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Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor Management

Washington-Oregon Cascades Rail Corridor

In October 1992, the U.S. Department of Transportation designated the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor (PNWRC) as one of five high-speed rail corridors in the United States. 

Washington, Oregon and British Columbia are the governmental entities most responsible for intercity passenger rail service and have a long history of collaboration contributing to the success of the service. The entities recognize that partnership is the only way to overcome the significant financial hurdles in order to continue the success of the Cascades Rail Corridor program. 

Washington-Oregon Corridor Approach
Mar 2012 WSDOT-ODOT Memorandum of Understanding
Jan 2013 Corridor Management Workplan
Summer 2013 Agreements
Oct 2013 PRIIA Section 209 implementation: states pay 100%
Future activities Joint governance, corridor plan and capital program

Their shared vision is to continue these cooperative relationships. This will lead to developing a model to change from operating as separate segments to operating the service as one integrated corridor with shared resources and work towards achieving common goals. In the long term, it is anticipated that this change will help deliver customer expectations, increase ridership and develop intercity passenger rail service as a competitive transportation choice. 

WSDOT-ODOT logos on Mt. Hood trainset. Jan. 15, 2013
WSDOT and ODOT logos adorn the Amtrak Cascades trainsets. The Mt. Hood trainset is pictured here. 

WSDOT and ODOT signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on March 7, 2012. This MOU committed the two agencies to the concept of joint operation of the service as a single corridor. The MOU called for completion of the Cascades Rail Corridor Management Workplan by January 2013. Oregon and Washington endorsed the plan on January 31, 2013.

The Corridor Management Workplan provided a framework for the initial steps ODOT and WSDOT followed to develop a single Cascades Rail Corridor. This workplan defined how the two agencies worked together and established milestones for formalizing their joint relationship before PRIIA implementation began in October 2013. PRIIA is a federal act that shifted costs previously paid by the federal government to states. 

For more information contact

Jason Biggs 
WSDOT - Rail Operations Program Manager

Stacy Snider
ODOT – Rail Operations