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Rail Planning

Workers constructing rail lines in the Pacific Northwest

Strategic planning positions WSDOT to receive funding for improvements.

Recent Planning Efforts

Station Stop Policy
WSDOT and the Oregon Department of Transportation are responsible for administering the operation of Amtrak Cascades service on the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor. In 2015, the agencies worked together and, with the assistance of an Advisory Committee, developed and finalized a corridor-wide, Station Stop Policy (pdf 129kb) regarding proposals to add, remove or skip station stops for Amtrak Cascades service. The policy was signed on June 1, 2016.

State Rail Plan
The Washington State Rail Plan serves as a strategic blueprint for future public investment in the state's freight and passenger rail transportation system. The plan has been approved by the Federal Railroad Administration and the Washington Transportation Secretary.

Washington and Oregon Cascades Rail Corridor Plan
Washington State Department of Transportation and Oregon Department of Transportation are working together to jointly manage the Cascades Rail Corridor. It is anticipated that this change will help deliver customer expectations, increase ridership, and develop intercity passenger rail service as a viable transportation choice.

Fleet Management Plan to identify strategies to maximize operation, maintenance and procurement of passenger rail equipment
WSDOT is developing a Fleet Management Plan (pdf 1.5mb), in collaboration with ODOT, to maximize the optimal longevity of the Amtrak Cascades fleet. The plan is a requirement of the federally funded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). WSDOT submitted a draft plan to the FRA in June 2015. Approval of the final plan is expected at the completion of the ARRA program.

Amtrak Cascades New Stop Evaluation – Auburn Vicinity
The Washington State Legislature directed WSDOT to study the feasibility of an Amtrak Cascades stop at Auburn, and to conduct a market analysis of adding or changing stops on the route. The New Stop Evaluation – Auburn (pdf 1.7mb) study provides an analysis of a potential Auburn stop based on benefits and disadvantages for the service, corridor-wide. The New Stop Evaluation - Auburn Folio (pdf 3.2mb) highlights the key findings.

Cascades Corridor Station Design Criteria
Considering strategies to minimize station costs is part of WSDOT's efforts to reduce total operating costs and increase ridership on Amtrak Cascades. The station design criteria document establishes minimum requirements for scaling stations based on ridership, functionality and service characteristics that incorporate cost-effective and practical enhancements.


Previous Plans


Want to ride the train? Visit http://www.amtrakcascades.com/ to plan a trip, view schedules, and make a reservation. For fares and reservations, you can also call 1-800-USA-Rail.