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Passenger Trains > News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes


Date: 10/04/17 04:35
News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: wdkerr

WSDOT adds two daily Amtrak Cascades roundtrips starting Dec.18

All trains move to new inland route between Tacoma and Olympia

OLYMPIA – Just in time for the holidays, WSDOT is starting two additional Amtrak Cascades daily roundtrips between Seattle and Portland. Beginning Monday, Dec. 18, extra morning and evening trains will run in both directions – for a total of 12 trains every day.

“People can get where they’re going sooner, with more schedule choices and better reliability,” said Ron Pate, WSDOT Rail, Freight and Ports Division director.

This permanent change to the Amtrak Cascades schedule means travel time between the two cities will be reduced by 10 minutes to 3 hours and 20 minutes, thanks to the rerouting of trains between Tacoma and Olympia and the upgrading of tracks and signal systems. The new route takes trains on an inland corridor parallel to Interstate 5 through Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord, and DuPont. It eliminates a major chokepoint for passenger trains near Point Defiance in Tacoma and separates them from freight trains that will continue to use the old waterfront route. The results are shorter travel times and greater on-time reliability.

“WSDOT worked closely with many partners over the last six years to prepare for these new schedules. Dec. 18 marks a major milestone for passenger rail service in the Pacific Northwest,” Pate said. “While the scenic beauty of the Point Defiance route can’t be denied, we know passengers will appreciate the ability to make easier, and more reliable, day trips between Seattle and Portland. Spectacular water views are still available for passengers between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.”

WSDOT invested nearly $800 million in federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grants to offer these new schedules, recently earning national recognition for the successful completion of this major railroad construction program.

The new schedule will see trains, pulled by WSDOT’s new Charger locomotives, leaving both Portland and Seattle every two to three hours. The first trains will depart Seattle at 6 a.m. and Portland at 6:20 a.m. The latest trains between the two cities will leave at 7:25 p.m. from Portland and 7:45 p.m. from Seattle. Station stops between the two cities include Tukwila, Tacoma, Olympia/Lacey, Centralia, Kelso, and Vancouver, Washington.

Amtrak Cascades also will continue to run daily trips to Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eugene, Oregon – serving a total of 18 cities on the corridor. December’s schedule changes will find later departures for some trains between Portland to Eugene to better connect with trains coming from Seattle, and to better meet passenger needs in Oregon.

Tickets for the newly added trains now are available for sale at AmtrakCascades.com. Those booking early will receive the best prices, with special discounts available for children, students, seniors and the military.


Washington State Department of Transportation
310 Maple Park Ave SE Olympia, WA 98504

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/04/17 05:24
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: PennPlat

$800,000,000 to save 10 minutes. Well, you can keep your doctor.



Date: 10/04/17 05:35
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: mikecnorthwest

This change completely opens the door for me to use Amtrak now for business travel from Vancouver, WA to Seattle. And now I can reliably take Amtrak to Mariner's games without missing the first couple of innings due to delays along the way.



Date: 10/04/17 05:58
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: Jsporseen

A ten minute improvement in the schedule may not seem especially impressive considering the amount of money spent but there are two other issues that are more important, the two extra PDX/SEA trains that are being added to the schedule as well as vast improvement in reliability,

On another, but related issue, WSDOT and ODOT officials indicate to me via email that the damaged transit will have repairs completed in early 2018. In the meantime one of the trains will be run using Amtrak equipment and pulled by new Charger locomotives. I hope that I am getting correct information but am fairly confident considering representatives from both entities gave me similar information.



Date: 10/04/17 06:51
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: DavidJustinLynch

What about the Coast Starlight? Will it take the inland route? Or stay with the present one? I recently took this train both ways and really liked the waterfront scenery.



Date: 10/04/17 07:03
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: wdkerr

I am sorry to say that Amtrak will not run the Starlight along the sound any longer. The new station will not service the BN/UP mainline. If you want to see this beautiful section of train line, make sure you go before 18 December.

wdkerr - Tacoma

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/04/17 07:31
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: MEKoch

Well spent money. The cost of one major freeway interchange or bridge.
But the best part is added frequencies - six per day, which should have a healthy growth factor, based on other similar corridors which had substantial ridership growth with added train service.
Yes it was slow coming, but now has arrived. WSDOT should be proud. Likewise the Cascade corridor cities should trumpet the improvement.

Posted from iPhone



Date: 10/04/17 08:14
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: jst3751

wdkerr Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> WSDOT adds two daily Amtrak Cascades roundtrips
> starting Dec.18

> Washington State Department of Transportation
> 310 Maple Park Ave SE Olympia, WA 98504
>
> Posted from iPhone

https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,4390557 <phorum break> <phorum break> Is there a reason you do not like TAW?



Date: 10/04/17 09:45
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: joemvcnj

New trains 500 & 506 are basically in the old Pioneer time slots.



Date: 10/04/17 10:10
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: TAW

joemvcnj Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> New trains 500 & 506 are basically in the old
> Pioneer time slots.


After mixing the ST, Cascades, and Starlight schedules and fitting them on the available railroad, it just worked out that way; not intentional.

TAW



Date: 10/04/17 10:48
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: TAW

PennPlat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> $800,000,000 to save 10 minutes. Well, you can
> keep your doctor.

There's more to it than that. The majority of that went to 3rd main tracks at Longview and Kalama. When I worked that territory in the 80s, Main 1 was full of trains working or waiting at Kalama and Longview Jct, causing 18 miles of single track for 12 or more hours per day. There were virtually always freight trains parked or moving at 10 mph at Vancouver for the Fallbridge Subdivision connection. Meets between Seattle - Fallbridge trains were really ugly. Part of the 800 megabucks went to a new Seattle - Fallbridge main track bypassing the yard, a 2.5 mile 50 mph siding on the west side of the alignment, and reconfiguration of switches to allow the yard track adjacent to the main to be used easily for Seattle - Fallbridge movements. Part oof the money went to replacing 35 mph crossovers with 50 mph crossovers to help keep the trains on time while dodging track work or stopped trains. Part of the money went to re configuring the south end of King Street station to allow three simultaneous moves and to make the whole arrangement a CTC control point. All of these changes south of Centralia have been needed for decades.

In addition to the 10 minutes, these things were needed for the current new traffic and will be the foundation for more trains when funding is available.

TAW



Date: 10/04/17 11:01
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: TAW

MEKoch Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Well spent money. The cost of one major freeway
> interchange or bridge.


Thanks for the comparison. I have been chanting it mostly alone for decades. At the time that we were developing what became Sounder, the cost to make it happen between Seattle and Tacoma was less than the cost of the SR 520-I 405 interchange that was under construction in Bellevue.

TAW



Date: 10/04/17 11:06
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: joemvcnj

Sounds like $800M well spent.
Far cry from the sleepy "corridor" it was in the 1970's with a couple of 3 car Amfleet "Seattle locals", replacement of the GN/UP "pool service".



Date: 10/04/17 12:59
Re: News Release from WSDOT - Cascades Service changes
Author: ATSF3751

PennPlat Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> $800,000,000 to save 10 minutes. Well, you can
> keep your doctor.

Sure. Now you will have the "greatest" healthcare ever! You'll love it!



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