A representative for Portland & Western Railroad approached local leaders about the idea this summer. Larry Harvey, a senior consultant with PacWest Communications, said the railroad's line just north of Oregon 8 is deteriorating.
Without an upgrade, it will no longer be able serve the five or so companies now using it for freight, he said, forcing them to relocate or start contracting with truck companies.
"Portland and Western said, 'Gee, if we committed to only running freight on that line between midnight and 4 a.m., then passenger cars could run between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m.," Harvey said.
The railroad has approached local governments about cooperating to find funding for what Portland & Western estimates would be a $30 million project, in 2008 dollars.
They will have to deal with the FRA which means they wouldn't be able to use lightweight vehicles. It is a rather short route and I wonder if they should just run the line all the way to Beaverton catching a lot of the commercial corridor left unserved by the light rail line (represented by the red extension to the yellow).