The Snohomish County Council approved purchase of 12 miles of the Eastside Rail Corridor with hopes of rehabbing the corridor to accommodate both a trail and rail movement.
Unlike the miles of the Eastside Rail Corridor in King County, where a multi-use trail mostly without rail use is planned, Snohomish County intends to maintain rail use and build a more piecemeal trail. The route would utilize sections of the rail corridor when both uses fit, and follow alternative routes when space is constrained.
Once completed, a trail running the full Eastside Rail Corridor would be an incredible asset connecting communities and job centers north, south and east of Seattle. It could also connect to the existing Centennial Trail that starts in the City of Snohomish and extends all the way to the Snohomish-Skagit County border.
The Snohomish County Council approved buying nearly 12 miles of the Eastside Rail Corridor on Monday, preserving freight service and also opening the possibility of linking to trail systems in King County.
The approval allows the county to use Conservation Futures bond money to buy the property from the Port of Seattle for $5 million.
The Port of Seattle purchased the corridor from Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad in 2009. Other parts of the 40-mile corridor are owned by the cities of Redmond and Kirkland.
“This action will preserve and improve on a very important regional asset,” said Council Chair Stephanie Wright. “Maintaining freight service, while preparing for our future commercial, recreation and transportation needs is an opportunity we must pursue.”
Here’s a June presentation on the corridor by Snohomish County Public Works: