A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Train temporarily stranded at Albany Station

Written May 4th, 2022 by Hasso Hering

There one thing you can say for this Amtrak locomotive. It looks goofy from the front.

Just before 3 on Wednesday afternoon, a southbound train of Amtrak’s Cascades service was parked at Albany Station. I wondered if there was something wrong.

As I learned from the Amtrak agent in the station, the train had been there since about 1:15. It wasn’t moving because the track on Union Pacific’s main line was blocked by a disabled freight near Shedd.

I don’t know how many passengers there were on board this train. But whatever their number, they were put on a bus to Eugene. That’s the southern terminus of the Cascades service, which runs between Eugene and Seattle and Vancouver, B.C..

The service is supported by the state transportation departments of Oregon and Washington. The amount of this expense for ODOT escapes me at the moment because the online version of the current state budget makes it impossible, at least for me, to find. I’ll try to find out, though, and will add it later.

Starting some 10 years ago, Oregon launched an elaborate process to write an environmental impact statement on increasing rail service between Portland and Eugene and reducing the travel time. The statement was published year ago, but nothing has happened on that front since.

In 2020 the Covid outbreak sharply reduced ridership on all Amtrak routes, including the Cascades trains and the Coast Starlight, which also stops in Albany. The number of trains and schedules was cut back.

But this March, the agent told me, Amtrak restored the daily schedule of the Coast Starlight, between Seattle and Los Angeles.

As for the hapless Cascades train stranded at Albany Station Wednesday, it was gone later in the afternoon. (hh)

The streamlined rear end of the Amtrak Cascades Talgo train set, on Wednesday at Albany Station.



18 responses to “Train temporarily stranded at Albany Station”

  1. Bob Bush says:

    Use to be 10 million per train per year for Oregon driving residents, it’s in your auto renewals, or I could just be wrong; and no discount when you buy a ticket.

    • MarK says:

      “Discount”???? Those don’t apply to those who pay into city, state or federal organizations. Only those who pay nothing are eligible for discounts and “freebies”. That’s why the rest of us have to pay.

      • Ray Kopczynski says:

        I’ll suggest that veteran’s and disabled folks have earned a discount regardless who has paid into any organization…

        • MarK says:

          Or course they do. Get off your high horse Ray, you know exactly what I meant.

        • LeeAnn McGill says:

          As a senior I get a discount. Easy way to check other discounts is simply go to the site and see if you took the train to Seattle who is offered discounts. I know students are as well

  2. Katherine says:

    Not everyone has a car.
    Friends visiting from Portland and Seattle use the train.
    Friends locally use to go to sporting events and avoid the parking hassle.
    Of course if you ever traveled in this world the train is the best most relaxing and wonderful way to travel. Someday not in my lifetime the US may adopt more mass transit.
    Enjoy the ride.

  3. Cheryl P says:

    Slow news day Hasso?

  4. thomas earl cordier says:

    The train ride going North terminates in Seattle—can’t go to Vancouver B.C. because of Covid. AMTRAK bus goes to all stops further North and does not actually end at the Vancouver train terminal.

  5. Gordon L. Shadle says:

    Cue the nostalgia. Then consider the reality.

    Amtrak was created by the federal government in 1970 as a de facto monopoly. It is a publicly funded, for profit, company. But its record has become the laughing stock within the developed world.

    It has never made an operating profit.

    We need to listen to Randal O’Toole (an Oregonian) and kill it, or at the very least, privatize it –


  6. Carla Mundt says:

    I recently took the train from Albany to Seattle. A relaxing trip getting to see parts of Oregon one normally does not see.

  7. Bill Kapaun says:

    “I don’t know how many passengers there were on board this train. But whatever their number, they were put on a bus to Eugene.”

    Pretty much shows 1 bus would have been adequate and a LOT less money.

    • centrist says:

      Flag on the play for conclusion jumping.
      Article doesn’t say how many

      • Bill Kapaun says:

        And yet you can jump a conclusion and it’s OK? I can usually count on you showing your hypocrisy.

        • Gordon L. Shadle says:


          Centrist is a good example of the smug style of the Leftist popular in American liberalism.

          They throw sophomoric “flags” for perceived slights.

          And the smug style of the Albany Leftist has found expression on Hasso’s blog. Good for them.

          Hasso: Please do not censor Leftist or hirs friends who post on your blog. Their sincere ignorance to their own hypocrisy is actually very entertaining.

  8. Al Nyman says:

    When they built the interstate freeway system, they should have invested in Greyhound and built terminals at major freeway exits with feeder buses bringing passengers from towns. This would have been an efficient way to move people between major metropolitan areas but instead they have wasted who knows how much money in Amtrak with miserable and very costly results using 19th century technology.


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