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American Freedom Train Reunion
September 16-18, 2016
Portland, OR

The 2016 reunion was held in Portland, Oregon, hosted by Doyle & Laurie McCormack. The reunion was, by far, the largest yet -- commemorating the 40th anniversary of the train's Bicentennial journey.

At right: The official group photo by Cooper Mountain Photography.

Click here to order high resolution prints of this and other reunion photos. Don't wait. They won't be available forever.

American Freedom Train 40th Anniversary Reunion 2016

 
  The reunion kicked off Friday afternoon with a train ride behind locomotive #4449, one of the three giant steam locomotives that pulled the American Freedom Train in 1975-76. American Freedom Train 40th Anniversary Reunion 2016  
 

 

The train ran from the Oregon Rail Heritage Center south to Oaks Park where the locomotive had been on display from 1958 until the American Freedom Train Foundation came calling in 1974. The reunion excursion train was then towed backwards to the museum site by the same switcher that had pulled the locomotive out of the park in 1974. (It was also the switcher that had pushed the steamer into the park in 1958.)

Image: 4449 in Oaks Park circa 1974 by AFTer Tom Nosera

 
 

Saturday began with a 6-hour boat ride up the river on the steam-powered stern wheel tug boat Portland. AFTer Bob Slover serves as a volunteer on the Portland.

In the evening, the group headed to the Barrel Room for a night of comedy and dueling pianos.

Sunday afternoon saw a presentation from AFT founder Ross Rowland. In the evening, the customary banquet, business meeting and auction were held -- with Tracy Shaw once again acting as auctioneer. The business meeting consisted of deciding where to have the next reunion. It will be in Chattanooga, TN in the fall of 2018.

Image: John Hill collection 1975

American Freedom Train 4449  
 

The Inn at the Convention Center was the official 2016 reunion hotel.

American Freedom Train Reunion  
  Ready to head to Oaks Park - the giant steam locomotive that sat rusting in that park for 16 years until called to pull the American Freedom Train.  
 

Strip away legions of hard-working volunteers and you're left with just two reasons there's mainline steam all over 21st century America.

 

Ross Rowland & Doyle McCormack  
 

The switcher that pushed the 4449 steam locomotive into Oaks Park in 1958 - only to pull it out again in 1974 - waits to pull it one more time.

Portland Traction Company #100, an EMD SW1 recently given a museum-quality restoration.

Portland Traction Company Switcher 100  
 

The same switcher moving the same steam locomotive along the same tracks in 1974.

Image: Al Haij film

Portland Traction Company Switcher 100  
 

American Freedom Train 4449, now back in its Southern Pacific Daylight colors, at Oaks Park.

Doyle McCormack, Al Phillips, Wes Camp - all instrumental in the restoration of the locomotive for the AFT.

 

 
  Lynn Ramsey, Ross Rowland, Judy Richman, American Freedom Train designer Barry Howard, and SR Bush.  
  Saturday was spent on a cruise aboard the stern wheel tug boat Portland.  
  Saturday night at the Barrel Room.  
  American Freedom Train founder Ross Rowland was the featured speaker Sunday afternoon.  
 

Sunday at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center. The closing banquet was also held here.

The American Freedom Train exhibit seen along the wall will be open until August 2017. The exhibit was spearheaded by Arlen Sheldrake.

Many thanks to Laurie & Doyle McCormack, Bob Slover, and all the ORHC volunteers and staff for an outstanding reunion.

 
 

 

Reunion images: Todd Schannuth

 
  The biggest hits on auction night were the four embroidered jackets donated by Dave Houston and Daylight Sales. Jackets with this same back are available from Daylight Sales. Just search their website for "Freedom Train". American Freedom Train 40th Anniversary Reunion 2016  
 

The exclusive reunion jackets had this logo on the front.

Image: Michael Mangini

American Freedom Train 40th Anniversary Reunion 2016  
 

Reunion logo: Dave Houston and Daylight Sales

American Freedom Train 40th Anniversary Reunion 2016  
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