December 22, 2012

A letter from All Aboard Washington's President

Here is the December fundraising letter to our All Aboard Washington members that was mailed recently. If you are able to respond with a donation we appreciate it and thank you very much for your support.


There are a lot of people asking for your hard earned money this year. And many will ask for your money as a down payment on future promises. All Aboard Washington will not ask for your money as a down payment for future promises, but we ask you to help us continue our successful and long standing mission of supporting passenger rail in the State of Washington. All Aboard Washington is widely recognized as among the nation’s most effective state-level passenger rail advocacy organizations.

We have a long history of maintaining close and affirmative relationships with the Washington State Department of Transportation, Amtrak, Talgo, Cascadia, our congressional delegation and state legislature, community leaders, transit providers and other transportation advocacy groups, including our rail advocacy counterparts in other states. These close relationships have been instrumental in WSDOT getting $820 million in Federal higher speed rail grants for our Northwest Corridor.

We continue our successful strategy of “Praise and Push” which has resulted in improvement and expansion of our Amtrak Cascades rail service, and kept passenger rail in the spotlight before politicians and the public as a reliable, environmentally-sound and cost-effective means of passenger transportation.

We’re playing the Advocate’s role in Olympia for Passenger Rail, representing You, the passenger. We continue working with Amtrak and WSDOT to find ways to minimize the “Mud Slide Problem” where entire trains are cancelled for a minor slip of a slope. Once again this November and December it has been a major problem with trains cancelled for days at a time due to frequently reoccurring mud slides.

We are working with WSDOT to ensure the Higher Speed Rail investments are completed, and that they are properly built to serve Amtrak and even BNSF in the best ways possible. We want to see running times reduced for our $820 million in investments that eliminate slow orders and bottlenecks. New trainsets and locomotives will also improve reliability and on time performance. We intend to keep a watchful eye on the progress of these projects, and represent you, the Advocate and Passenger, making sure plans are carried out and promises are kept!

With the election over we are preparing for the new legislative session in January. We know President Obama strongly supports a vision for expanded passenger rail service in America, and Governor-elect Inslee has supported passenger rail when in Congress. However, as the Legislature and governor begin discussions about a new transportation tax package, we are losing three key rail supporters in the Legislature: Senators Dan Swecker (R-Rochester) and Mary Margaret Haugen (D-Camano Island), and Representative Mike Armstrong (R-Wenatchee). With these allies no longer in the Legislature All Aboard Washington must cultivate additional supporters as we work to ensure that any transportation package is balanced and supports expansion and improvement of intercity passenger rail service across our state.

Compared to many advocacy organizations, All Aboard Washington operates on a small budget. Most of our financial support comes directly from you our members who believe in our primary mission of increasing and improving intercity passenger rail service. We accomplish our mission by using our limited resources for organizing and putting on events around the state, producing our newsletter, running our website, and for general expenses related to the day to day operations of All Aboard Washington. Executive Director Lloyd Flem receives a small stipend for which he puts in many, many hours (for more than 27 years) to help accomplish our mission. Everything else in our organization is done by volunteers.

Your donation of $25, $50, $100 or any other amount keeps us moving towards our goals; we can’t do it without your help. In addition to your extra donation, please contact family, friends and colleagues who might support our passenger rail service and ask them to join us. A strong majority of the public supports passenger trains. Steadily increasing ridership proves that. In a recent priorities survey conducted by the Transportation Commission, people of our state ranked expanded intercity passenger rail service second only to maintaining and repairing our existing roads.

It’s quick and easy to donate to All Aboard Washington. You can  go to our donation website Please include your membership number when asked (if you have it handy; it's in the letter we mailed to you). Using your number ensures your donation is properly credited.

Thank you for your continuing support We look forward to seeing you on the train soon!


Loren Herrigstad


All Aboard Washington is a 501(c)3 organization and your gift is fully tax deductible as provided by law.