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Federal Railroad Administrator visits Oregon to celebrate passenger rail improvements

 Joe Szabo, the Federal Railroad Administrator, joined local officials on March 16 at Union Station in Portland to celebrate the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor construction project. Through the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR), the U.S. Department of Transportation has invested $814 million to pay for improvements to the corridor, primarily between Portland and Seattle. These improvements will cut time from the trip between Portland and Seattle and allow for two additional round-trips between the two cities.
“A world-class transportation network is the foundation of America’s economic success,” said Administrator Szabo. “These investments create American jobs, make the regional economy stronger and produce a more efficient transportation system that’s better for consumers and the environment.”
During his visit, Administrator Szabo met with workers who are replacing the roof at the historic station as part of an effort to modernize it and meet the increased demands of the 21st century.  The roof project is part of a series of long-overdue renovations that will play a larger role as the region continues to grow. Szabo also received a briefing on Oregon’s efforts to plan improvements between Portland and Eugene. Governor Kitzhaber has created the Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership Council to advise the Governor and the Oregon Transportation Commission on a preferred alignment for intercity passenger rail improvements as well as service characteristics like travel times and frequency.