Monthly Archives: November 2013

Casprail Statement in Favor of Environmental Impact Study for Corvallis Passenger Rail Route

The following statement was sent to the Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership Council on 11-17-13.

The Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership commission is (with emails…):

  Segment/Type of Representation Names
1 Eugene – Co-Chair Kitty Piercy, Mayor of Eugene
2 Portland – Co-Chair John Russell, President Russell Development, Portland –
3 Portland Charlie Hales, Mayor of Portland
4 Metro Tom Hughes, Metro Council President
5 South Metro Region Sen. Rod Monroe
6 South Metro Region Jeremy Ferguson, Mayor of Milwaukie
7 Salem Rep. Vicki Berger
8 Salem Anna Peterson, Mayor of Salem
9 Corvallis Rep. Sara Gelser
10 Albany Sharon Konopa, Mayor of Albany
11 Eugene Rep. Nancy Nathanson
12 Springfield Sen. Lee Beyer
13 Springfield Hillary Wylie, Springfield City Council
14 Transit Neil McFarlane, Manager, TriMet
15 Transit TBD, Lane Transit District Board
16 OR Transportation Commission Mark Frohnmayer, Arcimoto
17 OR Business Development Commission E. Walter Van Valkenburg, Stoel Rives
18 Out of Corridor Mike Quilty, Out-of-Corridor representative
19 TBD, Land Conservation and Development Commission
20 ODOT Matthew Garrett, Director*
20 WSDOT Lynn Peterson, Secretary of Transportation*

Dear Oregon Passenger Rail Leadership Council,

I am writing to you on behalf of the member of the Cascade Passenger Rail Association ( and myself, Larry Plotkin, Chief Advocate of –

We believe that the decision that is made in regards to choice of routes for the environmental impact study will have ‘100 year’ ramifications.  When we study the criteria and rankings for Eugene to Albany route choice, it seems  that Corvallis has very little chance of being the chosen route.  We strongly believe that the routes that seem most reasonable in regards to engineering and cost criteria, may be in the long run be the incorrect choices for a successful long-term multi-use passenger rail system.

Corvallis has a large potential source of rail passengers, one indication of which is a petition to ‘Bring Passenger Rail to Corvallis’ ( with over 2100 signatures, and a resolution from the Corvallis city council in favor of an EIS for the Eugene-Corvallis route.  Corvallis is a growing university town with over 20,000 students who we believe would regularly ride the train to home towns and entertainment, if the train is convenient and timely.  Corvallis has many growing entrepreneurial  businesses that are a result of collaborations between the major Oregon universities and (mostly) Portland-centric business.  We a need strengthen our links to the other major Oregon universities and the major airports and make these routes convenient to use.

When a joint venture between HP and Kodak was slated for siting in Corvallis, with the potential for over 500 jobs, a major reason for the decision to site in San Diego rather than Corvallis was the lack of a strong link to our major airports.  Passenger rail would provide that link, as well as a strong link to our other major universities.

We know that humans respond strongly to ‘convenience’.  Social engineering says that a route through a ‘target rich’ rider environment will be successful, and one where there is inconvenience to get to the train, and the last mile is uncertain, will not.

We need to provide a viable route for between Corvallis and Eugene, Corvallis and Portland and beyond – this will improve quality of life in the mid-Willamette valley for the next 100 years .

We urge you to recommend an environmental impact study for the Corvallis route.

Thank you for your consideration,

Larry Plotkin and the Cascade Passenger Rail Association.

Cascade Passenger Rail Association, LLC
Lawrence Plotkin, Chief Advocate

Corvallis Residents Gather more than 2100 signatures on Corvallis Rail Petition

Corvallis residents have gathered more than 2100 signatures from advocates for a Corvallis station on the new Willamette valley passenger rail routing.  The new signature goal before December 15th is 3000 signatures.

This station would add a growing university town of 50,000 residents to the rail system, including students, families and professionals.  It would link the 3 major Oregon universities and provide a convenient alternative to automobile travel to Eugene, Salem, Portland and beyond.

Four Articles have been written in the last month –

1. Corvallis City Council meeting October 21st, with many rail advocates testifying for a Corvallis Station routing and City Council Resolution in support
2. Article about the November 7th public rail forum at LBCC
3. Editorial from Corvallis Gazette-time, Albany Democrat-Herald editor Mike McInally urging Corvallis-Albany Collaboration
4. Article in Oregon State University Newspaper – the Daily Barometer “Advocating for rail through Corvallis”

Corvallis advocates attended the November 7th public information session at LBCC in force (many carpooling from Corvallis to Linn-Benton Community College in Albany, OR) –

Here is a picture of me speaking with Michael Holthoff of ODOT about the project at the Nov. 7th meeting (picture credit: EMMA-KATE SCHAAKE: Daily Barometer).

Larry Plotkin and Michael Holthoff of ODOT discussing Corvallis rail options on Nov 7th, 2013

Larry Plotkin and Michael Holthoff of ODOT discussing Corvallis rail options on Nov 7th, 2013


Larry – Chief Advocate,