||Strategic planning positions WSDOT to receive funding for improvements.|
Rail Plans Underway
State Rail Plan
The Washington State Rail Plan will serve as a strategic blueprint for future public investment in the state’s rail transportation system.
Washington and Oregon Cascades Rail Corridor
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 competitive transportation choice.
Amtrak Cascades New Stop Evaluation – Auburn Vicinity
WSDOT has been directed by the state legislature to conduct a feasibility study for a potential new station for Amtrak Cascades in Auburn. We were also directed to perform a market analysis for the entire corridor. This effort, which began in summer 2012 and will be completed in June 2013, will help us establish an objective methodology for considering requests for new stops.
The scope of work for this project was developed jointly by WSDOT and city of Auburn staff. Technical reports that explain the methodology and present results will be reviewed by the technical team, which includes representatives from WSDOT, the city of Auburn, Amtrak and Sound Transit. The final report and folio will summarize study results and highlight key findings. The materials will be available online when the final report and an executive summary are released this summer.
Cascades Corridor Station Design Criteria
As part of its ongoing efforts to reduce costs and increase ridership on Amtrak Cascades, WSDOT is considering strategies to minimize station costs which account for a significant portion of total operating costs. Existing station design guidelines have been developed by Amtrak and other entities to fit a wide range of passenger rail services. Consequently, existing design criteria call for facilities that exceed the needs of WSDOT customers and, therefore, result in unnecessary additional costs for Washington taxpayers. The new guidance developed by Jacobs Engineering incorporates a review of industry standards as well as original research to create guidelines that are specific to the needs of Amtrak Cascades customers. This will help WSDOT distinguish between sizing and service elements required by its customers and extras that could be implemented by WSDOT’s partners if they are willing to assume the costs of construction and ongoing maintenance.
The station design guidance was released in December 2012. Following completion of the final Washington State Rail Plan in December 2013, WSDOT will review comments received and will consider updating the design criteria document.
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.