Passenger rail plans

Read the latest passenger rail plans, view Amtrack Cascades performance reports, and learn about our projects and studies.

Amtrak Cascades Service Development Plan

Find details on our Amtrak Cascades Service Development Plan, which will provide paths to improve the Amtrak Cascades service over the next 20 years.

2019 Washington State Rail Plan

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.

Amtrak Cascades ridership, revenue and performance reports

WSDOT is committed to monitoring and reporting on Amtrak Cascades’ performance.

Planning efforts

Ultra-high-speed transportation studies

WSDOT, along with partners, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the Province of British Columbia and Microsoft, is studying ultra-high-speed ground transportation that would cut trips from Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon to 1 hour each. For more details, visit the study page.

Fleet Management Plan

To identify strategies to maximize the operation, maintenance and procurement of passenger rail equipment, and the optimal longevity of the Amtrak Cascades fleet, WSDOT developed a Fleet Management Plan (PDF 2MB), in collaboration with ODOT. The plan is a requirement of the federally funded American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA). The plan was approved in 2017.

Station Stop Policy

With the assistance of an Advisory Committee, WSDOT and ODOT, developed and finalized a corridor-wide Station Stop Policy guidance document (PDF 3.5MB), regarding proposals to add, remove or skip station stops for Amtrak Cascades service. The policy was signed on June 1, 2016.

Previous rail infrastructure projects

Between 2010 and 2017, WSDOT delivered 20 critical rail infrastructure projects to improve passenger rail travel choices, preserve the ability to move freight and foster economic growth across our state. The Cascades High-Speed Rail Program received nearly $800 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail funds to increase service reliability; reduce travel times; and add two more Amtrak Cascades round trips between Seattle and Portland. Several of the projects were recognized with national, state and local awards.

Project list

  • Advanced Wayside Signal System
  • Corridor Reliability - Slide Management Projects
  • Corridor Reliability Upgrades - North
  • Corridor Reliability Upgrades - South
  • Blaine - Swift Customs Facility Siding
  • Mount Vernon - Siding Extension
  • Everett - Storage Track
  • Seattle - King Street Station Track Improvements
  • Tacoma - Point Defiance Bypass
  • Kelso Martin's Bluff - Toteff Siding Extension
  • Kelso Martin's Bluff - New Siding
  • Kelso Martin's Bluff - Kelso to Longview Junction
  • Vancouver - Rail Yard Bypass
  • Vancouver - New Middle Lead
  • Vancouver - Port Access Rail Improvements
  • Amtrak Cascades New Locomotives
  • Seattle - King Street Station Renovation
  • Tukwila Station
  • New Tacoma Dome Station

Traction tires are a special type of tire

manufactured with at least 1/8 of an inch tread. Traction tires are usually marked with a mountain/snowflake symbol, the letters M+S or “All Season.”

Carry chains, practice before leaving

Requiring chains keeps traffic moving during storms rather than closing a pass or roadway.

Prep your car. Fill up your gas tank,

pack jumper cables, ice scraper, warm clothing, snacks and water.