The route is divided into the following subdivisions:
· Fallbridge subdivision from [Portland and] Vancouver to Wishram
The SP&S line along the north bank of the Columbia to Pasco and Spokane leaves to the east-southeast at the Vancouver depot. The Vancouver depot (MP 9.9) is in the wye between the Seattle and Pasco lines, east of the former and north of the latter. There is a grade crossing over the south to east leg, within the wye, and a grade crossing at the east end of the wye. The major yard along this route is at Vancouver, WA, alongside the Seattle line’s east side, north of the depot and the east to north side of the wye. There are factories on the south side of the line, but north of the riverbank, east from 7th Street for quite a distance.
East of Vancouver, where there are crossovers, the line uses the former Spokane, Portland & Seattle line along the north bank of the Columbia River, with several rail-served industries, mostly large lumber yards along the south side of the line (and the north bank of the Columbia). The line is initially two main tracks and then (from MP 14.5) single-track, CTC-controlled, with speed limits varying between 55 and 70 mph for passenger, 50-60 for freights, with the occasional location of lower speed restrictions for short distances. I-5 passes below, on the north side of its Columbia River bridge. A road runs alongside to the north, and the factories on the south side give way to new housing between the rail line and the riverbank. The line uses a through girder bridge to cross over a road passing below. The new housing is replaced by light industry on the south side of the line, plus one heavy industry facility, and then more light industry. The road alongside to the north has become the highway alongside to the north, as far as the bridge near MP 14.5, across the line and river to the Portland Airport. Housing on the south side of the line has a road between it and the line, which is up on an embankment.
There are crossovers at Eavan (MP 12.1), where spurs extending both east and west go south into the Columbia Business Center, the line runs due east for the length of the center, with a grade crossing over the line, and there is another spur into that center at Portco (south track only – MP 13.1), where the line resumes its east-southeasterly heading. At McLoughlin (MP 14.5), the two main tracks reduce to single track. The highway moves away from the north side, with a hill adjacent to the track and housing beyond it, and there is one row of housing on the south side between the line and the river. There are trees lining the sides of the line, then a street alongside to the north, alternating with trees. A bridge crosses the river and the line, high overhead, just to the east of the airport on the south side of the river.
After passing Image, Ellsworth, North Bank Canning Spur and Fisher, there is a grade crossing into gated housing on the south side, with more housing on the north side (but not adjacent road on that side), a detector at MP 19.8, a lumber plant on the south side with two extra tracks west of the spur at Columbia Vista (MP 20.5), another spur at Camas (MP 24.5) into the Crown-Zellerbach mill on the north side of the line, a Georgia-Pacific plant on the south side, a grade crossing, the line leaves the river bank for awhile, a through truss bridge over an inlet, a road alongside to the south, another through truss bridge over an inlet, a concrete molding plant on the north side a connection into Hamilton Brothers Lumber Company (MP 25.8), a small shopping center across the street on the north side, Nulam (MP 25.9), a road bridge overhead, a grade crossing, CRT Spur (MP 26.0), an industrial plant to the south, another grade crossing, a connection into Camas-Washougal Port (MP 27.6) on the south side, a 9,910 ft. siding at Washougal (MP 28.9), and the line returns to the riverbank and curves east-northeast at Mount Pleasant (MP 32.1), where there is an extra track on the south side..
At Cape Horn (MP 34.7), the line passes through 2,382 ft. tunnel 1, followed by a vertical hillside on the north side of the line. There is a detector and a spur at Prindle (MP 37.6), three grade crossings, a 9,958 ft. siding and another spur at Skamania (MP 42.8), a road and a stream pass under the line a detector at MP 48.4, 1, a road alongside to the south between the line and the Bonneville Dam, 503 ft. tunnel 1.5 (MP 49.8) on a line relocation around the dam at North Bonneville (MP 50.3), which has an extra track on the south side, where the line and river pass through a very narrow portion of the Columbia River Gorge and curve north for a short distance before resuming the east-northeasterly heading. The “Bridge of the Gods” passes overhead and crosses the river at its narrowest point. The highway runs alongside to the north again, sometimes further up the hillside.
