• Portland OR Tri-Met MAX light-rail and streetcar plans

  • General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by lpetrich
I have discovered plans for a Portland Streetcar extension, a Portland MAX upgrade, and a Portland MAX extension.

Planning + Projects - Portland Streetcar - a plan to go to Montgomery Park in NW Portland. The line would go from 23rd & Marshall north in 23rd Ave. to Wilson St., then turn west and end at 27th Ave. The system was built over 2001 - 2015 Portland Streetcar - Wikipedia

A Better Red - a plan to extend the Red Line from Beaverton to Hillsboro Airport, and also to double-track parts of the Airport Line. The single-track parts are:
  • Gateway Transit Center - N NE of Halsey St.
  • Near Air Cargo Rd. - PDX station
At the PDX end, there is easily enough room for a second track. But at the Gateway end, it is more difficult. From Design - A Better Red there is to be a new track north from the north end of Gateway station to the existing Red Line north of Halsey st., crossing the single-track part. It will have its own station platform a little north of the existing station. Since this seems like a southbound / westbound track, trains would have to change ends in the existing station to continue, and that extra platform seems superfluous.

Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project would go Portland State University - Barbur Blvd. - 70th Ave. - Elmhurst St. - Hall Blvd. near Tigard WES station - WES line - Bonita Rd. station - some branchline? - west side of I-5 - Bridgeport Transit Center: Lower Boones Ferry Rd.
  by wigwagfan
A Better Red - a plan to extend the Red Line from Beaverton to Hillsboro Airport
This project, as horrendously ill-timed as it could be, is already under construction. PDX has one of the worst recoveries of any major airport and isn't likely to recover soon; Alaska Airlines has eliminated many cities from PDX (requiring one to fly north to Seattle to connect) and Southwest has cut back much of its west coast flying. PDX used to have a comprehensive Pacific Northwest network; today you can only fly to Medford, Seattle or Spokane. (No, Amtrak is never, ever, in a trillion years, going to be an option to get to Yakima, Walla Walla, Tri-Cities, Pullman, Lewiston, Bend, Klamath Falls, or Crescent City.)

All, to save about ONE MINUTE of travel time between Gateway TC and PDX by eliminating the loop. But, hey, MAX operators will get a nice marble-encrusted lavatory facility at the Washington County Fairplex to enjoy their guaranteed 20 minute breaks while bus Operators are run ragged and don't get proper and adequate breaks (and often rely on unmaintained port-a-potties). (BTW: TriMet is asking for a fare increase!)
Southwest Corridor Light Rail Project
- this project is essentially dead, with virtually no support from any of the communities along the route (and I was until a year and a half ago a resident along the route). While electeds say they support it, the most recent ballot measure that would have funded it saw 60-70% DISAPPROVAL in the precincts along the route; the only voting precincts that actually supported the project were extremely liberal and high-housing price East Portland neighborhoods that had nothing to do with the route and would literally approve a 200% income tax plus a 75% sales tax to murder European-descendant children if it were put on the ballot.

The Streetcar project is simmering because we all know the City of Portland loves any transportation project that has nothing to do with cars, but so far there's been little actual movement on it. City Council just had a shake-up and the City frankly has a lot of larger problems to deal with than another toy train line to a formerly productive industrial area turned into empty AirBnBs and surface parking lots.
  by eolesen
Is anyone still building streetcars? Oregon Ironworks shut down in 2014, and I don't think Brookville has delivered any in over five years...

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  by wigwagfan
eolesen wrote:Is anyone still building streetcars? Oregon Ironworks shut down in 2014, and I don't think Brookville has delivered any in over five years...
Technically Brookville still does; Portland Streetcar has several on order but the delivery has been pushed back. I believe Sound Transit also has an order in with Brookville.

Siemens also has a cut down model of their S70 LRV that Utah Transit Authority uses as a streetcar, I guess they could. And there's Gomaco if you want a replica trolley (TriMet's four Vintage Trolleys were built by Gomaco, but two of them have since been sold to St. Louis' Delmar Loop Trolley.)

Also to clarify, Oregon Iron Works is very much still in business; their subsidiary United Streetcar has been shut down, and the former streetcar erecting buildings have been repurposed for other uses, specifically building prototype U.S. Navy unmanned attack boats. There was a proposal for Siemens to lease one of the buildings for rebuilding TriMet's Type II and Type III LRV fleet but that died out and TriMet will **TRUCK** its LRV fleet using gas-guzzling diesel trucks to Sacramento while doing its share to destroy I-5, instead of using fuel-efficient, energy-efficient Union Pacific trains. (Can you feel how much contempt I have for that useless and corrupt transit agency?)
  by eolesen
Isn't the transportation to/from usually part of the contract with Siemens? They've shipped other equipment by rail, so I'd be careful about blaming the transit agency.

Then again, if they were really as progressive and environmentally conscious as the rest of Portland seems to be, they could have always specified in the RFP that using the most carbon efficient transportation was a requirement.

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  by west point
It appears that Siemens likes to return problems to its plant. The ATL street car wheel problem has them going to Colorado Siemens plant. Maybe Siemens does not want causes of problems to become comon knowledge? Company secrets?
  by wigwagfan
jwhite07 wrote:Or just maybe the tariff UP quoted for the move was uncompetitive with whatever the trucking company charges...
In the City of Roses, being environmentally friendly and virtue signaling is far greater than any price tag. Want an extra $5,000 to be "green" - sign me up.

But for some reason, when it comes to moving light rail vehicles, TriMet insists on dirty diesel up I-5...or in the case of the vehicle currently en route to Portland, U.S. 97 and U.S. 26.
  by RandallW
Would this shipment have been caught in one of UPs embargoes on the west coast (i.e. would there have been reasons to expect that shipment by rail would have extended delays en route or just not have been picked up which were not concerns with the truck)?
  by wigwagfan
TriMet and Union Pacific have a long, long history of "you scratch my back, I'll scratch you back."

Embargo? What embargo? There's no traffic embargo. Unless you're a peon shipper with no clout. TriMet? They got da clout. TriMet and UP could have made anything move.