David would like to say that they had it all pre planned and everything came out exactly as they designed it, but if he said that, he’d be lying. For more videos like this, watch more from Allen Keller’s Great Model Railroads series in the Model Railroad Academy archives.