(L to R:) Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy; Pat Meriwether, general superintendent - Portland Service Unit; and Brock Nelson, UP director - Public Affairs
Rail arrived in Eugene 1871, influencing the pattern of development as industry spread along the rail tracks instead of remaining bound to the river. Industries could now export their products greater distances than ever before and Eugene had the means to become a major market.
By 1887 the railroad was completed south to California. The current passenger depot was built in 1908, replacing a wooden depot building, and the first electric train arrived in Eugene on October 15, 1912, to a crowd of 25,000 and headlines in the local paper declaring this "the greatest day in the history of Eugene." In 1926, a new route to the east also created a new route to California, and made Eugene a major division point in the transportation network. This resulted in many new jobs for the people of Eugene and sealed its place as "Oregon's Second Market."
As one of the key cities along the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor, Eugene shares a commitment to rail service and an interest in ensuring the economic vitality and in improving the quality of life for residents along the entire corridor. Eugene is proud of its historical connection to rail.