Take Action: YES to Investing in Rail for the Public Interest /NO to squandering time & treasure for ultra-high speed boondoggles

PLEASE contact the WA State Transportation Committee about funding rail projects that are truly in the public's interest:

As Washington creates a pathway to achieving emission reduction goals for 2030, increasing the capacity and velocity for existing railroads is a critical public interest priority. Trains use a small fraction (20-33%) of the fuel per ton/mile compared to trucks and cars. Unlike long haul trucks or planes, trains are also the easiest to electrify with overhead lines so they can be powered by renewable energy - without over-reliance on resource-intensive batteries and the additional waste streams they create. Shifting passengers and freight off of roads and onto tracks saves fuel, reduces congestion and truck impacts on roads and bridges, saves fuel and improves air and water quality.

If done properly, rail is our most efficient, cost effective form of land transport. But there is a right track and a wrong track to take for our rail-based transportation future. 

We urge Washington state legislators to REJECT the ultra high speed "Cascadia Innovation Corridor" project. It is NOT an appropriate response to the climate crisis that requires solutions in the next ten years. Even if this boondoggle gets built, it will have squandered 2-3 decades and tens of billions of dollars on the costly process of land acquisition, eminent domain battles, and construction. Most Washington communities will remain without improved access to better passenger and freight rail. And finally, this ultra-high speed boondoggle would fail to address freight-related wear and tear and the environmental justice harms from diesel trucks.

Instead, we call on our legislators to redirect funds toward advancing plans to implement the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan. Unlike the ultra-boondoggle above, the Amtrak Cascades is an actual plan, not a promotional campaign. It was developed over 30 years, and we deserve for it to updated and fully implemented.The Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan could be realized within this decade. The plan is designed to be implemented with more or less shovel ready projects on the North-South corridor. Preliminary work has also been done on the East to West corridors, and we'd like to see those made shovel ready as well. With $3.25 million added to the transportation budget for the 2021-2023 biennium, the plans that were approved in 2006 could be updated and improved, including the addition of a roadmap for incremental electrification. This will make Washington state ready for federal support as the Biden Administration looks for shovel-ready projects. (More about the Amtrak Cascades Long Range Plan HERE.)  

PLEASE tell your legislator and the committee leadership below: 
DO NOT further fund the ultra-high speed boondoggle being pushed by Bill Gates, Microsoft and Inslee. INSTEAD - redirect the $3.25 million dollars they've requested to update the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan

Take Action Now:
On Thursday, January 21, at 3:30pm, the House Transportation Committee will hold hearings on transportation appropriations.
Instructions for attending, testifying or accessing video of the virtual public meeting HERE
Please contact:
Committee Chair Jake Fey - [email protected],
Vice Chair Sharon Wylie ([email protected]), and
Ranking Minority Member Andrew Barkis ([email protected]).
Contact info for all House Transportation Comm. members HERE
  1. HB 1135 - Making transportation appropriations for the 2021-2023 fiscal biennium. (Remote testimony.)
  2. HB 1136 - Making 2019-2021 supplemental transportation appropriations. (Remote testimony.)
Let them know you support the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan - NOT the ultra-high speed "Cascadia Innovation Corridor" project.

Here are some messages you could choose from and/or modify:

    • "I support adding $3.25 million to the 2021-2023 transportation budget so that the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan can be updated and the process of implementation can begin. We need a reality-based rail plan, not the Cascadia Innovation ultra-boondoggle. Now is the time to advance a shovel-ready proposal to unlock federal support for rail in the public interest."
    • "$3.25 million dedicated to updating the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan is a far better use of public funds that providing more public funds for the so-called "Cascadia Innovation Corridor"
      Updating the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan is a crucial step in the reduction of transportation-based carbon emissions in Washington. Because this plan exists for current rail corridors and can be implemented this decade it offers a realistic path toward better rail service for people and freight."
    • "I support diverting public funds away from the ultra-high speed Cascadia Innovation Corridor project and committing them to passenger and rail freight corridors that serve all of Washington state. We can achieve far more for many more Washington residents if we invest in higher speed, energy efficient freight and passenger rail, truly relieving congestion and wear and tear on our roads. Dedicating the $3.25 million for finalizing the Amtrak Cascades Long-Range Plan is a smart step to take this legislative session."


After you've contacted committee members, PLEASE utilize the form below to let us know how you've taken action and any responses you've received.  Thank you so much!

Forward Together!