Willamette Valley (train)
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. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.
- "New train gets familiar name". The Register-Guard. June 18, 1980.
- "First run for train". The Bulletin. August 4, 1980.
- "News Photos". Pacific News 20 (5): 24. May 1980.
- "Packwood urges funding for Express". The Register-Guard. July 4, 1981.
- "Legislators approve valley train funding". The Register-Guard. August 2, 1981.
- "The valley trains are dying". The Register-Guard. July 25, 1981.
- Wyant, Dan (December 29, 1981). "Slide closes rail line near Oakridge". The Register-Guard.