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Did you hear that train a comin' Tuesday?

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Steam locomotive SP 4449 rumbled through Lake Oswego on a trip to honor railroad's retiring chairman

SUBMITTED PHOTO: JIM THOMAS - SP 4449 rumbles through Lake Oswego on its way to Tigard on Tuesday. On board for the special trip: the retiring chairman of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., Mortimer B. Fuller III.It was hard to miss the sound of a steam locomotive powering through Lake Oswego on Tuesday. Turns out it was the Southern Pacific 4449, rumbling through town to honor the retiring chairman of Portland & Western Railroad's parent company.

Mortimer B. Fuller III, the president and chairman of Genesee & Wyoming Inc., was on board the train as it headed to Tigard, where the Fuller Yard was dedicated in his honor.

Fuller became CEO, president and chairman in 1977, when he purchased a controlling interest in G&W's corporate predecessor, the original Genesee and Wyoming Railroad, which his great-grandfather founded in 1899. He served as CEO for 30 years and chairman for 40 years.

The SP 4449 is one of several cool trains on display at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center (2250 S.E. Water Ave, Portland), which is open to the public from 1-5 p.m.Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is free.

For years, the 4449 was on display at Oaks Amusement Park. In 1974. it was restored to operation for use in the second American Freedom Train, which toured the 48 contiguous United States for the American Bicentennial celebrations.

The locomotive continues to be maintained by a dedicated group of volunteers called Friends of SP 4449 and is used for a variety of excursions and events. According to railroad officials, the engine has be started three days prior to a run because it takes that long to bring enough water to a boil to work up a head of steam.

— The Review

SUBMITTED PHOTO: JIM THOMAS - SP4449 is one of several cool trains on display at the Oregon Rail Heritage Center in Portland. The train traveled through Lake Oswego on Tuesday.