Portland, Oregon: TriMet Westside Express Service

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Otto Vondrak
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Portland, Oregon: TriMet Westside Express Service

Post by Otto Vondrak » Tue Jun 19, 2007 12:18 pm

Construction is underway for the first commuter rail line in Oregon. Self-propelled diesel trains will carry passengers between Beaverton, Tigard, Tualatin and Wilsonville when the line opens in September 2008. Preliminary illustrations show Colorado Railcar DMUs possibly used in the new service.

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Admin Note: Thread re-titled. PM me if I have this wrong.
Last edited by Otto Vondrak on Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Otto Vondrak » Wed Feb 06, 2008 1:33 pm

The new commuter service will be named "WES" for Westside Express Service.

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Post by Otto Vondrak » Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:26 pm

So... I probably missed out on months of conversation, but why does WES only run between Beaverton and Wilsonville? Why dont they run into Portland? Are they planning on running into Portland?

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Post by AgentSkelly » Fri Apr 04, 2008 10:31 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:So... I probably missed out on months of conversation, but why does WES only run between Beaverton and Wilsonville? Why dont they run into Portland? Are they planning on running into Portland?

-otto-
Four Words: City of Lake Oswego.

PWNR interconnects with UP's Portland Sub by going through the City of Lake Oswego. The city is well known for having lots of NIMBYs there and I know for a fact already hate they have a railroad going through their backyard. Tri-Met did the smart thing by NOT opening up that can of worms. Plus, most of that track is good for 30 MPH at best and probably be WAY more expensive to upgrade.

Also, there's way more commuters that come from Washington County into Wilsonville and vice versa than Portland to Wilsonville. Drive on Highway 217 and you will see why as thats the bottleneck. By going into Portland, you would be missing out on the ridership as the only sensible way into Portland is via Lake Oswego.

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Testing on WES?

Post by villager » Mon Jun 02, 2008 12:55 pm

Hi- I'm going to be out in PDX from June 30 to July 3. Is the WES testing its operations yet? Might I be able to see the DMUs in action?

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washington county commuter rail

Post by UH60L » Thu Jun 05, 2008 12:07 pm

I live in Salem. I have been folowing this for a couple years. I have heard they are testng the signals and crossings, but I think they are using a freight diesel, borrowed from Portland & Western, who they will share the line with.

I don't think they have started testing the DMUs yet. I'm looking forward to seeing them in service. I have seen some interest in extending the system down the valley, including Salem. I grew up along thos tracks, the old Oregon Electric line, and it would be cool to see passenger trains going past my parent's house.

I love trains!

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Re: Testing on WES?

Post by wigwagfan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:42 pm

villager wrote:Hi- I'm going to be out in PDX from June 30 to July 3. Is the WES testing its operations yet? Might I be able to see the DMUs in action?
One of the DMUs and trailers have finally seen the light of day, but are still at CRC.

I'm not sure about when testing starts, but you'll see regular P&W freight trains regardless. Regular operations will start in October.
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Re:

Post by wigwagfan » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:47 pm

Otto Vondrak wrote:So... I probably missed out on months of conversation, but why does WES only run between Beaverton and Wilsonville? Why dont they run into Portland? Are they planning on running into Portland?
While Lake Oswego is an issue I think it's a little more complex...

Beaverton is where WES will "interchange" with MAX, the light rail line which connects to Portland. From Beaverton to the first stop in downtown Portland are only two stations (Sunset TC and Washington Park).

To get heavy rail to Portland, there is no good connection from the Oregon Electric line to the Tillamook Line northbound, so a train starting in Wilsonville would have to stop and reverse directions. (A Beaverton train could easily get onto the Tillamook Branch...but...) From Tigard Yard to Cook and to Lake Oswego, there isn't much potential for a new station. Lake Oswego wants to use the old Jefferson Street line as an extension of the Portland Streetcar, so it is essentially off-limits. So that means the only place to go is Milwaukie, crossing over the Willamette River. From Milwaukie to downtown Portland is on the UP mainline (think: Amtrak Cascades and Coast Starlight). That's all but a no-go.

