Oregon Eastern Railroad serves Vale-area niche

Wayne DeLong views the Vale-based train operation with pride. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)

VALE – The rain was just beginning to clear Friday morning as Wayne DeLong, the operations manager for the Oregon Eastern Railroad, watched the big blue locomotive engine roll past the crossing at 12th Street North.

As the locomotive – dubbed an EMD GP7 – sounded its horn, DeLong nodded toward the big diesel engine.

“She’s not pretty looking, but she sure runs well,” he said.

DeLong, who manages an Oregon Eastern crew of six, was on hand at the rail yard on Railroad Avenue to supervise a switch out of cars.

“This little job here will probably take half an hour to grab a car,” he said.

The “little job” involved an effort to move a recently inspected . . .