From ODOT Rail:
SALEM — “Trains Matter” is the theme for the 7th Annual National Train Day celebration this Saturday, May 10, at railroad stations around the country, including Portland, Salem, Albany, Eugene and Klamath Falls. The Oregon Department of Transportation is joining Amtrak and other organizations to present information, host activities, and celebrate why trains matter.ODOT also sent out a note about the State Rail Plan:
Portland’s event, which runs from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. at Union Station (800 NW Sixth Avenue Portland, OR 97209), features over thirty rail-related booths including Talgo, Operation Lifesaver, Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates and others. Attendees will enjoy live music, food vendors and displays. Tour an Amtrak Cascades’ trainset, as well as train equipment from the 1930’s and 1940’s, including a Union Pacific caboose. Little train fans can enjoy Chuggington Kids Depot, face-painting and entertainment from the Rose Festival Character Clown Corps, plus more for the entire family.
In Salem, train fans will gather from 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. at the Salem Amtrak Depot (500 13th St SE, Salem, OR 97301), where there will be a vintage Speeder and a Grand Island Railroad mini-locomotive on display, along with informational booths featuring Operation Lifesaver and Leisure Hobbies, model train displays, Twisty the Clown, refreshments and other fun family activities.
Other passenger train stops in Oregon celebrating “Trains Matter” with free entertainment, educational displays and giveaways include Eugene (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.), Albany (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.), and Klamath Falls (10 a.m. – 3 p.m.). Other areas hosting events include Coos Bay (the Oregon Coast Historical Society) and Toledo (the Yaquina Pacific Historical Railroad Society). See www.nationaltrainday.com for more information.
SALEM – The Oregon Transportation Commission at its last meeting released the draft 2014 Oregon State Rail Plan, or SRP, for public review and comment. The purpose of the SRP is to help guide decisions about Oregon’s investments in the rail system. An 18-member steering committee helped assemble the goals, policies and strategic actions in the draft plan; now the public is invited to review the plan and provide input, which will be accepted until June 20.Note the difference between privately owned railroads and publicly owned carroads, one framework developed in the 19th century, the other in the 20th. Warren Buffett owns Burlington Northern, but no equivalent on the Interstates!
The complete document is available online. To provide written comments or ask questions, contact Michael Rock at ODOT: mailing address is Transportation Development Division, Planning Section; 555 13th Street NE, Suite 2, Salem, OR 97301-4178; email is Michael.D.Rock@odot.state.or.us.
The Oregon Transportation Commission will also hold a public hearing to gather input on the plan at its meeting on May 16 in Astoria. The meeting will be at the Holiday Inn Express, 204 W. Marine Drive beginning at 10 a.m.
The SRP recognizes that rail is a crucial component of Oregon’s multimodal transportation system even though it is predominantly owned by private companies. Public-private partnerships are essential to assure that Oregon’s residents and businesses continue to reap the benefits rail services provide.
The steering committee considered a wide variety of factors in drafting the plan, including passenger and freight rail system needs, alternative funding scenarios and a potential framework for evaluating investment options. In-depth analyses and other information used in creating the draft plan is available on the project website.