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Public invited to share input on Oregon Passenger Rail

by: ODOT - Each of the three lines - blue, red and purple - could potentially have a stop in Woodburn. The blue line would use the existing Amtrak route through downtown Woodburn. The public’s input is being sought at open house meetings and online for the Oregon Passenger Rail project, which is evaluating which one of three alternatives could be used to improve inter-city rail service between Portland and Eugene.

Oregon Department of Transportation is hosting public open houses throughout the project area in November. Input from the open houses will be used to help ODOT’s Leadership Council evaluate which of the alternatives it will further study, said James B. Cox, ODOT’s assistant manager for the major projects branch.

“We’re analyzing stops in Woodburn on all three alignments,” Cox said. “We are still gathering information.”

While none of the meetings will take place in Woodburn, local residents will be able to attend a “virtual open house” at www.OregonPassengerRail.org to share input, Cox said.

Otherwise, North Marion residents are invited to attend any of the public meetings in Salem, Eugene-Springfield, Albany-Corvallis, Oregon City and Portland, he said.

Local leaders have expressed their support for a downtown station, which would attract visitors and provide reliable transportation to the Salem, Eugene and Portland metropolitan areas.

One rail option called the “Blue” line would expand the existing Amtrak Cascades route and could result in a downtown station for Woodburn, but there is no guarantee of that happening.

Another line, called the “Red” line, would run along Interstate 5 and would be on all new track dedicated to inter-city passenger rail service. The red line, which would be a high-speed line, would not necessarily have a station in Woodburn, but could tie in with the city’s new Transit Facility off Highway 214 and Evergreen Road.

West of Woodburn, the purple line would use portions of the existing Oregon Electric line. The purple line could involve building a new connection from just south of Donald to south of Aurora. One option in this line would be to go north through Donald to Wilsonville before connecting to the red line. A second option would bypass Aurora before connecting to the blue line south of Canby.

The public meeting locations and times are:

  • Salem-Keizer, Nov. 5, 5-7 p.m., Chemeketa Center for Business and Industry, 626 High St. N.E.
  • Eugene-Springfield, Nov. 6, 5-7 p.m., Eugene Main Public Library, 100 W. 10th Ave.
  • Albany-Corvallis, Nov. 7, 5-7 p.m., Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd. S.W.
  • Oregon City, Nov. 12, 4-6:30 p.m., Pioneer Community Center, 615 Fifth St.
  • Portland, Nov. 14, 5-7 p.m., PCC Climb Center, 1626 S.E. Water Ave.

  • Online: Between Nov. 5 and Nov. 18, www.OregonPassengerRail.org.




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