Third Quarter 2020

PDF version available for download here.

Amtrak Cascades for a Better Cascadia

by Patrick Carnahan


For the past three decades, the Pacific Northwest has had an intercity passenger rail system connecting the Vancouver-Seattle-Portland corridor, giving travelers the option to skip I-5 traffic and airport security screenings. In its present form it handles over 800,000 riders per year, but it could do even more if we gave it the chance. In fact, if WSDOT’s vision for this service was realized, we’d have a train that nearly three million people would ride every single year. It’s called Amtrak Cascades, and it could be the answer to our regional mobility problems.

Cascadians don’t want long daily work commutes or sky-high mortgage payments as part of their future. With many of the housing-burdened residents of the Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver, B.C. metropolitan areas able and willing to work from home like never before, we have an excellent opportunity to create a more sustainable region. Existing and emerging mid-sized cities between our major metropolitan centers will play an important role in absorbing the many new residents expected to migrate to the Northwest in the coming years. If we can plan for this population growth and take steps to prepare for it now, we can welcome these new residents without spoiling the amazing quality of our lifestyle.

Unfortunately, many small and mid-sized cities are not well-prepared to handle this growth right now. High housing costs, widespread single-use zoning, and a frequent lack of non-car transportation options force many residents into a dilemma: either put up with unreasonable rent payments to live close to work, family, shopping, and recreation, or drive long distances every day for these basic necessities. Even worse, these factors decrease our region’s economic resilience because they make finding nearby work, making flexible use of one’s property, and choosing to forego the expenses of car ownership harder. We need to create a more human-scale urban environment , but we also need better ways to get around the entire region. While high-speed rail (HSR) can help alleviate some of these issues, it will take at least two decades to plan and build. Amtrak Cascades can help jumpstart the Cascadia Innovation Corridor quickly and serve as a regional transportation backbone in a number of ways.

It’s Here - Right Now

Amtrak Cascades has run on existing train tracks between Vancouver, B.C., Seattle, Portland, and Eugene, OR since the 1990s. Once service is restored to the Point Defiance Bypass, Cascades will have the capacity to offer six daily departures both Northbound and Southbound between Portland and Seattle, in addition to the once-daily Coast Starlight. We already have a solid foundation on which to help facilitate environmentally friendly and space-efficient mobility across our entire region.

It Can Do Much More

WSDOT has long planned to shorten Cascades travel times and increase departure frequencies. WSDOT’s 2006 Cascades long-range plan envisions 2:30 trips between Seattle and Portland 13 times per day, and 2:37 trips between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. four times per day. With these improvements, WSDOT anticipates annual ridership of just under three million people, over 3.5 times higher than in 2019.

Outside of the existing I-5 corridor service, Cascades trains could be expanded to serve Central and Eastern Washington. Underused tracks between Auburn and the Tri-Cities could easily allow trains from Seattle to reach Ellensburg, Yakima, Spokane, Boise, and Walla Walla, giving Cascadians more options for where to call home and more choices for how to get around.

It Encourages Sustainable Development

Amtrak Cascades stops in communities of all sizes, from Seattle to Stanwood. Even better, it can help facilitate walkable, economically-resilient land development patterns that bring better returns on investment to residents than the usual strip malls and parking lots. With more options for getting between cities and more vibrant local economic opportunities, Cascadians will have a wider variety of choices for where to live without needing a car for every business trip, friend meetup, or leisure adventure.

It Will Help Support High-Speed Rail

Every successful high-speed rail project was built around a strong existing rail network, and with good reason. Investing in Amtrak Cascades while Cascadia HSR is being planned and built over the coming decades will be helpful before and after HSR opens:

Before - Building a Market

Upgrading Cascades to the level envisioned by WSDOT would make intercity trains a highly competitive alternative to both driving and flying. More Cascades riders today means more space on our roads for local transit, more capacity at our airports for international flights, and a larger market of train riders who will demand Cascadia HSR.

After - A Local Feeder

Once Cascadia HSR has been opened, Amtrak Cascades will no longer have to focus on express service. Instead, it can make more stops in communities it doesn’t currently serve that HSR will probably have to skip, like Auburn, Blaine, Lakewood, and Tenino. Not only does this open up Cascades to a new audience, but it gives long- distance travelers a convenient connection to HSR.

