Author Archives: All Aboard Washington

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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A message from our AAWA president

By Karen Keller

It’s been a busy two months since I was elected president of All Aboard Washington in January. Most of my time has been focused on creating a survey for our members and former members to learn their opinions of our association.

We have contracted with Phoenix Projects Consulting Services of Bend, Oregon to help us carry out a SWOT analysis. You will soon receive a letter via US mail or an email asking you to give our Board of Directors your opinions in four areas: Where are we Strong, where we are Weak, what are Opportunities for us, and what are Threats to our association? There are also several other questions on the survey. Please reply by the deadline of May 1, 2015. The results of the SWOT will have a major impact on our planning for the future of AAWA. Be watching for a summary in an upcoming newsletter. You can also access the survey right now.

By way of introduction, I come from a railroading family. My grandfather was an engineer for the Northern Pacific. I have many happy memories of watching trains steam by his home, Grandma holding tight onto the grandkids’ hands. We listened for the whistle, felt the vibrations on the rails, and waited to wave at the engineers, firemen, brakemen, and conductors as if this ‘show’ was just for us. I’m a supporter of steam preservation, volunteering with the SP 4449 in Portland on excursions and during the annual Holiday Express. I am a retired teacher who stills subs several times a month, plus have been a weekly volunteer at Olympia/Lacey’s Centennial Station since 2007. You’ll see me on the trains fairly often, traveling to meetings or on adventures with friends.

I believe in passenger rail as an enjoyable, economical and efficient travel option. I don’t hate cars – I love my car. But I happily support transit, ferry, bicycle, light rail, streetcar and heavy rail alternatives for those who cannot, should not, or choose not to drive.

I look forward to meeting all of you at future events, if we have not already had the opportunity to do so.

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All Aboard Washington June 14th Meeting

All Aboard Washington will be having our next meeting at Basil’s Kitchen in the Embassy Suites Hotel (Embassy Suites Hotel 15920 W Valley Hwy, Seattle, WA 98188) in Tukwila, WA next to the Amtrak/Sounder Station. Mike Elliot of the BLET (Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen) and Herb Kohn of the UTU (United Transportation Union) are our invited speakers.

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  • Upcoming Events

    1. AAWA Board of Directors Meeting

      July 14 @ 12:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    2. Annual Picnic Meeting

      August 11 @ 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM
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