PRO - Pacific Railcar Operators

A Non-Profit NARCOA affiliate serving the West



By Bill Andrews


If you're like us, this Winter seemed especially long and dreary!  We are ready for Spring and motorcar season.

During this dreary time, PRO ECs have been talking with railroads, organizing runs, and finalizing paperwork.  Each excursion has a railroad contract resulting in a budget, based on the fees determined by the railroads. As Porta-potties and other necessities are added, the budgets form, and run cost is determined.  Each railroad has a different fee and escort requirements.  Usually, fees are based on 13-15 cars signing up -- this results in the posted run fee.

Here in the Northwest, we differ from the rest of NARCOA land with our huge geographic territory.  This results in many more miles for operators traveling to runs.  Those joining us from California and Eastern states travel far and expensively for motorcar runs.  Gas prices and motel fees are up again, adding to the situation.

Over the years, PRO practice has been to schedule runs on weekends to accommodate operators not yet retired.  Occasionally, railroad schedules do not allow that to happen, resulting in a weekday run.   Whenever possible, runs are grouped and listed on consecutive weekends and weekdays to allow long distance travelers some savings on time, mileage and motels.  All of these situations are considered when scheduling.  


If you plan to take part in an excursion, it is most important that you sign up as soon as your plans allow!  Check postings on the PRO website.  This time of year, postings can be added 2-3 times a week.  Run checks are generally not deposited until a week or so prior to the run, sometimes following the run.  PRO has definite responsibilities to the railroads.  PRO policy is to not cancel runs if we can avoid it.  Please let us know your specific preferences regarding scheduling.  Also, let us know if there are runs you wish to see every other year, instead of each season.

PRO operator Dave Klein has begun his yearlong ECIT mentoring program.  Give him a Pat on the back as you come across him!  Currently working with EC Guy Howard, Dave will also be helping me on the October Coos Bay run -- more on that in July!

Around 15-17 excursions are in the works, so there is variety and opportunity for all operators and passengers.  Find your favorites and sign up fast!!

As always, Nancy and I are available to help you with questions and concerns.  Please check the PRO website for BOD names and contact info.  I'm sure they are also happy to help you out.

Enjoy the ride!

Bill Andrews

Area 10 Director

PRO New Year Shoutout (Jan 2024)

Hello to All

We hope your new year is off to a great start!!  PRO business is underway:  the ECs are working with the railroads in finalizing excursion dates and details.  As we always remind you, keep an eye on the PRO website.  Webmaster Russell does an excellent job of relaying news to you from ECs to keep you current.

Many of you are submitting dues -- that promptness is greatly appreciated and keeps me busy!  Remember, this year they are $25, payable by check or through Zelle.  If you have a phone number or email address change be sure to notify me.

It's looking like we will offer around 15 excursions this year.  ECs try to group them so long distance operators can run more than one run when driving many miles.  Some dates hinge on grain trains, excursion train schedules , and railroad contractors' schedules.  Unfortunately, we learned yesterday that there is no CBRL run in June as Coos Bay Rail is heavily  involved in infrastructure  improvements.  We will check back after July, as the manager requested, to hopefully pick some Fall dates.

There is a new rule in PRO General Orders:  loading and unloading motorcars from trailers is allowed only with the motorcar under control of a winch:   No driving or free- wheeling of motorcars off trailers.  Please refer to the website to PRO General Orders for the specific rule.  As with many rules, we are focused on safety.  This rule is headed toward becoming a NARCOA rule.  

It's most important to remind all of us who operate that we are responsible for the behavior of our guests,  be sure they know how to stop your car and how to use the radio.  Guests' infractions will be a part of the Operator's record.

Also, please note:  the new NARCOA procedure regarding minors is on the PRO Registration Form on the website.

Conversations with railroad personnel should be limited to thanking them for allowing us to be on their rail.  Be sure your guests know not to criticize or complain to the railroad, as one passenger did by pointing out to the escort that his son did not have on a reflective vest and they were required !   Our rules are NARCOA rules.  What the railroad requires of their personnel is their business.

PRO happily welcomes new members:  Jim Haley - WA, Dick Bielenberg, OR,  Tom Tomchak - WA,  Arthur Poole - OR, Steve Kuresman - WA,  Dave Thorpe-OR.  Welcome aboard!

As always, if you have questions or comments, get in touch with us.

Enjoy the ride!

Bill and Nancy

July 2023

We are disappointed to let you know there will be NO Coos Bay Teddy Bear Toy Express excursion in October 2023.    Due to extensive tie and track improvements scheduled by contractors , we are unable to schedule an October excursion. 

As always, we will notify you all when we have rail updates.  We're looking forward to resuming our great CBRL excursions next season!

OREGON COAST SCENIC is scheduled for Oct. 8 with EC Bill Andrews.  More details on that later.  Be sure to stay tuned to the PRO website.

The annual PRO MEETING will be Saturday , Oct. 21, 2023 at 8:30 a.m. in Grants Pass at the Andrews' home.  The BOD will be presenting the first prestigious PRO SPIKE AWARD for outstanding support of fellow motorcar enthusiasts!   Send your nominations and reasons for your nomination to Nancy at

Please let Nancy know if you plan to attend the meeting so there are plenty of coffee and goodies!

Enjoy the ride!

Bill & Nancy

Happy Spring to all! We are finally going to get back on the rails! 

Winter seems sssssooooo long!

First piece of business, PRO ECs are working to offer a great choice of excursions: please check often for current excursion postings. Russell, our Webmaster, does a great job of posting immediately when he gets the go-ahead from the ECs.

Coos Bay Railroad June 15-18 is awaiting the final OK from the Port after receiving railroad clearance. We will post it the second the Port gives the go-ahead! Tillamook -- Oregon Coast Scenic, will follow the August CBRL as it did last year. Albany & Eastern is coming along in July. When required paperwork from the railroad is available to the EC, the runs are posted.

PRO has numerous Operator Mentoring opportunities across the Northwest: the first is in May in Emmett, ID under the direction of ECs Robin Douglas and Roger Farrell. CBRL mentoring takes place the morning of set on of all 3 excursions . You can also make arrangements with Glenn Boatman and Carl Shellhorn down in Napa, CA for PRO mentoring. Remember to always contact the EC well in advance if you wish to be mentored.

We continue to have some requests for PRO Newsletters and run information to be mailed to members. We apologize, but that is not an option. The PRO website changes often and we cannot keep up with mailing these to you. If you don't have computer access, find a buddy who does or go to your local library. They will help you with accessing the website.

Also, all PRO memorabilia is for sale at the NARCOA Store, located on Please support PRO sales and your affiliate. Our shirts are sharp, great quality-- you will instantly be snazzified when you wear one!! Don't forget the bumper stickers for your car!

The required turntable safety features have a delayed installation deadline. The NARCOA BOD is working on more detailed installation info to pass on to operators of the various motorcar models. You will be notified of the deadline date.

As always, we cannot state enough the need for safe motorcar operation! Being safe is the ONLY reason we are still on the rails. As NARCOA Operations Chairman, I have tightened the Operator Mentoring process in an attempt to offer consistent, safety-oriented training across NARCOA. Here in the Northwest, you can be proud of PRO mentoring! Our ECs do an excellent, comprehensive job! Soon, a computer-based Power Point introduction to Mentoring will be added as a requirement.

By the way, if you are modifying or altering a motorcar -- or any other vehicle for the rail -- be sure to contact me so we can be assured your motorcar will be acceptable, meeting NARCOA standards.

Enjoy the ride!

Bill & Nancy Andrews

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