All Aboard Washington joins coalition to oppose I-976

By Luis Moscoso, Government Affairs Director

On January 3, representatives of All Aboard Washington stood on the steps of the Washington State Capitol, outside the Secretary of State’s Office, to protest Tim Eyman’s latest initiative I-976.  I-976 would cap annual vehicle registration fees at $30, roll back vehicle weight fees set by the Legislature and repeal voter-approved car tab taxes to pay for Sound Transit 3, the $34 billion expansion designed to take light rail from Everett to Tacoma, to West Seattle and Ballard, and east to Redmond.  Worst of all for for us, Amtrak Cascades and freight mobility projects would be gutted. Dozens of cities would lose money for road resurfacing and maintenance.

President Harvey Bowen and I have met with WSDOT Rail Division management to learn about the affects of losing funding for the state multimodal account for the Amtrak Cascades.  The specifics of that impact are not yet available.  It is safe to say that the Legislature will not act on this initiative prior to the election in the fall.  They have the choice of passing it into law, taking no action and allowing it to move onto the November 2019 ballot, or passing an alternative which would go on the ballot with Eyman’s measure.  

AAWA staff and I will be working closely with the Legislature and other stakeholders who are concerned about the negative fiscal impact if I-976 is passed by the voters in the November 2019 General Election.  As the “No On Tim Eyman’s I-976” coalition adds more members and undertakes a campaign to alert the public and elected officials, AAWA will be asking our members to assist us in direct action to defeat this horrible initiative. Stay tuned for ways to join us on our Facebook page and website.  

These essential services would be harmed or ended by Tim Eyman’s I-976!

More information about the “No on Tim Eyman’s I-976” can be found here:

Luis Moscoso
Government Affairs Director
All Aboard Washington

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Jim Hamre receives Golden Spike Award for rail advocacy

(WASHINGTON, DC, April 17, 2018)–Jim Hamre, the All Aboard Washington and Rail Passengers Association board member who lost his life in the Amtrak 501 accident in December, was honored by RPA for his tireless work toward a better and safer passenger rail system.

In a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol, RPA President & CEO Jim Mathews, RPA Board Chairman Peter LeCody, and U.S. Congressperson Denny Heck (WA-10) lauded Hamre for his efforts to improve passenger rail service in Washington state and around the nation.

Jim Mathews said:

Our friend and colleague Jim Hamre devoted 40 years to our work and our cause, including the need for strong implementation of Positive Train Control. As you know, dozens of people have died in the past decade in preventable wrecks.

Jim was a tireless advocate for our work, and the last thing he would have wanted was to see that work threatened by short-sighted moves to curtail the new service in Washington…a service for which, in a real sense, he gave his life.

We honor him tonight in a small way, presenting his family with this year’s Golden Spike.

But we believe an even better way to honor him is to redouble our efforts to ensure that the vision — HIS vision — of a strong transportation ecosystem, with rail as its centerpiece, is realized.

We Rail Passengers have recommitted ourselves to his legacy and work, and will fight that much harder for Positive Train Control…for a robust national network…for strong vibrant urban corridors…for newer, better equipment…for a reliable, frequent and SAFE service that puts every American within 25 miles of the transportation network.

And we will also take up a cause which was especially close to Jim…nurturing the next generation of advocates. We are working with our legal counsel to create and launch a fund that will award fellowships to promising young graduates who hope to focus their careers in transportation, as Jim did, and to work on modern rail projects. We hope to be able to announce the formal launch of a capital campaign by the time we hold our National convention in Miami this Fall.

Tonight, however, we’d like to present our Golden Spike to Jim’s family.

Mathews concluded his remarks by reading the citation: “For a lifetime of dedicated volunteer commitment to improve and expand rail service on behalf of America’s passengers, who are saddened by his sacrifice and grateful for his selfless service, the Rail Passengers Association presents the George Falcon Golden Spike Award to the family of James Hamre.”

Carolyn, Kristi, and Tom Hamre received the award on Jim Hamre’s behalf.

The event was co-sponsored by All Aboard Washington.

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The All Aboard Washington Newsletter is here!

We apologize for the delay in sending the February-April 2018 AAWA newsletter to you. This issue is a memorial to our great friends Jim Hamre and Zack Willhoite, who were lost in the December 18 tragedy. Jim was the editor of our print newsletter, and Zack maintained AAWA’s membership database. Jim and Zack will both be sorely missed in passenger rail advocacy.

Here is the All Aboard Washington Newsletter for the 1st Quarter of 2018 (February-March-April)

It is available at this link:
AAWA Print Newsletter – 1st Quarter 2018

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Thank you.

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Remembering Jim and Zack

Sometimes, terrible news takes a while to sink in.

Leaving Kelso on Monday morning on train 502. Jim Hamre and Zack Wilhoite had planned to board and meet me in the bistro car. But they didn’t show.

I had already seen the images of 501 hanging off the highway bridge while waiting to board 502 in Portland. It looked bad, but those of us in line figured, well, at least we can detour over the old Point Defiance route.

The news dribbled in all morning. Three fatalities; no, six; no, three…No word from Zack and Jim. But maybe they were injured and in a hospital. Maybe they’d lost their phones.

By 2am Tuesday we’d heard, unofficially, that they were among the fatalities. And by the morning, it was official.

It’s too early to speculate on causes. But let me share some of the wonderful things that have been said about Jim and Zack in the press.

Seattle Times

New York Times





LA Times

Tacoma News-Tribune


Carl Fowler

Everett Herald

Jim Hamre’s obituary

Jim and Zack were board members of organizations that advocate for passenger rail. In their memories, please consider donating to

Rail Passengers Association

All Aboard Washington

Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates

The organization in your area

And our friend Hendrik has proposed an idea I like very much: He suggests that we push to have the new Tacoma station named for Jim and Zack, with an appropriate memorial located there. This would be permanent recognition for the two Pierce County residents. Contact us if you would like to help.

Thank you.


Originally posted on Grow Trains. Reposted with permission.

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Response to Amtrak Cascades Train 501 Incident

December 18, 2017

Lloyd Flem – Executive Director
620 Boundary Street SE
Olympia WA 98501
Office: (360) 943-8333
Mobile: (360) 870-6286
Email: [email protected]

Harvey Bowen – Board President
Mobile: (206) 931-5921
Email: [email protected]

All Aboard Washington is deeply saddened at this morning’s derailment and incident around Amtrak Cascades Train 501 at Mounts Road and Interstate 5. Several of our members may have been on board. Our sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wish for return to good health of those injured.

This is the first derailment involving fatalities in the history of either the Washington State-sponsored Amtrak Cascades service, or of any Amtrak service in Washington State.

All Aboard Washington remains ready to provide whatever input we can in the aftermath of this incident, and we will be recommitting ourselves to the safety and effectiveness of this state-sponsored train service, and to all passenger train services within Washington State and the Pacific Northwest.

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All Aboard Washington Annual Membership Meeting on December 9

All Aboard Washington’s annual membership meeting will be on Saturday December 9, 2017 from 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Seventeen51 Restaurant & Bistro at Panorama in Lacey, 1751 Circle Lane SE (off of Sleater-Kinney Rd).

RSVP required by Dec. 4 to ensure you will have a lunch. Lunch cost will be $18, payable at the door (cash or check preferred).

We will again have a silent auction with a number of high quality items (payment by cash, check or credit card). Car shuttles will be provided from the Olympia-Lacey Amtrak Station. Contact Lloyd Flem at [email protected] for your required RSVP, if you need transportation from the station or you have an auction item donation.

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