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:
A good start, riding the carcentric suburb nightmare that is the east side is just awful.
2-3 times per year I take the train up to Stanwood and bike the 75-ish miles back to Seattle via the Centennial Trail. I love every part of that trip except the trek along Snohomish River Road from the end of the Centennial Trail to the start of the Interurban Trail in Everett. I’d be giddy beyond belief if I could continue on trail from Snohomish all the way to the Sammamish River Trail and the Burke-Gilman instead!
Taking the train up to Stanwood would be a great way to ride the Centennial trail. What route did you take from the Interurban trail back to Seattle?
What’s Amtrak’s policy for taking bikes on board?
Amtrak Cascades has a limited (but recently increased, from six to ten) number of bike slots in the baggage car. $5 fee regardless the length of the trip, with reservations required. No need to prepare the bike in any way other than removing luggage.
Unbelievable, well almost. This is certainly a step in the right direction, I am glad to see that the political establishment in Snohomish taking the bold step to continue with the inclusion of rail and simutaneously move forward with cycling as well.
Looking forward to the day this is done and able to ride it!
The figure of $15-$22M for trail (vs $6M for rail rehab) is a bit misleading.(Figures from the Snohomish Public Works June 2013 slide presentation) The cost of placing a trail next to a working rail line, including the cost of grade separation, embankments or extra structures (ie bridge or elevated walkway) was born entirely in the trail figure. It can lead one to think that the cost of trail is 3 – 4 times more expensive than rehab of rail to meet commuter rail standards. An interesting figure to include might be trail alone, including the cost to remove rails, which in Kirkland was a net gain.
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Oh man, I’d be so excited to see something come of this! While Highway 9 isn’t a bad ride, something a bit less noisy and more rural would be nice.
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