Since You Asked: Night trains carrying wood are heading to Dillard

I live in Rogue River and every night between 9:30 p.m. and 10 p.m. I hear a train. I'd like to know where it comes from and where it is going; also, what is it transporting?

— Marge J., Rogue River

Oh, Marge, your question got us remembering a favorite childhood ditty. Wanna hear it? Of course you do!

"A peanut sat on a railroad track.

His heart was all a-flutter.

Along came the 6-15.


Toot! Toot! Peanut butter!"

OK. OK. No more singing in the newsroom. Back to the queries at hand.

We took your question to our favorite railroad engineer, James Armstrong. (Bonus: Armstrong just happens to live in your neck of the woods, Marge.)

The trains you are hearing belong to the Central Oregon & Pacific railroad, although Armstrong says they currently are not running nightly. They run only every other night on their travels from Medford to Dillard carrying wood products from mills in Medford and White City.

Engineers like Armstrong will blow the train's horn at crossings and other populated areas — but not in an effort to annoy folks. They are trying to warn everyone that the train is coming through. There have been accidents and incidents in the past, he said.

"We want to make sure everyone stays off the tracks," Armstrong said. "We don't want anybody to get hurt, or worse."

Armstrong said he tends to go light on the horn, honking only when and where necessary. Other engineers really lay it on, he said.

"I blow the horn for the crossings and if I see anyone. But I don't get too carried away," Armstrong said.

Send questions to "Since You Asked," Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by e-mail to

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