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Passenger Rail

Passenger rail is part of the state's intermodal and intercity transportation system. It provides an important transportation option for residents and visitors traveling the congested I-5 Corridor and connecting to Oregon's communities, regional and out of state destinations.

The Oregon Department of Transportation manages the Amtrak Cascades intercity passenger rail service along the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor in partnership with Washington State's Department of Transportation. The states pay Amtrak to operate the Amtrak Cascades service from Eugene to Vancouver, B.C.

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  • Offers a safer, productive alternative to driving a car.
  • Supports the economies of the origin and destination cities, including providing opportunities for tourism.
  • Offers a more fuel efficient trip on a per passenger mile basis and with less carbon dioxide as compared to air and other passenger vehicles.
  • Supports system resiliency by providing another travel mode on fixed rail in the I-5 corridor.
  • Expands mobility and transportation choices for all people, including seniors and  people with disabilities.
State Plans
 
The Oregon State Rail Plan explores issues affecting the state’s rail freight and passenger system. It assesses both public and private transportation at the state, regional and local level.
 
The 2015 Oregon Transportation Options Plan is one of several statewide transportation mode and topic plans that further refine and implement the Oregon Transportation Plan's, or OTP,  goals, policies, strategies, and key initiatives. 
 
ODOT has begun work to develop a new Oregon Public Transportation Plan, or OPTP. The OPTP is one of several statewide transportation mode and topic plans that refine, apply, and implement the OTP. 
 
Read the plan on the Statewide Policy Plans page
 
Oregon Passenger Rail Project
 
The Oregon Passenger Rail Project is studying options for improved passenger rail service.
 
Learn more and get involved at the Oregon Passenger Rail Project webpage.  
 

The Amtrak Cascades service includes two daily roundtrips between Eugene and Portland, four daily roundtrips between Portland and Seattle, and two daily roundtrips between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. Two daily roundtrips will be added between Portland and Seattle in 2017. Amtrak Cascades has the nation’s 7th highest ridership of intercity passenger rail services.

Service Performance
  • Amtrak Cascades has operated for over 20 years.
  • More than 744,000 passengers rode Amtrak Cascades in 2015.
  • Quarterly Ridership Report
  • On-time Performance
  • 2015 Annual Performance Report
 
Corridor Management
 
Oregon Department of Transportation, or ODOT, and the Washington State Department of Transportation, or WSDOT, work with many partners to develop agreements, policies, and guidance to manage the service using a corridor approach.
 
  • The Cascades Rail Corridor Management Workplan provides a framework for how Oregon and Washington jointly manage the Cascades Rail Corridor.
  • The Station Stop Policy and the companion Guidance Document help the states determine the benefit of proposed station stop changes to the Amtrak Cascades corridor.
Funding
  • Amtrak Cascades is funded by ticket sales and sponsorship of WSDOT and ODOT.
  • The United States and Canada pay for border security.
 
Service Operator
 
ODOT and WSDOT contract with Amtrak to operate the service.
 
Track Ownership
 
Amtrak Cascades trains run on privately owned rail lines:
  • Union Pacific owns the tracks and provides dispatching in Oregon.
  • BNSF owns the tracks in Washington and British Columbia, and provides the dispatching in Washington. Canadian National provides dispatching in British Columbia.

 

Equipment

There are seven trainsets in the Amtrak Cascades Service:
  • Oregon owns the two Series 8 trainsets
  • WSDOT owns three Series 6 trainsets and is purchasing eight new locomotives
  • Amtrak owns two Series 6 trainsets and provides all the locomotives used in service.

 

Train Equipment Maintenance
  • ODOT and WSDOT pay Amtrak and the train-manufacturer, Talgo, to maintain Amtrak Cascades equipment.
  • Amtrak Cascades equipment is maintained at the Amtrak Maintenance Facility in Seattle, WA
 

Amtrak Cascades Service Information

Amtrak Cascades homepage - book tickets

Amtrak Cascades schedule

Contact

Kathy Holmes
Passenger Rail / ConnectOregon Program Coordinator
503-986-5174

Resources

Sign Up for Email Alerts

 

Amtrak Passenger Rail Service Map

More Media

View pictures of Amtrak Cascades

View Game Train Video

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