AAWA believes in addressing the pressing matters of today while planning for a better tomorrow. Safety, accessibility, and sustainability are our top priorities.
In the aftermath of COVID-19, regional cooperation and traveler safety are critical. We support the restoration of the full Amtrak Cascades schedule in order to give all travelers more options and maximize capacity for physical distancing.
We must restore service on the Point Defiance Bypass to reduce the likelihood of delays and shorten travel times. The East-West Passenger Rail System feasibility study should be followed by an economic impact analysis of the entire route.
Seattle-Spokane service is only the start. Omak, Colville, Colfax, Pullman, Lewiston, Walla Walla, and Boise all have train tracks that could be used for intercity passenger rail services. New stations should be considered for cities along existing routes like Blaine, Prosser, Ritzville, and Cheney.
Down the Tracks
Amtrak Cascades must be upgraded to realize its full potential as envisioned by WSDOT. Once a separate High-Speed Rail (HSR) system is phased in for the I-5 corridor, Cascades should be re-oriented as an all-day, local-stop regional rail service that is integrated with the intercity lines connecting the entire Pacific Northwest.
AAWA publicizes the need for improved passenger rail service.
All Aboard Washington has successfully advocated for:
Yakima Valley/Stampede Pass Service (2017-2020)
AAWA collaborated with the Washington State Legislative Rail Caucus (LRC) to pass legislation funding a feasibility study of passenger rail service through the Yakima Valley to Eastern Washington.
AAWA funded a Central Washington University Stampede Pass Rail Study researching local sentiment toward re-establishing passenger rail service in the Yakima Valley between Seattle and Pasco.
County Rail Districts (2018)
AAWA supported an amendment to RCW 36.60, allowing County Rail Districts (CRDs) to facilitate passenger and freight service.
Service to More Communities
Amtrak Cascades Startup and Improvements (1994-2010)
WashARP worked with the state and Amtrak to restart regional service using advanced Talgo equipment.
- A second daily Seattle-Vancouver, BC Cascades round-trip began in 2010.
- Cascades service was extended to Vancouver, BC, in 1995.
- Cascades service using Talgo equipment began in 1994.
Centennial Station (1993)
WashARP was instrumental in the grassroots creation of this privately-funded station serving Lacey and Olympia.