The Series 8 trains are being used alongside three Talgo sets owned by the state of Washington and two owned by Amtrak on Cascades services from Eugene, Oregon, to Seattle and Vancouver. According to Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT), the service pattern on this route was stretching the existing fleet, and additional rolling stock is required for the launch of two additional daily services between Portland and Seattle in 2017.
Each train seats 286 passengers and with features including catering facilities, bicycle storage, business class accommodation, and passenger Wi-Fi.
ODOT says it has spent $US 38.4m on the two trains, plus an additional $US 6m on consultants, spare parts, testing, and the addition of Wi-Fi equipment.
The trains were originally due to enter service in autumn 2012, but the decision by the state of Wisconsin to cancel its order for Talgo trains delayed testing, approval, and delivery of the Oregon sets.