Oregon marks debut of state-owned Talgo gear

Written by Douglas John Bowen

The first Oregon-owned Talgo passenger train to enter intercity passenger service made its official debut in Eugene, Ore., last week at a ribbon-cutting ceremony, attended by numerous Oregon state and local officials, Amtrak representatives, and executives from Seattle-based Talgo Inc.

Oregon has purchased two 13-car Talgo trainsets, using American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funds. The two sets of equipment, designated “Mt. Bachelor” and “Mt. Jefferson,” join three Talgo trains owned by the Washington Department of Transportation and two owned by Amtrak, which provides Cascades service linking Eugene, Portland, Ore., Seattle, and Vancouver, British Columbia.

“This is an exciting day for everyone in Oregon¬—not just for those who love trains, but for those who appreciate having options in travel,” Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett said at the ceremony, held July 26, 2013. “It took an amazing amount of teamwork to make this dream of having our own trains come true. Now, we’re taking the next big step in Oregon passenger rail travel with our own state-owned trains.”

“Amtrak values our state partnerships and their interest in growing the nation’s railroad through operational support and equipment acquisition,” said Amtrak General Manager, State Corridor Services, Jay Commer.

“Talgo is very proud to be ODOT’s partner in delivering their two newly manufactured state-of-the art trainsets, ” said Talgo CEO and President Antonio Perez. “Talgo’s team is committed to the continued success of the Pacific Northwest Corridor passenger rail service by doing business with Oregon along with Amtrak, WSDOT, BNSF, and UP.” Talgo Inc. is a subsidiary of Madrid, Spain-based Patentes Talgo.

Each of Oregon’s new Talgo Series 8 trains seats 286 passengers and includes a cab car, a bistro car, dining car, bicycle storage, business class seating, Wi-Fi, and other amenities.

At present Eugene and Portland are served by two Cascades trains daily each way, plus Amtrak’s long-distance Coast Starlight.

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