The pressing needs of today and the challenges we will face in the future demand that we make the most of what we already have. Endless urban sprawl and our continued overdependence on driving threaten our region’s global competitiveness, economic vitality, and quality of life. As we look to develop our small and mid-sized cities, more efficient land use and investment in alternative transportation modes will be critical. Amtrak Cascades can help Cascadia make a big step toward a more sustainable and vibrant future if we give it the commitment it deserves.


From the Editor

At the beginning of 2020, no one could have imagined the challenges this year would bring. The travel industry as a whole, and especially train travel, has been devastated. Service has been cut drastically in response to restrictions on non-essential travel.

But those of us who advocate for passenger trains are continuing to lay the groundwork for a better rail future. Communities are banding together to restore passenger rail service, as in the Yakima and Kittitas Valleys of Washington, eastern Oregon, and southern Montana. Montana’s Passenger Rail Summit, and AAWA’s “Train Trek” event series, have underscored the continuing support for rail across the Northwest.

As our elected representatives in Olympia, Salem, and Washington, D.C. work to find a way forward, we must keep educating them on how passenger rail can be a cornerstone of our economic recovery and the backbone of a more resilient transportation network. AAWA and AORTA have both summarized our 2021 legislative agendas below, and we will include some steps outlining how you can help us keep Northwest trains on the right track to success. - Patrick C.

AAWA Grant Writer

All Aboard Washington is a remarkably effective nonprofit passenger rail advocacy group that is ready to "move to the next level" of advocacy. It offers volunteer opportunities for active team members on the Board of Directors to lead a fundraising effort focused on expanding our professional engagement with State and local governments, as well as online communications with our membership and the public. We especially wish to increase participation from Central and Eastern Washington. Visit or call (509) 213-0070 to inquire.

CRISI Grant Could Ease Oregon Rail Chokepoint

by Mike Morrison


In a September 23, 2020 press release from the Federal Railroad Administration, the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) received some welcome news: a $3.7 million CRISI (Consolidated Rail Infrastructure and Safety Improvements) Grant to improve a short but significant piece of Cascades infrastructure. Specifically, this will provide a much needed passing siding on the Union Pacific line just south of Oregon City.

The FRA described the project as follows:

“Oregon – Brooklyn Subdivision Rail Corridor Improvement Project (Multiple Opportunity Zones) up to $3,691,900 - Oregon Department of Transportation. Rehabilitates an inactive 1-mile-long siding along Union Pacific’s single-track mainline on the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor between Portland and Salem, Oregon. Rehabilitating the siding allows freight and Amtrak passenger trains to operate more efficiently by allowing trains to overtake and pass each other. The project also includes installation of two turnouts and upgrading a signal. Once complete and in service, this project eliminates 6 minutes of delay for northbound trains and 9 minutes of delay for southbound trains.”

This grant is in addition to an Amtrak $750,000 contribution to the project announced July 30, 2019. Amtrak’s press release held out the prospect for further siding extension:

“After the completion of the Oregon City Siding Project, ODOT will work to secure funding for an additional track on an adjacent three-mile section between Oregon City and an existing siding to the south. This two-phase project will result in five miles of a new double-track section between Portland and Salem, significantly reducing congestion and delays caused by freight trains and other Amtrak trains.”

Mudslide Mitigation in Washington

by Gary Wirt

The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has received a $3.7 million grant from FRA’s CRISI program to mitigate mudslides along one mile of track at milepost 25 on the rail corridor between Seattle and Portland. This grant provides funds for landslide catchment walls needed to reduce rail closures due to landslides. When a landslide occurs, passenger and freight trains are held until the corridor is clear of debris and safe for passage. After a mudslide, passengers must be bussed around the impacted segment for up to 48 hours. Freight trains are also held and slowed, causing a ripple effect to freight operations across the region. According to the grant announcement, this area has seen 24 landslides over the past ten years, and passengers have been disrupted or diverted 940 times.

This grant is welcome news for passenger train riders in the Pacific Northwest, especially those who ride the Cascades or Coast Starlight along the Northwest Rail Corridor between Seattle and Portland.

