Albany will host a public meeting concerning the future of passenger rail service in the Willamette Valley on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at the Albany Public Library, 2450 14th Ave. S.E.

The meeting is one of six scheduled throughout the Willamette Valley this week. Those interested are invited to drop in at the library anytime between 5 and 7 p.m. to learn more about the rail project.

Oregon Department of Transportation staff members will be on hand to answer questions and go over the final project purpose and need statement. People may also offer input on the goals and objectives of the draft and get information about the project, including the next steps.

The project is studying options for improved passenger rail service. The study area includes the segment between the Columbia River in the Portland urban area and the Eugene-Springfield urban area. This 125-mile segment is part of the federally designated Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor.

ODOT is leading an environmental review process on a number of decisions, including selection of the general rail alignment and communities where stations will be located. The project will also determine several service characteristics, such as the number of daily trips, travel time objectives, and the technologies to be used, including whether the trains will be powered by electric or diesel-electric engines.

Information is also available in a virtual open house online at www.OregonPassengerRail.org through Jan. 25 or by calling 503-986-6612.

Democrat-Herald

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