Now, if the MAX line to Milwaukie is built, the Streetcar line to Lake Oswego is built, and WES from Beaverton-Wilsonville, I could see a line that is basically a step down from WES, continue it west to Sherwood, and use it as a "cross-town" line. But whether there is enough demand, and whether the costs make sense (especially given that there are at least two major bridges that would be expensive)...I doubt it.
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Re: Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Commuter Rail - WES

Post by AgentSkelly » Fri Sep 19, 2008 5:55 pm

I would like to report that I saw a CRC DMU in Tri-Met colors this morning in testing operation at the crossing at Highway 219 and it looks awesome!!!
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?

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Re: Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Commuter Rail - WES

Post by westr » Thu Oct 02, 2008 12:56 am

According to a new article in the Portland Tribune, the startup date has been pushed out to February 2, 2009, due to Colorado Railcar's financial problems. It seems the DMUs are already $3 million overbudget and still aren't ready for safety testing. Here's the article: http://www.portlandtribune.com/news/sto ... 2545219500

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Re: Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Commuter Rail - WES

Post by Kaback9 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:24 am

Are those DMUs all whit like that pic shows? Or is there some color on the sides?
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Re: Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Commuter Rail - WES

Post by AgentSkelly » Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:34 am

Kaback9 wrote:Are those DMUs all whit like that pic shows? Or is there some color on the sides?
There is blue on them as a skirt. I think personally they look kind of neat with the rounded curves; gives it a retro look.

I also had a chance to talk with two employees who were on break at the Haggen in Tualatin who parked the train at the station next door. They pretty much said they feel confident with the CRC DMU; they are not having any of the issues they had I guess in Florida with them so far.
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?

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Re: Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Commuter Rail - WES

Post by Kaback9 » Mon Oct 06, 2008 9:31 pm

AgentSkelly wrote:
Kaback9 wrote:Are those DMUs all whit like that pic shows? Or is there some color on the sides?
There is blue on them as a skirt. I think personally they look kind of neat with the rounded curves; gives it a retro look.

I also had a chance to talk with two employees who were on break at the Haggen in Tualatin who parked the train at the station next door. They pretty much said they feel confident with the CRC DMU; they are not having any of the issues they had I guess in Florida with them so far.
I think they look great nice to know they have a little splash of color.
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Re: Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Commuter Rail - WES

Post by lbshelby » Mon Oct 20, 2008 10:02 pm

The DMUs are having far worse issues than has been made public. The latest is thy have roof leaks to contend with.

None of the problems are fatal but there's a small load of them to deal with. The extra time was a very good idea.

As for why not into Portland, it was has nothing to do with Lake Oswego as this project was never intended to go to Portland. It was meant, from the very start, as a traffic reliever to Oregon 217, with a hopeful vision by some to link Washington County with Salem. Washington County is the main area of high-tech employment, sometimes referred to as the Silicon Forest, and Salem is (for those who failed elementary school geography) the capitol.

The interface with MAX at BTC was a later change that came about when TriMet took over the project from Washington County Land Use & Transportation; the original concept had an interface further west with the itnention of passengers continuing to Hillsboro, not Portland.
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Re: Portland, Oregon Tri-Met Commuter Rail - WES

Post by AgentSkelly » Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:06 am

lbshelby wrote:The DMUs are having far worse issues than has been made public. The latest is thy have roof leaks to contend with.

None of the problems are fatal but there's a small load of them to deal with. The extra time was a very good idea.

As for why not into Portland, it was has nothing to do with Lake Oswego as this project was never intended to go to Portland. It was meant, from the very start, as a traffic reliever to Oregon 217, with a hopeful vision by some to link Washington County with Salem. Washington County is the main area of high-tech employment, sometimes referred to as the Silicon Forest, and Salem is (for those who failed elementary school geography) the capitol.

The interface with MAX at BTC was a later change that came about when TriMet took over the project from Washington County Land Use & Transportation; the original concept had an interface further west with the itnention of passengers continuing to Hillsboro, not Portland.
Well, to be fair, the crew guys I talked with had a unit that was fresh from the plant so probably wasn't aware of them yet.

I remember when Washington County LUT had a rather interesting idea to run the train actually to terminate in Forest Grove so that it could "extend" MAX to Forest Grove.

The idea of the train terminating in Hillsboro actually was thought of when Downtown Hillsboro was ripped up for MAX work at Hatfield center; you will notice that the P&W tracks were re-done on Adams St which goes right next to the western terminus for MAX. Learned about this during the big grand event for the opening of the Westside MAX at Hatfield actually where on that same track was an old Steam Engine with a little display from LUT about the plan for communter rail.
New Westminster to Amtrak 516, whats up with the extra 4 axles, over?

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