Skip Top Navigation

Freight Rail


Enlarge Rail System Map
(pdf 2 mb)

The economic vitality of Washington state requires a strong rail system capable of providing its businesses, ports and farms with competitive access to North American and international markets.

There are over 3,000 miles of railroad lines in Washington, providing mobility for freight and passengers moving into, out of, within, and through the state.

Two Class I railroads, the BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad, as well as 23 short-line railroads, operate through communities in Washington.

The Palouse River and Coulee City (PCC) rail system, owned and operated by WSDOT, is the longest short-line freight rail system in Washington. WSDOT contracts with private railroads to operate each of the branches.

Railroads in Washington play a major role in the movement of a broad range of products and commodities--consumer electronics to heavy bulk goods--for local production and consumption, as well as for consumer markets in the U.S. and internationally.

What's Recent:
WSDOT is seeking information from railroads and intermodal logistics companies to help determine if sufficient demand and expertise exists to revive a defunct state program that once supported a pool of refrigerated rail cars. A request for information was released on March 30, 2016, seeking proposals from parties interested in restoring the Washington Produce Rail Car program. The deadline for submissions was May 2, 2016.

The Washington State Short Line Rail Inventory and Needs Assessment was completed in June 2015.

The Palouse River and Coulee City Rail System Strategic Plan was completed in May 2015.

2013 Washington State Rail Plan

I would like to learn more about:
The PCC rail system
WSDOT grant and loan programs
The Washington Grain Train
The Produce Rail Car Pool

Train safety
Rail terminology