Thanks to a friend from the northwest for a nudge on something I had some conscious about, but had neglected. It never hurts to drop a line to the publisher and his associate.
Oregon state is getting serious about improving intercity rail. Oregon wants to improve service and it will take money to do so. It announced on July 16th that they were applying for $2.1 billion in federal stimulus funds to improve intercity rail in Oregon. You can read the Governor’s press release and the pre-application request at:
What’s interesting about the request is they put the actual form on line. The state wants some money for station improvements, but most is for track improvements and money to help the line reach 110 MPH. Money for two train sets is also part of the request. Currently of the Amtrak Cascades trainsets, four are owned by Washington State, and two by Amtrak.
Also on the same webpage is the Draft ODT Intercity Passenger Rail study. It is about switching the Amtrak Cascade route from the very busy UP mainline to an older Oregon Electric line. The OE line handles far fewer traffic, but needs upgrades and improvements to make it feasible. I assume much of the money being requested would support those efforts.