Oregon Looks to Improve Rail Service

Nov 5, 2013

Rail crossing in Eugene.
Credit Jes Burns

Oregon is looking at ways to improve train service between Eugene / Springfield and the Portland metro area. It's part of the Oregon Passenger Rail Project.

Oregon Department of Transportation says ridership has increased steadily on trains that go back and forth from Eugene to Portland and up to Vancouver, B.C. Over the next 25 years, the population of the Willamette Valley is expected to grow by 35 percent. ODOT's Jim Cox is Project Manager:

Cox: "So, what we're looking at is increasing frequency of service, so adding more round trips, reducing the travel time between Eugene and Portland, and improved on-time performance."

Cox says the project has come up with 4 different alternatives. One is to make no changes. The most ambitious would be to build a new rail line along Interstate 5. The project is funded by federal and state grants. People are encouraged to visit the Oregon Passenger Rail project website and attend open houses this week.

There's an open house Wednesday evening from 5 to 7 at the Eugene Public Library downtown and at Linn Benton Community College in Albany Thursday evening from 5 to 7.