BNSF Corridor Acquisition Postponed
Updated Aug. 5, 2009
Because of the troubled bond market, the Port of Seattle has postponed its purchase of the Eastside rail corridor. If all goes well, the Port will acquire the rail right of way when the financial system is sound. Feasibility studies show that passenger rail would cost hundreds of millions of dollars to develop for a few thousand daily riders. A multi-use trail could be built for about one-tenth the cost.
Feasibility studies show that rail transit it not currently supportable along the corridor, although future changes in land use could lead to a healthy ridership. We believe that King County should be allowed to build an interim trail on the railbed, which puts the corridor into immediate public use while protecting it for future rail transit. That way, we could provide thousands of Eastside residents a clean, reliable, and inexpensive transportation option in just a few years. Some fear that a multi-use trail would prevent rail from returning to the corridor, but federal law (16USC1247(d)) requires that rail will always receive priority. Cascade continues to educate elected officials and candidates on this issue.
- Port of Seattle letter (PDF) to CBC Executive Director Chuck Ayers (April 25 2008)
- Open letter (PDF) to the Port of Seattle Commissioners from CBC Executive Director Chuck Ayers (Dec. 10, 2007)
- Puget Sound Regional Council's BNSF Corridor Preservation Study
- Map of the corridor
Includes six benchmark mileposts indicators for orientation.
- Milepost 5, the southern-most end at the north end of Gene Coulon Park.
- Milepost 11, roughly the site of the Wilburton Tunnel at I-405.
- Milepost 17, Kirkland
- Winery District = where the line passes by the concert lawn at the St. Michelle Winery
- Milepost 25, in Woodinville, roughly where the northern end of an interim trail would start/end.
- Milepost 39, the northern most end of this line acquisition in Snohomish County (located at Harvey Airfield in the City of Snohomish)
- Pictorial Storyboards
From King Co’s November 2 press conference.
- The Connections for Our Future PowerPoint Presentation
This details the evolution of the Connections for Our Future proposal from February through late August, 2007
- What is Railbanking?