“Rail in the Northwest” Program May 14

Many rail advocates will be interested in a program  “Rail in the Northwest”, presented by Russell Holter. The program is a look at the significance of railroads in the history and development of our region and Washington state. Mr. Holter is  professionally employed by the Washington State Department of Archeology and Historic Preservation. He is co-Founder of the Cascades Rail Foundation and author of “Rails to Paradise”, the history of the train which ran to Mount Rainier National Park.


Russell is an accomplished speaker and will bring Northwest rail history to life in words and pictures. Ample time for questions.


“Rail in the Northwest” is sponsored by the Des Moines (WA) Historical Society. The program is on Wednesday, May 14, 7-9 PM at the Des Moines IOOF Hall, 728 South 225th Street, Des Moines WA, in the heart of downtown Des Moines, one-half block west of Marine View Drive.


AAWA Board member Jim Langston is Program Chairman of the DMHS. All are welcome.

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National Train Day at King Street Station May 10

Restored to its early-20th Century glory, as well as having seismic retro-fits and other structural updates, Seattle’s King Street Station will host a major National Train Day Event on Saturday May 10. It will be a family event with many displays and activities designed to appeal to children as well as adults . Times are 10 AM to 3 PM. Model railroads (as well as the “12 inches to the foot scale” trains for we who favor them) will be featured as the Walthers company, North America’s premier supplier of model railroads and supplies, is a co-sponsor of NTD.

All Aboard Washington will be among the participants promoting trains as the safe, environmentally-sound, fuel-efficient, and in the case of passenger trains, enjoyable means of travel. Do visit our AAWA table within King Street Station. Our presence at National Train Day will be in lieu of a May AAWA meeting.

All Aboard Washington will also be represented at Bellingham’s Fairhaven Station on May 10. AAWA Board member Kathy Korndorffer Davis and member Galen Robinson will staff a table for National Train Day in that most-pleasant northwest Washington city.

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Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup), and Johan Hellman – BNSF to Speak at our March 8th meeting!

AAWA’s March 8 meeting with be at the now-familiar Basil’s Kitchen Restaurant, Embassy Suites Hotel, Tukwila, an easy walk from the Tukwila Sounder /Amtrak station stop. Lunch at noon. Meeting at 1 PM.

Featured presentations will be by Rep Hans Zeiger (R-Puyallup) and Mr. Johan Hellman .  Rep Zeiger is an active member of the House Transportation Committee who attended our AAWA-Legislative Rail Caucus lunch on February 6. Mr. Hellman is Executive Director, State Government Affairs, BNSF Railway. The format will be the “open discussion” type, with interaction between AAWA members and our two guests. We are certain we’ll  have lively discussions at this March meeting, including, but not limited to: State transportation budget and rail funding; oil and coal trains and mudslides!

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AAWA at Transportation Advocacy Day, Feb 27th

All Aboard Washington is again participating in Transportation Advocacy Day, this year on Thursday, February 27, and again headquartered at the United Churches, just NE across Capitol Way from the Capitol grounds. Although the issues the TAD organizers feature do not directly address intercity rail per se, those issues. which deal with transit, bike, and pedestrian transportation, are also favored by many AAWA members.

Again, Lloyd Flem, AAWA’s Executive Director, has been asked to do a ‘Breakout Session’ on passenger rail.  Lloyd will also attempt to get appointments with your legislators or their staffs.  A written set of ‘talking points’ will be prepared for your reference, but as always, you are free to discuss rail issues based on your specific situation and views.

Thurston county members of AAWA will again provide car shuttles to/from Centennial Station and the United Churches/Capitol. Please inform ASAP if you plan on attending TAD and f you’ll be travel to Olympia by train. Recommend:  From the north, Amtrak 501 to Olympia-Lacey; from the south, Amtrak 500.  Back to the north* from Olympia-Lacey, Amtrak 516; to the south, Amtrak 509.

Thanks, and hopefully we’ll have a respectable attendance at TAD.

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Tacoma Freighthouse Square Station Concepts

On Feb 19th, WSDOT held an open house with 14 different conceptual designs for a proposed Amtrak station at Freight house Square as part of the Pt. Defiance Bypass project (replacing the existing Amtrak station) . While somewhat detailed designs they had not made it past the concept stage yet and into any kind of engineering. Some interesting tidbits included that if the east end were chosen, the floor would have to be lowered by several feet to meet up with track level (And judging by some of the proposed designs, it may be easier to demolish and rebuild than try and make that kind of a change to the structure.). The next steps were to narrow these 14 designs down, and do some preliminary engineering and structural assessment of the building to actually see how it would function.

Some observations, even though no dimensions were posted, the waiting rooms seemed to be small. For a building with a life of 20-50 years (20 years min. per the grant requirements) it would seem important to be building for additional train capacity beyond the few additional trips already programmed. Also, The non east-end options all had no reference to any curb drop-off and bus loading areas, while the east end options had designs under the building at street level. There was also no mention of long-term parking, although in a previous meeting Amtrak and WSDOT were considering Tacoma an “urban” station which does not “need” long term parking.

Pictures of the concepts are below the jump.
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Why has high-speed rail moved so slowly in the US?

You are invited to join us on April 5 to investigate …

Why has high-speed rail moved so slowly in the US?

Luncheon presentation by Dr. Anthony Perl

Saturday, April 5, 2014 (11:00 am – 4:30 pm)

Embassy Suites (historic Multnomah Hotel)
319 SW Pine Street
Portland, Oregon 97204
convenient to light rail

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