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History of Railroading in the Columbia River Gorge w/Bill Burgel

January 25 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

History of Railroading in the Columbia River Gorge w/Bill Burgel

Please join us Friday, January 25th, 2019 for our first dinner/program series of  the new year, featuring Bill Burgel and the History of Railroading in the Columbia River Gorge. 

The 6 pm dinner (16.00) menu is Chicken Marsala, pear salad and couscous pilaf with dessert included.  Beer and wine are available. The program only ($5.00) starts at 7 pm.  Tickets are available  by  calling 541.296.8600 ext 201. Please purchase tickets by January 23.

The Columbia Gorge is the lowest and arguably the easiest path through the Cascades mountain range. As such it has been a preferred transportation route for millennia. Despite significant engineering challenges the railroads have used this path for well over a century.  US Railroading began near Baltimore in 1830 and in the Columbia River Gorge in 1865.  Both were modest efforts only to expand greatly in subsequent years.  Transcontinental railroads connected the Pacific Northwest with the rest of the nation as they passed through the Gorge on the Oregon side in 1882 and on the Washington side in 1911.  Today, more than 80 trains daily transverse the Gorge.  Hear about the history of Railroading in the Gorge from Bill Burgel, former Chief Train Dispatcher for Union Pacific.  Bill is also a geologist and will combine Gorge Geology and Rail Engineering and Operations together.

Bill has degrees in engineering and structural geology from the University of Michigan and Idaho State University.  He worked in various capacities within the railroad industry for the past 48 years, including evaluating and monitoring earthquake risks to railroads in The Gorge. Since retiring in 2010 he is using his geology background to help people become better prepared to survive an earthquake emergency.


January 25
6:00 pm - 8:00 pm
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Columbia Gorge Discovery Center & Museum
5000 Discovery Drive
The Dalles, Oregon 97058
541.296.8600 #201