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Special Trains : SP 4449 Bend Trip March 2002

SP 4-8-4 4449 powered the Columbia-Deschutes Special on March 23rd and 24th, 2002. The train's destination was the Deschutes River Canyon of Central Oregon. Most of the Canyon is inaccessible except by train or boat with the walls of the Canyon rising 2,200 feet above the tracks. It is little wonder why this trip has constantly ranked as the number one rail excursion in Oregon. After traveling on the north bank of the Columbia River for 110 miles the train turned south. In over 100 miles the tracks climb from the Columbia River at Wishram to the high plateau of Central Oregon at Madras with grades that approach 2%.

For this Portland to Bend, OR round trip, the 4449 was repainted in the red, white and blue paint scheme it wore on the American Freedom Train in 1976. The 4449 was originally restored for use on the AFT. Millions of americans saw her wearing this paint scheme during the Bicentennial celebrations.

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