More than 1,200 people participated in a month-long ODOT survey to name Oregon’s new Talgo passenger trains, and the winners rose easily above the others: Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Bachelor are the names for the two new 13-car trainsets.
Oregonians were invited to rank names that included the above plus Mt. McLoughlin, Mt. Scott and Mt. Thielsen. All of the names received some votes for most favorite, but in the end, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Bachelor topped the lists by several hundred votes.
The first trainset, formerly known as ODOT No. 1 and now known as Mt. Jefferson, is in Seattle undergoing employee familiarization and corridor testing. When it arrived in Oregon in April, Oregon Department of Transportation staff videotaped portions of its journey; the video is now available on YouTube.
ODOT No. 2 (or Mt. Bachelor) is scheduled to leave Milwaukee, Wisc. for Seattle the third week of May.
The two new trains will join five others on the Amtrak Cascades corridor, providing service from Eugene to Vancouver, B.C. Two of the trains currently in service are owned by Amtrak (Mt. Hood and Mt. Olympus) and three are owned by Washington (Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker and Mt. Rainier).
Oregon purchased its own trains, using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, to help ensure continued service in the Willamette Valley in coming years. The cost of the trainsets is $38.4 million, with an additional $6 million in expenses for consultants, spare parts, testing and the addition of WiFi.
Each of the new trains offers seating for 275 passengers, a bistro car, a dining car, bicycle storage, business class seating and other amenities. Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Bachelor will be rotated into revenue service later this summer. Go online for links to photos and more details about the trainsets.