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Northwest passenger rail service breaks ridership records
With the peak summer season underway, and gas prices remaining high, a record number of people are choosing the Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service for their trips along the I-5 corridor between Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
After a rough start in the first three months of this year, when an unusually high number of mudslides cancelled many trains, ridership for April, May and June recorded the highest second quarter totals since the service started operating in 1994, with 231,194 passengers. Compared to the second quarter of 2010, this is an increase of nearly eight percent, or more than 16,550 new passengers. The Portland to Eugene portion of the corridor grew the fastest of any segment, with ridership on these trains funded by ODOT rising more than 15% compared to the same period in 2010, to 35,977.

Ridership on Amtrak Cascades was down 10 percent in the first quarter of 2011, largely due to an unusually high number of mudslides that cancelled many trains. However, with the high ridership in the second quarter, total ridership on Amtrak Cascades in the first half of the year caught up with the total ridership for the first half of 2010. In 2010, total ridership on Amtrak Cascades finished with a 16-year high of 838,251 passengers and exceeded 2009 by 76,641 for a 10 percent increase.
Amtrak Cascades operates two daily round trips between Eugene and Porland, with stops in Albany, Salem, and Oregon City; four daily round trips between Portland and Seattle; and two daily round trips to Vancouver, B.C. Amtrak Cascades is operated by Amtrak with financial support from the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation. For Amtrak Cascades fares and schedules, visit AmtrakCascades.com. Additional information can be found on the ODOT passenger rail program webpage.