Local News

Intercity 'Rail Options' report released

rail service The Options for Passenger Rail in the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor report has been released by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).
   The report outlines possible improvements to intercity rail passenger service on the rail corridor stretching 466 miles from Vancouver, British Columbia to Eugene, Oregon.
   WSDOT's Rail Office will develop an environmental impact statement (EIS) of the Vancouver, B.C. to Portland, OR. portion of the corridor based upon the Rail Options report.
   During this process, questions and comments from technical experts, policymakers, communities along the route, and the public are being requested to help define which improvements are made to the existing rail system.
   Comments and questions will be accepted by mail, fax, telephone, Internet, and in person. Twenty-two community workshops are scheduled this month and next, and additional meetings will follow during the approximately two-year EIS process, the DOT said.
   When the EIS is complete, Washington State will have a 20-year plan for intercity rail passenger service and will be ready to request permits for possible construction projects.
   Pacific Northwest intercity rail service is provided by a partnership including Amtrak, Burlington Northern Santa Fe; Union Pacific Railroad; Southern Pacific Transportation Company; local communities; Washington State; British Columbia; Oregon; and the U.S. Department of Transportation.
   Copies of the executive summary of the Rail Options report are available free to Washington State residents by contacting the WSDOT Rail Office in Olympia toll-free at 1-800-822-2015; fax (360) 705-6821; e-mail to rail@wsdot.wa. gov; or mail to WSDOT Rail Office, P.O. Box 47387, Olympia, WA, 98504-7387.
   Additional information and a downloadable version of the report are available through the WSDOT Internet homepage at http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/.