RailForum.com
TrainWeb.com

RAILforum Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile | directory login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» RAILforum » Passenger Trains » Amtrak » Cascades Portland-Eugene Service Endangered

   
Author Topic: Cascades Portland-Eugene Service Endangered
yukon11
Full Member
Member # 2997

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for yukon11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
According to ODOT, the 2015-2017 budget could be slashed to just over 5 million. Oregon wants 10.4 million to keep all Cascade trains running. If they don't get 10.4 million, it could mean curtains for the Portland-Eugene run after July 1st.


http://www.narprail.org/hotline--blog/archives/04-2015

Richard

Posts: 1790 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
Full Member
Member # 15447

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Vincent206     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd rate the likelihood of losing the Portland to Eugene trains as "low". Currently Oregon is $5 million short of the total amount needed to operate the trains in the next biennium, but total tax revenue in Oregon is up. Unfortunately Oregon doesn't have any dedicated revenue stream for funding Cascades trains other than vanity license plates and grants. No general fund money is dedicated to the Cascades service. If Oregon decides to not allocate the remaining $5 million for Cascades operation and the Portland to Eugene are discontinued, the state will have to reimburse the Federal government for the purchase of the 2 new Talgo trainsets.

Also, the new schedule hasn't been a hit with the general public. It's reported that the morning southbound train from Portland usually averages fewer than 30 passengers.

Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
smitty195
Full Member
Member # 5102

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for smitty195     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Is it possible that this was an April Fools joke? I have been putting out small "fires" on Facebook since yesterday. People emailing and Facebooking all sorts of stuff, and I have had to respond back by saying, "Check your calendar---what is today???". Virgin America did a very good one where they made sure every single detail was in place. It was about them opening up flights from SFO to Branson, MO. (There is no airport there that handles passenger jets). They even had a button on their web page to "Click here to book". I can't believe how many people fell for it. With this thing from NARP, I don't know.....they're a strange bunch so who knows.
Posts: 2355 | From: Pleasanton, CA | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
Full Member
Member # 15447

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Vincent206     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
No, this story has been circulating for at least a week. It's a genuine issue, but I think it will be resolved favorably.

Also, did you see the WestJet April Fools joke? It's very funny.

Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
yukon11
Full Member
Member # 2997

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for yukon11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I don't think it's an April fool joke, Smitty. I got the original article from the TRAINS website.

Like Vincent, I also think most likely Portland to Eugene will continue after July 1st. The article points out it is the difference between two-tenths and one-tenth of the entire transportation budget.

Our soon to be SMART passenger train (Sonoma and Martin counties, due to start up in 2016) is funded by local, state, and federal sources, but also by a 0.25 cent tax on a gallon of gasoline. The gasoline tax is popular, here, with environmentalists as they see it as a tax on automobile users with the benefits going to an environmentally friendly passenger train.

I hope the Portland to Eugene route stays. Eugene is a good place to rent a car for travel to popular vacation sites such as the Bend area, Ashland, and the southern Oregon coast.

Richard

Posts: 1790 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
Full Member
Member # 15447

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Vincent206     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Some encouraging news...

quote:
One key legislator says Oregon will continue state-supported passenger rail service between Portland and Eugene, despite press reports suggesting otherwise.

Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Scappoose, says lawmakers will come up with enough money to continue twice-daily runs in the Willamette Valley.

“There is no story here,” says Johnson, who’s the Senate co-chairwoman of the Legislature’s joint budget subcommittee on transportation and economic development.

A big problem is that the early morning departure southbound from PDX to EUG isn't attracting very many riders. Just 5,529 riders boarded that train in 2014. The departure time of 600am is likely a big reason for the lack of riders.
Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
yukon11
Full Member
Member # 2997

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for yukon11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I agree that #503. leaving PDX @ 6:00 AM and arriving EUG @ 8:35 AM, doesn't make a lot of sense. If most riders are commuters, I think the reverse would be better if the job is in Portland.

Likewise, I would like to see Southbound #507 leave PDX a little earlier. Now it leaves @ 5:50 PM and arrives @ 8:40 PM. I think 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM would be a better departure time so the train would get into EUG @ 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM.

It would be interesting to see what percent of passengers are commuters and what percent is just general traffic, and if the ridership peaks during the summer months with more vacationers riding the Cascade.

Richard

Posts: 1790 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Mike Smith
Full Member
Member # 447

Member Rated:
4
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Mike Smith     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
They are worried about $5 million??? Texans are getting a 4 billion dollar tax break, schools and roads are getting $4.5 billion, and we will still have $12 billion in our "rainy day" fund. Oregon should try some of the stuff Texas is doing. They may need to hire/elect some leaders, first.
Posts: 1418 | From: Houston, Republic of Texas | Registered: Jan 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
yukon11
Full Member
Member # 2997

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for yukon11     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
More news. It looks like Oregon and Washington may have to come up with more revenue to not only keep the PDX-EUG run, but also to maintain the current Casacade schedule in their states:

http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/257052-127203-end-of-line-for-amtrak-subsidies

Richard

Posts: 1790 | From: Santa Rosa | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jp1822
Full Member
Member # 2596

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for jp1822     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by yukon11:
I agree that #503. leaving PDX @ 6:00 AM and arriving EUG @ 8:35 AM, doesn't make a lot of sense. If most riders are commuters, I think the reverse would be better if the job is in Portland.

Likewise, I would like to see Southbound #507 leave PDX a little earlier. Now it leaves @ 5:50 PM and arrives @ 8:40 PM. I think 4:00 PM to 4:30 PM would be a better departure time so the train would get into EUG @ 6:30 PM to 7:00 PM. Richard

There is a LOT of commuter traffic on the morning train northbound from Eugene to Portland and then southbound in the evening. I witnessed that many times. The extra time in PDX before this train departs is very helpful, or at least it was for me when I was taking the train northbound after the morning commuters got off at PDX. The train continued to be full even from Portland to Seattle.

There was also a lot of signage at one time regarding that if you had a "monthly" pass, you had to give up your seat if needed to those that held regular tickets.

I happened to take note of this, only because it was right after the time the Clockers were discontinued on the Philadelphia to NYC run - and Amtrak was stating how they wanted to get out of the monthly pass commuter business (more a less). Now the Keystone and a Regional is heavily patronized - but that seems to be dwindling a little as people telecommute more now (rather than getting involved in the NYP rush hour delays).

It would be interesting to see what percent of passengers are commuters and what percent is just general traffic, and if the ridership peaks during the summer months with more vacationers riding the Cascade.

Posts: 335 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Vincent206
Full Member
Member # 15447

Member Rated:
5
Icon 1 posted      Profile for Vincent206     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It looks like OR has agreed to fund 2 more years of PDX_EUG service. The legislature is calling for changes in the train schedule, however. The early morning southbound train hasn't been attracting riders and the legislature wants to see changes. A 730am departure time might work better than the current 600am. We'll see if UP will play along.
quote:
A key lawmaker said that officials and passenger-rail advocates have until then to come up with ways to counter declining ridership, increasing costs, and a shift from federal subsidies to the two states on the Cascades Corridor.

Posts: 831 | From: Seattle | Registered: Jan 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Home Page

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2




Copyright © 2007-2016 TrainWeb, Inc. Top of Page|TrainWeb|About Us|Advertise With Us|Contact Us