Willamette Valley (train)

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The Willamette Valley, also known as the Willamette Valley Express, was a passenger train operated by Amtrak between Portland, Oregon and Eugene, Oregon. The name came from the Willamette Valley region which the train ran through.[1] Amtrak introduced the train on August 3, 1980 with support from the state of Oregon. The new twice-daily service supplemented the long-distance Coast Starlight and added stops at Milwaukie and Woodburn. The Willamette Valley carried a cafe car and unreserved coaches. The initial trial run was slated to last until June 30, 1981.[2] Two Willamette Valleys (#751 and #753) operated southbound in the morning and afternoon, respectively, while one (#752) operated northbound in the early afternoon. Amtrak began originating the Mount Rainier (#790) in Eugene instead of Portland for the morning northbound service.[3]

In July 1981 the federal government approved funding to continue the trains through 1984 provided that Oregon continued to pay one-third of the subsidy.[4] In early August state legislature approved additional funds to keep the trains running through the end of 1981 amid concerns over a fare hike and falling ridership.[5][6] Amtrak discontinued the Willamette Valley at the end of the year after Oregon declined to continue funding the trains. The Willamette Valley made its final run on December 31, 1981.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "New train gets familiar name". Register-Guard. June 18, 1980. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  2. ^ "First run for train". The Bulletin. August 4, 1980. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  3. ^ "News Photos". Pacific News 20 (5): 24. May 1980. Retrieved 2013-02-08. 
  4. ^ "Packwood urges funding for Express". Register-Guard. July 4, 1981. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  5. ^ "Legislators approve valley train funding". Register-Guard. August 2, 1981. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  6. ^ "The valley trains are dying". Register-Guard. July 25, 1981. Retrieved 2010-07-25. 
  7. ^ Wyant, Dan (December 29, 1981). "Slide closes rail line near Oakridge". Eugene Register-Guard. Retrieved 2011-12-15. 

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