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 the 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]

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