A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Bypass Albany Station? Better not!

Written October 10th, 2013 by
Albany Station during a lull before the arrival of Amtrak's Coast Starlight, No. 14, northbound, on Oct. 10.

Albany Station during a lull before the arrival of Amtrak’s Coast Starlight, No. 14, northbound, on Oct. 10.

Albany Station, constructed at great public expense, is a hub of transportation activity during some parts of the day. Trains and local and regional bus lines stop there, and there’s plenty of convenient parking for taxis and the vehicles of commuters and other travelers. And yet, incredibly, two of the alternative routes being considered for future passenger rail in the Willamette Valley would bypass Albany Station, one of them in order to have intercity trains stop in Corvallis instead.

The Oregon Passenger Rail project has made public four alternate routings for increased passenger service between Eugene and Portland. Luckily, according to Albany Mayor Sharon Konopa, using the existing Union Pacific mainline seems to be the top alternative. But the second and fourth would skip Albany and build new stations, not to mention lots of new track, elsewhere. One, apparently the lowest-ranked one, would run trains through Monroe and Corvallis, bypassing Albany Station on its way north from there.

None of the alternatives other than improving the mainline make much sense. All involve greater expense and the waste of existing stations. An open house to explain how the alternatives were evaluated will be held in Albany on Nov. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Linn-Benton Community College. If you care about a sensible rail project — in case it comes off at all — you might want to attend. (hh)

ANOTHER MEETING: A mid-valley advisory group on the rail project will meet from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 15, in the Calapooia Center at LBCC to discuss the results of the evaluation of the alternative train routing proposals.

Jim Clausen, on Facebook:  Wow Hasso, you almost got bowled over by all those passengers exiting the train! Oh wait, there weren’t any…
Ok, let’s try again. Wow Hasso, you almost got bowled over by all those people wanting to become passengers, all 3 of them! Oh wait, that doesn’t work so well either…
One more try! Wow Hasso, thanks for the video exposing just how little the train in Albany is being used! Your concise and in depth report was an eye opener! Oh, wait…
This is the problem with reporters who have a stack in the matter, they tell the story from the point of view of their feelings rather than actually looking at the facts and reporting those. Oh wait, that one actually works!


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