Author Archives: All Aboard Washington

Stampede Pass Rail Study

It’s been nearly forty years since the last passenger train linked the Tri-Cities and Seattle via Stampede Pass, and almost ever since then communities have been trying to get the trains back. Now with funding from All Aboard Washington, a passenger rail advocacy group, a study is underway to gauge public interest in this idea. We want to find out whether people would take a train on the Stampede Pass corridor, how often they would take the train, and where they would go. If this service is restored, it would link communities like Pasco, Prosser, Toppenish, Yakima, Ellensburg, Cle Elum and Auburn. In Auburn, the line would connect with trains north to Seattle and south to Tacoma and Olympia. In Pasco, the line would connect with the existing Amtrak service between Portland and Chicago. Restoring service won’t be easy or quick. It will require significant investments to make the corridor (which now carries only freight trains), compatible with passenger services. But it might be worth it. What do you think? Let us know by taking the survey available at www.stampedepassrailstudy.com.

Thank you.
John Bowen
Geography Department
Central Washington University Ellensburg

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November 12th Annual Meeting in Lacey

Less than three weeks until All Aboard Washington’s Annual Meeting. The November 12 event will be located in the main dining room at Panorama, {1751 Circle Drive}the upscale  senior community in Lacey, east of Olympia and just a couple miles from Centennial Station. You from out of town are encouraged to travel by Amtrak, where you’ll be met and shuttled to/from  Panorama by Thurston county AAWA members.

Festivities will start at 11:30 AM, with music provided by professional pianist  Jerry Wagner. Swing -era tunes, featuring railroad themes, and songs celebrating the armed services in honor of Veterans Day will be emphasized. And at 11:30 you’ll have the opportunity to (silently) bid on high-quality donated goods and services, the proceeds of which assist AAWA in our advocacy work.

 An excellent buffet lunch ($20)  will start at noon. Chef is Mike Turk, whom I’ve known for nearly 35 years!

Our program, starting at 1 PM, will feature two Oregon men who will honor the 40th Anniversary of the American Freedom Train, which you over-age-fifty folks recall was part of the USA Bi-Centennial Celebration. A second presentation will be by Talgo’s Josh Coran, who will update us on the his firm which manufactures our Amtrak Cascades trains.

We’ll also have my (brief!) summary of  Election 2016, as it will  likely apply to rail issues, and brief reports from  spokespeople for AAWA’s task forces.

All are welcome to our meeting and we look forward to having you there. Please RSVP, if possible, but not required to LloydFlem@allaboardwashington.org
See you on the 12th!
Lloyd

 

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October 8 AAWA meeting in Bellingham

RSVPs are needed for our October 8 Bellingham meeting. The good folks at Western WA University need RSVPs! A very good meal (cost $17) is planned and the people at WWU’s Viking Union need to know how much food to prepare.
Some travel info. For those of you from most of King County and north: Travel to/from Bellingham’s Fairhaven Station by Amtrak works for our meeting. Take northbound Train 510, departing King Street at 7:45 AM. You can return on southbound Train 517, departing Bellingham’s Fairhaven station at 7:37 PM. Good transit bus service can take you to/from Fairhaven Station and the WWU campus. It is possible some locals might be able to carpool you to/from, but we’ll have more complete bus info, maps of WWU campus, etc. in a few days.
For us south of King county, Amtrak schedules only work if one is able to stay two nights. But whether to Bellingham by train, bus, or private vehicle, please RSVP to Lloyd right away!
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Northwest Rail Advocates hear about improvements that will provide better passenger rail services

Just over one hundred people attended the March 5 Northwest Rail Advocates conference in Tukwila. We heard about construction of the California High Speed Rail project, the infrastructure work in Washington State that will allow expanded Amtrak Cascades service and make it more reliable, how a Cascades stop in Blaine could boost ridership and more.

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Next Meeting – August 8th at Lacey’s Rainier View Park

Fellow Passenger Rail Advocates,

We were very pleased to get confirmation from Mr. Jim Mathews, the new President of the National Association of Railroad Passengers, that he will be making a special trip from Washington DC to OUR Washington to meet and speak with us at All Aboard Washington’s Annual Picnic Meeting on Saturday August 8. Jim is a enthusiastic speaker, and is doing a superb job in NARP’s DC HQ, and importantly, is “outreaching” to the entire country, as is demonstrated by his coming here for a visit on August 8.

This year’s Picnic Meeting will be at Lacey’s Rainier View Park, a bit over one road mile NW of Centennial Amtrak Station. We encourage travel to our Picnic by Amtrak trains for those out of Thurston county. Local AAWA members will meet the trains and shuttle you to/from the Picnic. Picnic times will be approx. 11AM to 4 PM. Jim Mathews’ presentation will be early in the day( +-1 PM ) to allow those of you with other obligations to depart early, if you must.

The Picnic is a potluck, but AAWA will supply burgers, hot dogs and (soft) beverages. For those unable to bring a potluck item., a modest contribution is accepted. It would be good to have a fair idea of attendance to know how much AAWA food needs to be purchased.

Elected officials from the Thurston county area, members of the Legislative Rail Caucus, WSDOT-rail people, representatives from Talgo, Amtrak, BNSF, rail labor, and other potentially interested people are invited, as well as all AAWA, AORTA, and NARP members from WA and OR.

Car shuttles will be provided from the Olympia-Lacey Amtrak Station. Contact Lloyd Flem (360 943-8333 or LloydFlem@allaboardwashington.org) if you need transportation from the station to the park.

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AAWA’s Charlie Hamilton honored by NARP

Photo by Ken Briers

At the April NARP council meeting our own Charlie Hamilton was recognized for his service in helping select NARP’s new database/web vendor. Presenting the award are President Jim Mathews, left, and Chairman Bob Stewart. Here is the text of his award:

National Association of Railroad Passengers

Jack Martin Award

Named for the National Association of Railroad Passengers’ volunteer president of over two decades, this award is given only to individuals who have given significant and valiant efforts to the cause of America’s rail travelers.

This honor is hereby bestowed upon Charles Hamilton for his efforts in bringing the Association’s advocacy efforts into the Twenty-First Century. Though his contributions travel through the ether, they have and will continue to have substantive impact for those traveling aboard High Iron.

Presented in April of 2015 Washington, D.C.

 

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  • Upcoming Events

    1. All Aboard Washington October Board Meeting

      October 14 @ 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    2. NARP 50th Anniversary Celebration – November 2-5, 2017 – Chicago, IL

      November 2 - November 5
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