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.