Posts Tagged ‘Portland-Eugene corridor’

Cascades Service to Increase May 24

April 28, 2021

Additional Cascades Service roundtrips are set to begin service May 24.

Amtrak will restore three of four Seattle-Portland roundtrips and both Portland-Eugene roundtrips.

For more than a year the corridor has been limited to a single daily Seattle-Eugene roundtrip.

The trains will use a combination of Talgo Series 8 transets owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation and Amtrak owned Horizon equipment.

An additional full-corridor departure will leave Seattle at 7:25 a.m. and return from Eugene at 4:40 p.m., arriving at 11 p.m.

The new schedule has Train 507 departing Seattle at 6:10 p.m. and its equipment leaving Portland the next day at at noon.

The current schedule has a Talgo departing Seattle (No. 505) at 2:20 p.m. and leaving Eugene the next morning (No. 500) at 5:30 a.m. and arriving in Seattle at 11:50 a.m.

State transportation officials had wanted to shift the departure of No. 500 from Eugene to 8 a.m. but host railroads Union Pacific and BNSF would not allow it, Washington Department of Transportation Communications Manager Janet Matkin told Trains magazine.

Because the U.S.-Canadian border remains closed to non-essential travel, Cascades service between Seattle and Vancouver remains suspended.

At present, Amtrak operates a Thruway bus to Bellingham, Washington.

Washington state transportation officials said one Seattle-Vancouver roundtrip could be restored in July.

An official said Amtrak crews are qualified on the route and if the border opens sooner rail service could resume before July.

No date has yet been given as to when Amtrak will resume using the Point Defiance Bypass south of Tacoma.

Officials are eying late summer or early fall but said it is up to host railroad Sound Transit.

The public transit agency conducted testing on the route earlier this year and has been working through a crew qualification process.

Matkin said the Cascades will continue to operate at 50 percent capacity in compliance with Washington and Oregon’s ‘Ride Safe’ Initiatives.

Limited food and beverage service may begin at the same time or soon after the May 24 schedule expansion.

Oregon DOT Seeks Public Comment on Proposal

November 30, 2018

Public comment is being solicited by the Oregon Department of Transportation on a draft environmental impact statement concerning a proposed passenger-rail service expansion between Portland and the Eugene-Springfield area.

Public hearings will be held in December in Oregon City, Albany, Salem and Eugene. Comments can also be posted on the agency’s website through Dec. 18.

The proposal outlines two routes for the 125-mile service.

One alternative is to use the existing Amtrak Cascades route while another route would be established along Interstate 5 between Springfield and Oregon City.

Oregon transportation officials and the Federal Railroad Administration have expressed a preference for the existing Cascades route.

ODOT has been studying ways to improve the frequency, convenience, speed and reliability of intercity passenger-rail service between Portland and Eugene.

Aside from Cascades Service trains, the route also is served by the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Starlight.

Study Looks at Upgraded Oregon Service

October 28, 2018

A draft environmental impact statement has been released for a proposed expansion of intercity rail passenger service in Oregon between Portland and Eugene.

The study by the Oregon Department of Transportation described two alternatives for the 125-mile service.

One proposal is to follow the existing Amtrak Cascades route while the other envision ns a a new route between Springfield and Oregon City along Interstate 5.

ODOT and the Federal Railroad Administration favor the first option.

Five public hearings are being held this month and in early December on the environmental document.

Following the conclusion of those hearings, ODOT and the FRA will choose a final preferred alternative.

Equipment Changes Affect Cascades

September 13, 2018

Some Amtrak Cascades trains will lose amenities due to equipment substitution, Amtrak said.

The changes affect Trains 508, 511 and 513 and are in effect through Sept. 17. All three trains operate between Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

In a service advisory Amtrak said the replacement equipment is single-level cars that will not offer checked baggage or bicycle space, business class, and WiFi.

Food and beverage service will be more limited than the usual fare.

Cascade Trains Temporary Gets Superliners

May 7, 2018

Amtrak said that due to maintenance and equipment upgrades, some Cascades Service trains will use Superliner equipment between Portland and Eugene, Oregon.

During this time there will be no checked baggage, WiFi, Business Class, or bicycle space. Food service options will be limited.

The changes will affect Train 505 on May 4 and 9 and Train 511 on on May 7, 8 and 10, Train 500 on May 10, and Train 508 on May 7, 8 and 10.

Passengers ticketed for Trains 508 and 511 on May 9 will ride a bus between Portland and Eugene on May 9. There will be no offer checked baggage, WiFi, Business Class, bicycle space or food service.