commuter rail


With the Port of Seattle poised to buy the abandoned 42-mile Eastside rail line from Burlington Northern and Sante Fe, a proposal championed by Cascadia Center and others for Eastside commuter rail is gaining steam. Cascadia held two community forums in January, in Kirkland and Snohomish. A Cascadia report on those events, including contact information for public officials who can Read More ›

EPA’s not tracking with rail goals

The appeal of commuter rail linking Everett to Tacoma was one of the primary reasons voters gave Sound Transit the $3.9 billion go-ahead (finally) in 1996. After all, Amtrak runs intercity passenger trains on the tracks with freight trains. Why not add commuter trains on the existing track and let passengers connect with ferries and local transit at new multimodal centers in Edmonds, Mukilteo and Everett? Commuter rail will be a fraction of the cost of light rail and will be used most heavily when I-5 can use some relief -- namely, during rush hours. Riders will be offered an energy-efficient, fast and friendly alternative to the nightly parade of red lights. Makes sense, right? Well, not to the Environmental Protection Agency. The EPA apparently fears wetland destruction and loss of eelgrass between Seattle and Everett if Sound Transit has to add 1.6 miles to the 82-mile corridor of passing track along Puget Sound. Read More ›