The Pikes and the Peak are synonymous.
They have both been part of the Pacific Northwest for centuries, with the two regions in close proximity to one another.
The trains have both hosted many of the region’s most notable attractions, including the Pile, a series of towering mountains that tower over the Puget Sound.
But both regions were forced to scramble to accommodate the rapid growth of the automobile industry in the 1960s and 70s.
And both cities have had to find other ways to keep pace with the influx of new businesses.
The Pacific Northwest, which had seen the biggest economic boost in the region from the advent of the Interstate Highway System, had a difficult time accommodating the growth of new development and the arrival of the suburbs.
“It was a struggle, I think,” said Andrew S. Riddle, a Portland-based historian and author of “Portland in the Age of Railroads.”
“I think that the cities were caught in the middle of this great transformation.”
The Pacific Northwest also struggled with the construction of the first rail line, the Pacific Light Rail, that opened in 1964.
The line, built under the supervision of the US Department of Transportation, was a major investment in the local economy.
But in the late 1970s, the federal government gave up its right to approve or disapprove of the project.
Construction stalled in the 1980s and 1990s, and by 2002, the PLS was in jeopardy of shutting down entirely.
As a result, the region struggled to find a replacement for the aging railway.
The Pillsbury Pikes is a popular spot for people to hike and enjoy the Pines.
But that’s not why it’s known as the “pikes.”
“We’ve got to have a way to get people out of the city to see the Pills,” said Jeff C. Salsberg, the chairman of the board of the Portland Pikes Conservancy.
Sainsbury and his company, the Portland Maritime Heritage Foundation, have spent the past few years working to make the region more accessible to the community.
They’re proposing a project that would allow Pikes patrons to access the Pains via a new rail tunnel.
The tunnel would connect the Piles with the Pacific Ocean via a narrow bridge.
The proposed tunnel, which would connect with the Paine Field Railway, would run beneath the Pill Creek Park, a popular trail that spans the Pike Gorge.
It would also connect to the Piceys Trail System, a system of trails that runs from Pikes to the Columbia River.
Cameron J. Pills, a retired geologist, is a Pikes resident who works as an engineer for the Pillington Rail Company.
His company is the developer of the proposed Pillsborough tunnel.
He said he’s confident the tunnel would help the region.
“We have a lot of infrastructure that’s going to be needed to get the people out,” Pills said.
“There’s a lot that’s required to get these things up and running.”
Sainsbury said he was optimistic the tunnel could be completed by 2024, as the project would not only be profitable, but would also improve the public access to the region through the Ponds and the Pilsons Trail System.
He also said the tunnel proposal is one of many that are currently being studied.
“The Pills have been great partners with us, and we look forward to seeing what they can do to really bring the region back,” Sainsburg said.
Salsberg said he sees the project as a win-win-win.
“The Pikes can be the future for this area, and the people can get out of Portland, and they can get a great place to live and have a great time,” he said.
Pikes, the name of a small mountain in the Pause Valley, has become synonymous with the region, and with Sainsburys work to restore its character.
The company is working with the state to make sure the proposed tunnel can be completed safely and effectively.
In the meantime, Sainsbough hopes to see more Pills residents enjoying the trail system.
“I want people to see it as a destination,” he joked.
Pillsbury is working on another project that will make Pillsport even more appealing to tourists and locals alike.
“We’ve been trying to figure out what it takes to build the Pitches, and I think this project is just about the right thing,” Sainburys said.