Washington

HIGH SPEED PASSENGER RAIL IN WASHINGTON AND OREGON:

  • Top speeds of 79 mph to as high as 90 mph.
  • Shared track with freight trains.
  • Washington state has secured $735 million in federal stimulus money to improve the Amtrak Cascades rail corridor from Portland to Vancouver, B.C.

Program Goal

  • Expand and improve Washington's Amtrak Cascades service as a viable travel option between Seattle and Portland

Program Objectives

  • Grow the Amtrak Cascades service
  • Make the service more reliable by reducing rail congestion on the main line
  • Develop the passenger rail corridor for future growth

Funding

$735 million (ARRA):

obligated

$15 million (ARRA from Florida)

awarded

$31 million (NON-ARRA)

awarded

Program outcomes

  • Two additional daily round trips between Seattle and Portland, for a total of six; Additional service starts in 2017
  • Improved on-time performance and reliability
  • Travel time reduction

Types of improvements:

  • New bypass tracks to add capacity
  • Multiple upgrades to existing track
  • Upgrades to advanced warning signal systems
  • Safety-related projects, station upgrades, eight new locomotives and one new train set

CURRENT PASSENGER RAIL SERVICE

Amtrack <em>Cascades</em> Corridor Map

Along with the state of Oregon and Amtrak, Washington sponsors AmtrakCascades intercity passenger rail service which travels between Vancouver, B.C., and Eugene, OR.

Daily round trip service includes:

  • One trip between Seattle and Portland
  • Two trips between Seattle and Eugene, Ore., via Portland
  • One trip between Portland and Vancouver, B.C.
  • One trip between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C.

Strong ridership growth:

  • 2010 ridership was up 10 percent from 2009.
  • 2010 ridership: 840,000 passengers
  • Farebox recovery grew from 54 percent in 2009 to 61 percent in 2010.