Author Archives: Jim Hamre

AAWA August 13 picnic meeting in Lacey

August 13: All Aboard Washington picnic meeting from 11:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. at Rainier Vista Community Park, 5475 45th Ave SE (corner of 45th SE and Ruddell Road), Lacey. We’ll provide the burgers, hot dogs, condiments and beverages. You are invited to bring a potluck item. Donations will also be accepted. It’s a time for fun and good discussion. Our featured speaker will be Jason Biggs, WSDOT’s Rail Operations Program Manager. Use the Cascades or Coast Starlight to the meeting. Car shuttles will be provided from the Olympia-Lacey Amtrak Station.

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Blaine Station Stop – Final Report

The students at Western Washington University in Bellingham have finalized their analysis of the proposal to add an Amtrak Cascades stop in Blaine. A Blaine stop offers the potential to add thousands of Cascades riders a year as the nearly one million people in British Columbia living south of the Fraser River would have better access to the trains.


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A tribute to Jim Fredrickson, railroader, historian, photographer

Jim Fredrickson, a career telegrapher, dispatcher and transportation assistant for Northern Pacific and Burlington Northern Railroads; a friend to many; and a long time All Aboard Washington member passed away April 15, 2016 at 89. Among his many passions were Northwest railroad history and photography. Here is Carl Fowler’s moving tribute to Jim:

The wonderful railroad photographer, dispatcher, trainmaster, historian and writer Jim Fredrickson passed on to an eternal ride on the NORTH COAST LIMITED late last week. He was 89. I knew Jim not only as a railroader, but also as a tour director and friend. Throughout the 1990s and into the first decade of the new century, Jim honored me by escorting rail tours all over the United States and Canada for my tour company, Rail Travel Center and much more by his friendship and boundless kindness. I treasure his inscription in my copy of his 2000 book Railroad Shutterbug, “To Carl and Dixie (my wife) with thanks for keeping me on the rails”.

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All Aboard Washington honors Sound Transit’s Joni Earl

All Aboard Washington presented its Tom Martin Award to Joni Earl, Sound Transit’s retiring CEO, at the March 5 Northwest Rail Advocates conference in Tukwila. The award was presented by Harvey Bowen, a Vice President of All Aboard Washington and a NARP Council of Representatives member for Washington State. Here is Harvey’s presentation:

“The Tom Martin award is named for the late Tom Martin, a civil engineer and founding member of All Aboard Washington’s predecessor organization, The Washington Association of Railroad Passengers. He was an active member and strong supporter of passenger rail service, and many of our earliest meetings were at his home. When he passed away he bequeathed part of his estate to our organization. All Aboard Washington continues to honor Tom’s many years of service and his generous contribution through his name on the Tom Martin Award, which recognizes contributions to Passenger Rail services in Washington State.


(Pictured with Joni Earl are Harvey Bowen, left, AAWA VP, and her husband Charlie.)

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All Aboard Washington goals approved as we move forward to 2016


These goals are the result of almost one year’s work beginning with the SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities & Threats) and ending with a positive vote at our annual meeting on November 14th.

How can you be a part of reaching these goals? What appeals to you? All of us can find a way to help to reach these goals. It might be by attending events, writing letters, lobbying your legislators, volunteering at an AAWA information booth and more.

Although membership enhancement is not listed, building membership is always a goal of AAWA. If you have a friend or family member who supports public transportation and passenger rail, consider a gift membership. It’s affordable and for most of us, we don’t need “one more thing” to display or dust.

Short Term Goals

  • Increase passenger amenities at King Street Station, including but not limited to:
    • Food and beverage service
    • Clearer, easier to understand announcements
    • Signage for arrivals and departures
    • Newsstand
    • More refined boarding process
    • Better pedestrian access to 4th Avenue, transit, Sounder
  • Expand our cooperation with other organizations including NARP, AORTA, “green” groups, commuter rail, bicycle groups, hospitality and travel industry
  • Increase emphasis on technology via platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, our website and YouTube to expand our reach and message
  • Focus on intermodal connectivity – train to train, train to transit, etc.

Medium Term Goal:*

  • Establish an Amtrak Cascades station stop in Blaine

Long Term Goals:*

  • Restore passenger train service to central/eastern Washington via Stampede Pass
  • Add daytime service to Spokane (route to be determined)
  • Bring Sounder service to Thurston County

*Both medium and long term goals have short term components, for example ramping up local support for the Blaine stop. Working with decision makers, mayors, county commissioners, etc. will be essential as AAWA plants the seeds for daytime passenger train service to central and eastern Washington communities.

Please contact AAWA to volunteer for one or more of the task forces we are creating to accomplish these goals. The SWOT Analyses completed earlier this year included a message from our member­ship: We need greater involvement by the members. This is YOUR opportunity. We hope to hear from you.

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All Aboard Washingtion Annual Membership Meeting is Nov. 14 in Centralia

All Aboard Washington’s 2015 annual membership meeting will be November 14 from 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. in the community room at the Centralia Amtrak Station.

IMG_4811We suggest lunch on your own before the meeting at the landmark McMenamins Olympic Club directly across Railroad Avenue from the station, or at another restaurant in downtown Centralia.

Kirk Fredrickson, WSDOT Rail Division, will be our featured speaker. Kirk is the Amtrak Cascades operations supervisor for the Rail Division.

There will also be an election for four positions on the AAWA board of directors. All AAWA members attending the meeting and current in their dues are eligible to vote.

We will have books donated by founding member Jim Neal and several other items available for purchase at the meeting.

Use our Cascades trains or the Coast Starlight to travel to and from the meeting.

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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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