A Better Analysis of East-West Service

by Gary Wirt

In the 2nd quarter newsletter, we talked about how a Benefit Cost Analysis (BCA) is the next logical step to restoring East-West service. The BCA is an important and necessary tool for Joint Transportation Committee (JTC) members in deciding whether or not the benefits of East-West service justify its cost, particularly in view of the current Washington State transportation budget shortfall attributable to COVID-19. But with the proposed Northwest Rail Commission, AAWA sees an opportunity to improve upon the study conducted by STEER this past year. We believe it would be useful to conduct an in-depth analysis of our rail network, examining factors like:

  1. A larger system of east-west routes, including services to Boise, Walla Walla, and Montana.

  2. Induced travel demand and diversion from non-car modes like airplanes and buses.

  3. Service restructuring that could increase overall intercity and local transit ridership.

  4. Economies of scale that can be realized from having a larger train and bus route network.

  5. Infrastructure savings that could be realized from utilizing existing station facilities.

Passenger Trains Support a Healthy Economy

by Bob Krebs


As we navigate our way through the ongoing pandemic, broad economic impacts are still being felt across Oregon. But as some people begin to travel again, we have an opportunity to enable safe, clean, and economical travel without forcing travelers into stuffy airplane aisle seats: Amtrak Cascades. The Cascades supports jobs both directly and indirectly. The tax dollars invested in it are a catalyst to the regional economy. The return on investment is multiplied many times over in how it benefits businesses and residents.

It would be easy to bore you, the reader, with statistics. However, giving some general examples of how millions of dollars in economic activity are generated by passenger trains could paint a clear picture of the benefits of maintaining and improving Amtrak service in Oregon. Here are some of the local products, services, and jobs needed to support train operations:

  • Each train has a crew of five or more employees. There are ticket clerks working at most Oregon Amtrak stations, plus cleaning crews for trains and stations, baggage handlers, service technicians, security officers, and supervisors.

  • There are restaurants and vendors in or near most stations that have rail travelers as customers. Oregon microbrew beers and food products are available in the Amtrak Cascades bistro cars.

  • Some train crews must rest before making their return journey and will need hotel rooms to meet this requirement. Multiple rooms are rented each day in Portland, Eugene, and Klamath Falls for this purpose. This provides guaranteed revenue for the local hospitality industry. Many of the rail travelers also need overnight accommodations, further adding to the benefits generated.

  • Diesel fuel for the trains is purchased from local vendors.

  • The tracks used by passenger trains are privately owned and, unlike roads, are subject to Oregon taxes.

There is something about trains that is attractive to many. It is a great way to travel for business, pleasure, or visiting friends and relatives. Passengers traveling by train spend more money in the communities they visit than people using other modes. A tourist dollar has a great impact on a community, turning over seven times compared to three times for a local dollar.

It makes sense to fund passenger train operations even in the midst of a pandemic. Passenger trains like the Cascades, Coast Starlight, and Empire Builder can facilitate regional and cross-country mobility without exposing passengers to the large international travel markets of major airports. Train riders usually have more space to maintain social distancing with standard seats than they do on airplanes. Long-distance train riders can even opt to ride in their own private rooms, further reducing exposure risks. Trains provide safe ground transportation for the residents and visitors of towns big and small, all at lower cost than roadway expansion and with a much lower impact on the environment.

COVID-19 has forced a temporary reduction of Amtrak services, resulting in a reduction of the usual economic benefits. This was a necessary short-term response, but the cutting of Amtrak’s long-distance routes to three days of service per week, despite the return of riders to many routes, could have long-term consequences lasting well beyond today’s pandemic. People aren’t waiting on the restoration of train service to resume their travels, so it is essential that pre-pandemic train schedules be reinstated for all routes. ODOT and WSDOT should also continue their work to increase Cascades frequencies as indicated in their long-range plans while expanding the service to Boise, Yakima, and beyond in order to meet the future needs of Northwest communities. Committing to a robust passenger rail network will help facilitate an economic recovery that is based on safe, economical, and environmentally responsible transportation.

Is an Interstate Rail Compact the Way Forward?

by Jon Nuxoll

Could a regional rail commission (RRC) be the next step in expanding Northwest rail passenger services? AORTA and AAWA think so.

Federal law authorizes the creation of interstate rail compacts. Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama did just that by forming the Southern Rail Commission (SRC) in 1982. Some Pacific Northwest rail advocates in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana see a similar entity representing some or all of those states as a vehicle for federal funding for both existing and new services – expanding the Portland-Seattle corridor, or east-west service to the interior Northwest.

Many AAWA and AORTA board members, as well as other regional advocates, learned about interstate rail compacts and the SRC’s work to expand Gulf Coast service in an online presentation by T4A (Transportation for America) Chairman John Robert Smith, past mayor of Meridian, MS, and other advocates; this presentation is on AORTA’s website at:

T4A also presented at September’s Montana virtual rail summit. The efforts to restore passenger rail to Montana’s southern tier are looking well outside of the state’s borders; the county-composed Big Sky Passenger Rail Authority can fund in-state routes and infrastructure improvements, but it will need extra support to expand service to Spokane and Fargo. The NRC, or an equivalent RRC for the upper midwest and mountains region, could help provide the coordination, planning, and funding needed to make interstate rail projects a reality.

