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Passenger Rail in Washington

Amtrak Cascades in the Puyallup Valley
Amtrak Cascades slideshow on Flickr

Amtrak Cascades Route Map showing Vancouver BC through Seattle and Portland to Eugene Oregon
View a larger version of this map.

The Rail Division oversees the management of the Amtrak Cascades, intercity passenger rail service along the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor, one of 11 federally-designated rail corridors in the United States.

The corridor is 467 miles long; 300 miles in Washington, 134 miles in Oregon, and 33 miles in British Columbia.

Program Goal

Provide faster, more frequent Amtrak Cascades service with schedule reliability along the I-5 corridor. The 2014-2015 Rail Division Action Plan (pdf 2 MB) outlines the strategies to increase revenues and reduce costs.


  • WSDOT presented a range of Freighthouse Square Amtrak Station design concepts to the City of Tacoma's citizen advisory committee (CAC) during its Sept. 16, 2014, meeting. Feedback on the design concepts will be used to develop architectural designs and plans as the project moves forward. You can comment on the range of options for the exterior, ceiling and columns through this online survey until Sept. 30, 2014. Results from the online survey will be discussed at the CAC's Oct. 7, 2014, meeting, at 4 p.m., Room 105 in the Science building at UW-Tacoma, 1745 Jefferson Ave. CAC recommendations for the preferred exterior, ceiling and columns will be presented at a public meeting at 4 p.m. on Oct. 30, 2014, at the University of Washington-Tacoma, Jane Russell Commons room in Philip Hall, 1918 Pacific Avenue, Tacoma.
  • Kelso Martin's Bluff environmental comments accepted through Sept. 27
    There's still time to comment on the environmental assessment on two Kelso Martin's Bluff projects. The environmental review is for two projects: (1) New Siding near the Port of Kalama and (2) a third rail line from Kelso to Longview Junction. A public open house was held on Sept. 18, 2014, in Longview, and public comments will be accepted through Sept. 27, 2014, online or in writing to: WSDOT Rail Division, Attn: Document Control KMB EA comments, PO Box 47407, Olympia, WA 98504-7407. For questions, please call 360-705-7900.
  • WSDOT has put a focus on the root causes and finding potential solutions with the Landslide Mitigation Action Plan (pdf 2mb) for service distruptions due to landslides.



Amtrak Cascades train service began in 1994. WSDOT is responsible for train operations management and reporting; budgeting; performance tracking; construction project management and reporting; local, regional, state, and national program coordination; freight rail; public outreach; and marketing activities.

  • Operations – provides program direction and management of the Amtrak Cascades planning, service delivery, investment, and maintenance. View more >>
  • Capital Delivery – responsible for development and delivery of projects that will increase the frequency and reliability of passenger rail service. The nearly $800 million program will complete 20 federally funded projects by 2017. View more >>

Amtrak Cascades Service

The Amtrak Cascades service operates 4,015 trains annually. This consists of 11 trains operating in the Pacific Northwest each day with stops in 18 cities. This service includes:

Operating Trains Across State and International Borders Requires Many Partnerships

Operating trains requires functional partnerships between Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Amtrak, three railroads, international customs and border control agencies, and a train manufacturer for Amtrak Cascades trains to operate. These partnerships are managed through constant collaboration, service contracts and agreements.

Corridor Management

A corridor partnership agreement has been entered into between WSDOT and Oregon DOT. The states worked together to develop the Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor Management Plan. This plan guides development of the corridor and positions both states for the best opportunities for funding and contract performance.

Amtrak Cascades Performance

Annual ridership continues to climb. More than 807,000 passengers rode Amtrak Cascades in 2013. Over the last 19 years, ridership has shown steady growth nearly every year. Farebox recovery, the amount of operations funding provided by ticket revenues, rests at a strong 59.5 percent. View the statistics.


Amtrak Cascades is funded by ticket sales and a combination of state and federal funds.

Washington State was awarded nearly $800 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act high-speed intercity passenger rail funds to deliver critical rail infrastructure improvements within the state.

Want to ride the train? Visit to plan a trip, view schedules, and make a reservation. For fares and reservations, you can also call 1-800-USA-Rail.