About Eastside Rail Now!

Eastside Rail Now! is a grassroots environmental organization that was founded in early January 2007 by a few ordinary citizens (computer geek, artist, housewife, small business owner, etc.) who were outraged at King County Executive Ron Sims' ill-conceived and costly plan to scrap the strategic Eastside railroad and replace it with a bicycle trail.

Goals:   Eastside Rail Now! has had seven main goals:

1.   stopping the planned scrapping of the railroad

2.   ensuring that the full (mostly 100 foot width) right of way is preserved in perpetuity

3.   retaining or restoring existing and recent rail functions (mainly local freight and the dinner train)

4.   upgrading the track and related infrastructure

5.   using the railroad as the core of a low cost, environment-friendly regional commuter rail service

6.   ensuring that the railroad is available for use as an emergency freight route

7.   utilizing the remainder of the right of way primarily as a linear nature preserve and wildlife migration corridor

Activities:   Eastside Rail Now! has been engaged in a variety of activities aimed at promoting these goals, including:

1.   increasing public awareness of the issues through such means as providing this web site, holding public meetings, providing information for the media (including press releases and interviews), distributing fliers and attending neighborhood meetings

2.   interacting with public officials, including through individual meetings, testifying at government hearings and sending open letters

3.   conducting research about the railroad and related topics (including studying legal, economic and environmental issues as well as best practices)

Accomplishments:   Eastside Rail Now! has made some important accomplishments in its uphill battle to save the railroad, including:

1.   increased public awareness of the importance of the railroad and the threat to it

2.   increased support among public officials for saving the railroad

3.   conducted an independent survey of the track and other infrastructure

4.   helped defeat Proposition 1, which would have been detrimental to the future of the railroad, as well as to the taxpayers and the environment

5.   provided a detailed plan, including a budget, for launching a pilot commuter service on the railroad

6.   showed conclusively that the $800,000 Puget Sound Regional Council report, which has repeatedly been cited as justification for scrapping the railroad, is severely flawed and completely unsuitable for use in making rational decisions about the railroad's future

7.   played a leading role in stopping the planned acquisition of the railroad by King County parks department, which would have resulted in its scrapping

The Future:   Now that it is highly likely that the railroad has been saved as a result of its purchase by the Port of Seattle, Eastside Rail Now! intends to focus on the following areas:

1.   monitoring progress on preserving and upgrading the railroad

2.   promoting the launching of a commuter rail service on the railroad

3.   ensuring that the railroad's full right of way is used in an ecologically-sensitive and pedestrian-friendly manner

4.   promoting the construction of strategic extensions of the railroad

5.   considering involvement in other regional transportation and environmental issues

6.   working to reform the government planning process in order to avoid future fiascoes such as the push to scrap the railroad

More Information:   To learn more about Eastside Rail Now's battle to save and effectively utilize the Eastside railroad and its unique right of way, please visit the following pages:

The Eastside Railroad
Eastside Railroad Myths -- and Realities
Eastside Railroad Timeline
Scenes Along the Eastside Railroad
Eastside Rail Now! FAQ
Eastside Rail Now! Blog
The Great I-405 Boondoggle
Statements of Support
Eastside Railroad Media Watch
Open Letter to Ron Sims
Proposal for Pilot Commuter Service
Index of Public Testimony
Eastside Rail Now! Glossary
How to Help Save the Railroad
Contact Data for Government Officials

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This page created January 4, 2007. Last updated January 16, 2008.
Copyright © 2007 - 2008 Eastside Rail Now! All Rights Reserved.