The NRC would become a vehicle by which member states could receive federal funding for studies and expansions of service. “Shovel-ready” plans in place were a big factor in Washington and California’s eligibility for large rail grants in the 2009 stimulus package; Oregon lacked such plans and was largely bypassed in 2009. Coordinated planning between Oregon, Washington, and other NRC member states would ensure Oregon is ready for every federal grant opportunity. 

Land Value Capture to Fund Trains

by Lloyd Flem, Director Emeritus of All Aboard Washington

Washington’s Legislative Transportation Committee has authorized a Transportation Needs Panel consisting of a varied and qualified group of stakeholders. The Panel is looking at existing and new sources for funding transportation investments in the wake of revenue decreases resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. One potential means for transportation funding, Land value (Re)Capture (LVC), was not among the sources being considered, although it may be implicitly practiced to some degree with increases in property taxes as property values increase.

Considered here is the idea that landowners adjacent to new or improved transportation infrastructure, be they rail lines, transit stops, or highway interchanges, realize increases in the value of their land as a result of investments made by the general public. The idea that those property owners who benefit should pay for some of these improvements is not new, but putting it into practice has proven difficult in some cases.

Importantly, it is the location – the land – near, say, a new rail transit stop, which increases in value, not necessarily the pre-existing uses on that land. Close access to a rail transit stop usually gives a major value boost to owners of retail businesses, office buildings, and apartments. LVC seeks to have the broader public, which paid for the rail transit stop, “capture” some of the landowner’s unearned increases in land value to help pay for the facility that generated that value. LVC should not apply to improvements a landowner or tenant makes to the land, just the land itself.

LVC can occur through increased taxes on the land or by other means. In Japan, transit agencies will buy land adjacent to a planned train station, construct the station, and resell land to private developers at a premium. The difference between pre-construction and post-construction land values is then used to cover some of the capital expenses of the new train line, reducing the amount that taxpayers need to pay in the long run. In Hong Kong, the MTR Corporation often goes further: it retains significant land holdings near its stations in order to operate its own businesses, which provide revenue for future system extensions without the need for taxes. Perhaps these examples harken back to some of the earlier days of American railroads, no?

A notable concern is the impact on some existing landowners, such as single-family homes in an urban setting or productive farms in a more rural setting. Major increases in land taxes could end up “taxing them off their property.” In such cases, the LVC could be postponed until the land is sold or converted into a more productive use which benefits from the rail transit stop. While eventual capture of this unearned increase in land value is just, the potential political problems of taking part of Grandma Smith’s home or Farmer Brown’s farm’s windfall gains is not always easy!

The LVC can take different forms which include incentives, possibly in waiving the higher land taxes, where the landowner develops intensive uses which benefit both the landowner and the public at large by clustering such development around the transit stop.

The above is only a brief introduction to LVC. But LVC’s overarching intent is good: Projects paid for by the public as a whole should be funded to a greater extent by those private entities which receive the most value from the projects.

"Go By Train Safely" Masks Are Almost Sold Out!

AAWA’s “Go By Train Safely” masks have nearly sold out. Made by a family-owned business in Seattle, these cloth face masks are 3D-style with 100% soft white cotton on the inside and 65/35 poly/cotton on the outside. They include white elastic ear loops and a nose piece and have proven quite comfortable to wear for long periods of time. A must-have in 2020!

These masks are only available to those who donate $100 or more to the organization. You can also renew your membership at the ‘Contributing’ level or above to receive a mask. Please make your donation soon to guarantee that you won’t miss out on this limited edition mask - once they’re gone, they’re gone!


AORTA’s Legislative Agenda for 2021

by Bob Krebs

AORTA is supporting two concepts for consideration by the 2021 session of the Oregon Legislature.

Concept 1: Funding for Oregon Intercity Passenger Services

The State Transportation Improvement Fund (STIF) Payroll Tax would be increased by .1% or $.001 to be dedicated to Oregon Intercity Passenger Services. This will increase the total STIF Payroll Tax to .2% or $.002. The original portion of the STIF will continue to support public transit services statewide as defined in HB2017 of 2017.

