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Home > Archives > Willamette Valley Express inaugural, 1980.

Willamette Valley Express inaugural, 1980.

Black and white photograph from the September-October 1980 issue of Amtrak NEWS.

<i>Willamette Valley Express</i> inaugural, 1980.

In fiscal year 1980, demand for passenger rail service resulted in the creation of five new state-supported routes in California, Illinois, Missouri, Oregon and Pennsylvania, for a total of 15 state supported routes across the nation. Changes to the Rail Passenger Service Act of 1970 made it easier for states to fund services and test the market. Among the new services initiated that year was the twice-daily Willamette Valley Express  (Portland-Eugene).

The photo depicts the inaugural Willamette Valley Express breaking through a paper banner at Portland Union Station on August 2, 1980. This ceremonial train consisted of F40PH locomotive #252, five Superliner coaches, transition car, Amdinette and the Airslie, a Southern Pacific Railroad business car. Kick-off ceremonies included remarks by Mayor Frank Invancie and Oregon Governor Victor Atiyeh. The Transtooters, the Oregon Department of Transportation's band, entertained crowds at the whistlestops. The Willamette Valley Express  ceased operation at the end of 1981.

Photo by Susan Dole.