Skip Top Navigation

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, Freight, and Ports 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.


Imagine traveling between Vancouver, British Columbia and Portland, Oregon in just a few hours. WSDOT is studying how ultra-high-speed ground transportation (250 mph and greater) could make this idea a reality.

In two minutes, you'll understand why National Geographic placed Amtrak Cascades as #3 on their top ten train trips of North America. Watch the video.

WSDOT continues work on 20 projects to improve passenger rail service, including the new Amtrak Cascades Station in Tacoma's Freighthouse Square. All projects will be complete in 2017.


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; working with the freight rail partners that own the railroad tracks; 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 over 4,000 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 Amtrak Cascades trains requires functional partnerships between Washington, Oregon, British Columbia, Amtrak, three railroads, international customs and border control agencies and a train manufacturer. These partnerships are managed through constant collaboration, service contracts and agreements.

Corridor Management

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

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

Amtrak Cascades Performance

Amtrak Cascades has operated over 20 years. More than 744,000 passengers rode Amtrak Cascades in 2015. Farebox recovery, the amount of operations funding provided by ticket revenues, rests at 58.6 percent. View the statistics.

Program Goal

Provide faster, more frequent Amtrak Cascades service with schedule reliability along the I-5 corridor. The 2016 Rail Division Action Plan (pdf 1MB) outlines the strategies to increase revenue and reduce costs.


Amtrak Cascades is funded by ticket sales and sponsorship by WSDOT and ODOT.

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.