Tri Rail DMU
Puget Sound now has a sparkling, rare opportunity to augment its transit choices, using 42 miles of abandoned rail tracks which connect growing Snohomish County and north King County with jobs centers such Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue, and which runs all the way south to Renton. Cascadia Center is at the forefront of this effort, and will spearhead formation of the Eastside TRailway Partnership, a 501c4 non-profit, to help develop a community-based plan and secure public and private funding for rails and trails in this valuable corridor.
Following the defeat of the roads and transit ballot measure Proposition 1 in November of 2007, Cascadia Center began to intensify its advocacy for Eastside commuter rail. The Burlington Northern and Santa Fe railroad is to sell the rail line, formerly used for freight and by the Spirit Of Washington Dinner Train. Originally, under a complicated plan, the Port of Seattle was to buy the corridor to keep it in public ownership, but the tracks were to be ripped out and King County would develop it as a trail. Now, thanks to a growing coalition including Cascadia, local and regional leaders, and other rail and trail advocacy groups, the Port and the county have agreed the Port will still buy the rail line, but the tracks will stay in.
Momentum is growing for a pilot project using self-propelled Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) trains (above, right) on a Snohomish-Bellevue run, and simultaneously develop a trail on the entire corridor. Eventually rail service is envisioned all the way to Renton, and on the Woodinville-Redmond spur. Money will need to be raised through a combination of public and private sources for track rehabilitation, station development and rail car purchase and operations. In April 2008, the county affirmed its commitment to dual use of the corridor, for rail service and a recreational trail. In May 2008, the port approved purchase of the line from BNSF for $107 million. Formal approval by the federal government of rail-banking provisions of the deal is expected in fall 2008. For updates on community meetings regarding the Eastside rail and trail concept, check the "Events" section of our Web site.
Join the Eastside TRailway Partnership.
Please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
. Put "Eastside TRailway Partnership" in the subject line, and in the e-mail give your name and relevant professional/organizational affiliation(s). Street address and phone number are helpful but not required. We will keep you up to date via e-mail. Please direct questions and suggestions to Cascadia's Director Bruce Agnew, email@example.com
Background Information, Eastside Rails and Trails Initiative
Below are links to preliminary conceptual sketches by artist J. Craig Thorpe of Eastside commuter rail line stations. The sketches were commissioned by Cascadia Center.
News Articles & Op-Eds:
South Kirkland Transportation Center
"On Track - Port, County Shake On Rail Deal," Alwyn Scott, Puget Sound Business Journal, 5/16/08.
"Port Approves Eastside Trail Deal," Kristin Millares Young, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/13/08.
"Rail And Trail: Staking A Claim," Seattle Times, 5/7/08.
"County Council OKs Eastside Rail with Trail," Gregory Roberts, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/6/08.
"Googling Kirkland," Peyton Whitely, Seattle Times, 5/6/08.
"What Austin Can Teach Seattle About Civic Planning," Bruce Agnew, Steve Marshall, Puget Sound Business Journal, 4/25/08.
"The Eastside TRailway: Making Rail And Trail Happen For Snohomish And The Eastside," Loren Herrigstad, special report, 4/17/08.
"Railway Corridor From Snohomish To Renton To Keep Tracks," Ashley Bach, Seattle Times, 4/16/08.
"Rail Route Idea Gets Snohomish's Interest," Yoshiaki Nohara, Everett Herald, 4/15/08.
"Make Eastside A Proving Ground for Innovative Transportation Ideas," Bruce Agnew, Seattle Times, 3/13/08.
"Sound Transit Gives Rail Line A Boost," Ashely Bach, Seattle Times, 2/2/08.
"Commuter Rail Sought For Snohomish-Bellevue Route," Lukas Velush, Everett Herald, 1/28/08.
"All Aboard Eastside Commuter Rail," Lance Dickie, Seattle Times, 1/25/08.
"Rail Advocates Pitch Commuter Service For Kirkland," Kirkland Courier-Reporter, 1/25/08.
"Get On Board With Eastside Commuter Rail," Everett Herald, 1/20/08.
Eastside Rail Radio Coverage, 1/17/08.
"Eastside Rail Forum Sketches Commuter Line," Seattle Times, 1/17/08.
"Snohomish Wants Commuter Train On Abandoned Corridor," Everett Herald, 1/13/08.
"Entrepreneur Wheels, Deals For Eastside Rail," Seattle Times, 12/26/07.
"Port's Rail Plan Deal Set To Move Forward," Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 12/14/07.
Interview Of Bruce Agnew, On Eastside Rail, Dave Ross Show, KIRO-AM 710, 12/14/07.
"One Step Closer To Eastside Commuter Rail," Bruce Agnew, Cascadia Prospectus, 12/12/07.
"Innovative Transit Idea Shouldn't Be Dismissed," Everett Herald, 12/4/07.
"Cascadia's Rails And Trail Campaign Catching Attention," Woodinville Weekly, 12/3/07.
"Eastside BNSF Rail Line Inspection Report," Read Fay/Cascadia Center, 11/21/07.
"Preserve Eastside Rail Line For Snohomish Transit Link," Bruce Agnew, Seattle Times, 10/31/07.
"Rails And Trails Could Easily Co-exist On Eastside," Bruce Agnew, Puget Sound Business Journal, 10/5/07.