U.S., Washington State: Plans to beef up Amtrak Cascades service in 2020 beset by multiple uncertainties

By Tom Banse, Northwest News Network, KUOW; December 23, 2019

A holiday wish of many Pacific Northwest rail fans is more roundtrips on the Amtrak Cascades schedule with greater speed and reliability. But in order to beef up train service between Seattle and Portland, a bypass route south of Tacoma needs to be reopened. There is still no fixed date to return Amtrak trains to those tracks where a deadly derailment happened just over two years ago.”There are a lot of variables that need to come home to roost,” Washington State Secretary of Transportation Roger Millar told public radio in an interview. “Right now, I don’t have a precise schedule. But everybody is working in a good faith effort to get back on the bypass and back to that enhanced service as soon as we possibly can.”

The DuPont, Washington, derailment happened on what was to be the first day of more frequent Amtrak service between Seattle and Portland. Washington state was all set to subsidize six daily roundtrips — up from four — using the new, faster bypass route between Tacoma and Nisqually.

Click here to read the full article.

Please share with others