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Rail News Home Passenger Rail

3/2/2010



Rail News: Passenger Rail

Oregon DOT orders two trainsets from Talgo-America


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On Friday, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) announced it negotiated the purchase of two new passenger trains from Talgo-America for $36.6 million. The 13-car trains will be used for Amtrak Cascades service between Eugene, Ore., and Vancouver, British Columbia.
 
To be delivered in 2012, the trains will be assembled at a new Talgo plant to be established in Milwaukee. Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle is expected to announce today that Talgo-America will create a train-building facility at a former Tower Automotive Corp. plant in the city. Last year, the Wisconsin DOT negotiated a $47.6 million deal with Talgo-America to build two 14-car trains for Amtrak's Milwaukee-to-Chicago Hiawatha line. By pooling the train purchase with Wisconsin, ODOT — which will use stimulus funds for the transaction — saved about $6 million, according to the Oregon agency.

Amtrak currently provides service on the line with trains owned by the state of Washington and Amtrak. But as Washington increases daily Portland-to-Seattle service, trains no longer would be available to Oregon, according to ODOT. The Oregon-owned trains will join five older Talgo-America trainsets, of which Washington state owns three and Amtrak, two.
 
“The commission’s decision to buy trains will assure continued passenger-rail service in the Willamette Valley and provide the potential for increased service in Oregon at some future date,” said ODOT Director Matthew Garrett in a prepared statement.
 
Since 1994, Amtrak Cascades ridership has increased 823 percent.


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