Freight Rail

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

Screenshot of the Rail by Owner map
Enlarge Rail System Map
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There are over 3,000 miles of railroad lines in Washington, providing mobility for both freight and passengers throughout the state. Two Class I railroads, the BNSF Railway and the Union Pacific Railroad, as well as 23 short-line railroads, operate in Washington.

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

The 2019 Washington State Rail Plan focuses on both freight and passenger rail in Washington state by analyzing existing rail systems, identifying trends, outlining suggested strategies and setting forth an investment plan for infrastructure and equipment.

The state of Washington administers freight rail grant and loan programs to support capital needs. The Freight Rail Assistance Program (FRAP) provides grants to both the public and private sectors. The Freight Rail Investment Bank (FRIB) is a loan program available to public sector projects.

The Washington Grain Train program helps farmers get their goods to market by helping carry thousands of tons of grain to deepwater ports along the Columbia River and Puget Sound.

What's New:
The Washington Produce Rail Car Program is no longer funded and thus no longer available.