Washington-Oregon Cascades Rail Corridor
In October 1992, the U.S. Department of Transportation designated the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor (PNWRC) as one of five high-speed rail corridors in the United States.
Washington, Oregon, and British Columbia are the governmental entities most responsible for intercity passenger rail service and have a long history of collaboration contributing to the success of the service. The entities recognize that partnership is the only way to overcome the significant financial hurdles in order to continue the success of the Cascades Rail Corridor program.
Their shared vision is to continue cooperative relationships to develop a model to change from operating as separate segments to operating the service as one integrated corridor with shared resources and work towards achieving common goals. In the long term, it is anticipated that this change will help deliver customer expectations, increase ridership, and develop intercity passenger rail service as a competitive transportation choice.
WSDOT and ODOT logos adorn the Amtrak Cascades trainsets. The Mt. Hood trainset
is pictured here.
WSDOT and ODOT signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on March 7, 2012. This MOU committed the two agencies to the concept of joint operation of the service as a single corridor. The MOU called for completion of the Cascades Rail Corridor Management Workplan by January 2013. Oregon and Washington endorsed the plan on January 31, 2013.
The Corridor Management Workplan provides a framework for the initial steps ODOT and WSDOT will follow in developing a single Cascades Rail Corridor. This workplan defines how the two agencies will work together and establishes milestones for formalizing their joint relationship before PRIIA implementation begins in October 2013. PRIIA is a federal act which shifts costs currently paid by the federal government to states.
Washington Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond and Oregon Department of Transportation Director Matt Garrett, signed the Cascades Corridor Workplan while WSDOT, ODOT and Amtrak staff look on. Standing l-r: John Sibold of WSDOT, Rob Eaton of Amtrak, Hal Gard of ODOT, and Peter Gariepy of Amtrak.
For more information contact
WSDOT - Rail Planning & Strategic Assessment Manager
ODOT – Rail Operations