There is a connection into Stevenson Plywood (MP 53.2) on the south side, a grade crossing between highway and plywood plant, a red caboose stuffed and mounted on the north side just east of the plywood plant, the river is directly alongside to the south, and there is a through truss bridge over the channel into one of the lagoons on the north side of the line, with a road bridge over the same channel on the north side of the line. There is an 11,085 ft. siding at Stevenson (MP 53.9), with housing on the south side along the siding and a grade crossing for access to the housing. East of Carson, there are slide fences within rock cuts, the line and riverbank turn due east, there is a rail-served lumber yard on the south side, and then housing again. The line passes through Home Valley (MP 59.3), and by a grade crossing, a park between the line and the river, basalt bluffs above the line and the road on the north side, a detector at MP 61.0, Collins, and a 9,888 ft. siding at Cooks. There is a grade crossing to housing on the south side, a lagoon between the line and the cliffs, with a through truss bridge at the west end of the lagoon and the road just north of the line.
There are five short tunnels, all through rock promontories out into the river (122 ft. tunnel 2 at Drano (MP 67.6), 416 ft. tunnel 3 at Blum (MP 67.9), 267 ft. tunnel 4 at Severson (MP 68.4), 394 ft. tunnel 5 at Owl Rock (MP 69.1) and 657 ft. tunnel 6 at Alligator Rock (MP 69.7)). The road is now along the south side of the river, as far as Bingen. There is a detector at MP 70.7, a water treatment facility between the line and the river, Hood (MP 70.9), a through truss bridge across a tributary on the north side of the Columbia, and Underwood (MP 75.0) as the line turns east-southeast again. There is a through truss bridge across the Columbia and the rail line, which then passes through Bingen–White Salmon (MP 75.5), where there is an 11,115 ft. siding, a market garden with vegetables under plastic, another large rail-served lumberyard between railroad and river, and a packing house on the north side, just west of the station (depot on south side), and a rail-served barge facility for transloading crushed-rock east of the station.
There is a detector at MP 81.7, a lagoon to the north with the road on the north side of it, below basalt cliffs, the line turns east-northeast at Vila and then east-southeast, past slide fences in rock cuts and through four more short tunnels through bluffs extending out into the river (966 ft. Hewitt’s Tunnel 7 (MP 82.8), 755 ft. Anderson’s Tunnel 8 (MP 83.1), 392 ft. Woldson’s Tunnel 9 (MP 83.3) and 575 ft. Jackson’s Tunnel 10 (MP 83.5)). There is another lagoon to the north with the road on the north side of it, below basalt cliffs, a 3,200 ft. siding at Lyle (MP 85.3), with two tracks on the north side of the main, where a branch once headed northeast. A bridge passes over road, tracks, and river, and the line passes through 269 ft. tunnel 11 (MP 85.9).
The line turns due south and there is a 9,935 ft. siding at North Dalles (MP 93.3), a grade crossing, slide fences along both sides of a rock cut, a bridge over rail line and river just west of the dam, and a Dam Spur (MP 96.6) on the north side of the line at The Dalles Dam. The north side cliffs have a rounded slope, and are back a mile or more from the river. With a lagoon on the north side, the line makes a turn northeast through Dallesport (MP 97.0) on the upstream side of the dam, past a detector at MP 100.0, a slide fence on the north side of the line below rock cliffs, another lagoon on the north side, the Dallesport Industrial Spur (MP 100.7), a grade crossing, and Avery MP 103.4), where there is a sand barge loading facility on the riverbank to the south of the line, and two tracks on the south side of the main just east of MP 103.4, the line turns due east and two main tracks resume through Wishram.
At Fallbridge (MP 105.9), the line passes the bridge to the Oregon Trunk, with its wye tracks on arms of the north end of the bridge in both directions, and continues east into Wishram (MP 106.1), where the depot (and stuffed-and-mounted GN 4-8-2 2509, now under a roof but still in the open air) is on the north side of the tracks, and the small yard is on the south side of the tracks, adjacent to the river, with crossovers between them (both west of the Wishram Center depot and at the east end of the yard).