Portland, OR – Oregon Senators Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden announced today that the U.S. Department of Transportation is awarding nearly $9 million to the state of Oregon to help implement plans to bring high-speed rail to the Northwest corridor. The funds will go toward plans to increase the frequency of rail service, reduce travel time and make necessary structural and track improvements to Union Station.
“Oregon’s transportation system is gearing up to hit the fast lane,” said Merkley. “These grants will lay the groundwork to increase rail service along the I-5 corridor and help get Oregonians where they need to go more quickly. These grants will also help ensure that Portland’s Union Station can continue serving Oregonians who depend on taking the train for fun or for work.”
“Oregonians have always wanted a better passenger rail network that makes the Pacific Northwest corridor one of the most popular rail lines in the country,” Wyden said. “By investing in construction and repair jobs at Union Station, and doing the background studies to set the groundwork for high speed rail, we’re taking a big step towards putting together the kind of world-class rail system that Oregonians want and deserve.”
The Department of Transportation awarded $4.2 million for the Eugene-Portland Corridor Plan, nearly $4 million to make much needed upgrades to Union Station in Portland, and $800,000 for the Oregon State Rail Plan.
Last July, Senators Merkley and Wyden wrote to Administrator Joseph Szabo of the Federal Railroad Administration urging him to support Oregon’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail application and take the necessary steps to improve the state’s passenger rail system. Read the entire letter here.