The Intercity Passenger Services portion of the STIF shall be administered and managed by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT). ODOT shall have authority to issue bonds for intercity rolling stock, equipment and infrastructure projects not to exceed $950,000,000, to be repaid from the STIF. Bonds for rolling stock and equipment shall mature in ten years or less. Bonds for infrastructure shall not exceed a term of more than twenty years.

Intercity Passenger Service shall be defined as:

  1. Offers routes that are between multiple cities and communities not located in the same county or metropolitan area.

  2. Offers interline ticketing and/or connections to the regional and national network.

  3. Must offer service at least five days a week excluding holidays.

  4. Compliant with the Americans with Disability Act (ADA) for intercity passenger carriers.

  5. Shall not be a transit or government agency receiving funds from the STIF created by HB2017 of 2017. ODOT as administrator and manager of projects supported by these funds shall be exempt from this restriction.

  6. Is a common carrier surface transportation mode (road, rail, water).

The new STIF shall be allocated as follows:

  • A maximum of 2% of the new funds shall be dedicated to ODOT for program administration, network connectivity, service marketing and supplies such as statewide timetables.

  • A minimum of 15% of the new funds shall be dedicated to support rural services serving communities 

  • outside the Willamette Valley, e.g., I-84 corridor, Rogue Valley, Eastern and Central Oregon, service to and along the Oregon coast. These routes may operate to cities in the Willamette Valley to provide links to the regional and national network and access to urban based services. However the main purpose of these routes must be to provide passenger access to rural areas of the state.

  • Funds may be used to support passenger operations, increased frequency, infrastructure improvements, rolling stock (buses and trains) and equipment.

  • A minimum of 35% of the new funds shall be dedicated for rail capacity infrastructure improvements on the Willamette Valley Rail Corridor between Eugene and the Columbia River. These funds would be used for installation of double track, removal of road crossing hazards, and Positive Train Control to produce more frequencies, shorter run times and better on time performance. After ten years, this mandatory percentage may be reduced if funds are needed for other significant passenger rail projects of statewide significance.

  • Commuter Rail projects such as the WES extension to Salem, a Rogue Valley corridor or a Bend area corridor will qualify for these funds.

  • I-5 Corridor services south of Eugene/Springfield providing essential links to passenger rail service at Eugene and Klamath Falls.

    Concept 2: Creation of a Northwest Regional Rail Commission

    The Legislature would provide enabling language to permit the formation of a Northwest Regional Rail Commission with Washington State and other contiguous states. The Northwest Rail Commission (NRC) would be a federally-recognized regional rail planning agency, similar in organization to the Southern Rail Commission. This new entity would be focused on improving the coordination of regional rail planning activities, which improves the region’s eligibility for federal grant funding.

Facing Our Mobility Crisis: What Washington’s Legislature Must Consider

by Luis Moscoso

Seven months ago, WSDOT drastically suspended Amtrak Cascades passenger train service. And it plans to maintain the reduced service schedule due to declining ridership stemming from COVID-19. But cars and trucks are roaring back onto Puget Sound-area highways after coronavirus kept people home earlier in 2020. After plummeting by half, vehicle trips in Washington rebounded to 90% of normal by early September, as coronavirus restrictions loosened. The I-5 Corridor will soon be as congested as ever, perhaps even more so, unless WSDOT increases intercity passenger rail service. With people coming out of lockdown and needing to make business and leisure trips again, now is the time to give commuters and travelers an alternative to getting back in their cars. Restoring regular service, especially north of Seattle which has seen no Cascades trains to Everett, Mt. Vernon, or Bellingham since the border closure, should be a high priority if the state is hoping to show that intercity passenger trains are essential to the Northwest’s mobility and economic recovery coming out of the pandemic. 

In the Washington State 2021-2023 fiscal biennium Transportation Budget AAWA will advocate to:

1. Restore service on the Amtrak Cascades to pre-pandemic levels

  • I-5 highway traffic is increasing and passenger rail service should increase also
  • Intercity passenger rail should be part of our post-pandemic recovery

2. Submit legislation for a follow up Cost-Benefit Analysis to our successful "E-W Intercity Passenger Rail Study"

  • Restoring passenger rail service to central and eastern Washington
  • Implement high-speed ground transportation service between Seattle and Spokane by 2030 (RCW 47.79)

3. Create a Northwest Rail Commission (NRC)

  • Authorize Washington and Oregon to jointly study and develop rail projects for their mutual benefit.
    • Establishment of a commission would require an Act by The Congress similar to Public Law 97-213

4. Reintroduce legislation for "County Rail Districts" (HB 2622 - 2018)

  • To provide funding for improved rail freight or passenger service (as per RCW 36.60.020)

5. Reintroduce "Managing the Amtrak Cascades Passenger Rail Corridor" (HB 2781 - 2013)

  • Regarding the development and operation of passenger rail service within the Cascades rail corridor

AAWA’s legislative agenda supports its strategic goals:

  • Reinstate the full Amtrak Cascades schedule in order to give all travelers more options and maximize capacity for physical distancing.

  • Restore service on the Point Defiance Bypass to reduce the likelihood of delays and shorten travel times.

  • Follow the East-West Passenger Rail System feasibility study with an economic impact analysis of the entire route.

  • Support the maintenance and enhancement of passenger rail service in Washington state, the Pacific Northwest, and the country.

  • Upgrade Amtrak Cascades to realize its full potential as envisioned by the 1993 Legislature in RCW 47.79, and by WSDOT in its 2006 Cascades Long-Range Plan

How You Can Help

Whether you’re a member of AAWA or AORTA, your voice matters in Olympia, Salem, and Washington, D.C.! Here are four things you can do to help us fight for the future of rails:

1. Tell your elected officials about the future YOU want

Priorities matter. Your local, state, and national representatives make decisions based on what matters most to you, the voter. A quick phone call, letter, or email outlining your priorities to your elected officials will help keep them accountable to you, especially in the midst of the pandemic.

There are three critical priorities that we passenger rail advocates must focus on in 2021 (read more about them at

a. Restoring pre-COVID Cascades service

  • Restarting service north of Seattle, terminating trains in Blaine or Bellingham
  • Reinstating the pre-COVID Cascades schedules between Seattle and Eugene

b. Rethinking how Washington and Oregon fund and plan transportation

  • Leveraging existing funding sources like County Rail Districts in Washington

  • Prioritizing comprehensive return-on-investment, not just farebox recovery

  • Creating a Northwest Rail Commission that improves eligibility for federal funding

c. Respecting our commitments to riders and residents

  • Restoring service on the Point Defiance Bypass, providing frequent and transparent updates to the public on the progress of this project

  • Upgrading Cascades as envisioned in the 2006 Cascades Long Range Plan

  • Introducing high-speed ground transportation between Seattle and Spokane as codified by the 1993 Legislature in RCW 47.79.020

2. Donate to AAWA, AORTA, and RPA

We can’t do it without your help. AAWA, AORTA, and RPA fight tirelessly for the train network you want. Your financial support goes a long way towards creating a future that rides on rails. Visit to donate to AORTA, or to donate to AAWA.

3. Sponsor events

We bring the discussion on passenger rail to Washington, D.C. and all corners of the Northwest. Sponsoring an event gives you the opportunity to express your support for a future that rides on rails. Visit to sponsor an AORTA event, or to sponsor an AAWA event.

4. Become a Leader

Strong leadership is key to any successful endeavor. We need people like you to help us organize support from across the Northwest. Oregonians can visit to inquire about leadership positions. Washingtonians can visit to do the same.

Please Join or Renew Your Membership!

The continuing work of AORTA and AAWA continuing work is made possible only through your dues and generous donations. Remember, AAWA and AORTA are certified 501(c)(3) non-profit consumer organizations under IRS provisions. Dues and donations to AORTA and AAWA may be tax-deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.
Please join or renew today and help us make our goals a reality. Thank you for your continued support!

All Aboard Washington

AAWA is a nonprofit organization that promotes a safe and robust passenger rail system in Washington State.
Join, renew or donate online at

You may also send a check, with this form, to:
All Aboard Washington
PO Box 70381
Seattle, WA 98127-0381

Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates

AORTA encourages the development of a balanced and integrated system of transportation for people and freight within and beyond the State of Oregon.
Join, renew or donate online at

You may also send a check, with this form, to:
Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates
P.O. Box 2772
Portland, OR 97208-2772

Northwest Events Calendar

We are following the guidelines of state and local authorities, so each of these events is subject to change. Please see the AORTA website at and the AAWA website at for the most up-to-date information.

Saturday, November 14
AAWA General Meeting

Saturday, November 21
Train Trek to Tri-Cities and Cle Elum

Saturday, December 5
Train Trek to Auburn

Saturday, December 12
AORTA Board of Directors Meeting

Saturday, January 23, 2021
AORTA Oregon Rail Summit: Gateway to the Future
Brief membership meeting to follow.