While updating the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP) in 2004, Thurston Regional Planning Council (TRPC) established a rail work program to address 3 important topics:
Moving people between destinations inside the Thurston Region
Moving people and goods between our Region and other outside destinations and markets
Impacts and opportunities associated with major rail volumes moving through our Region
Regional Rail System
The Regional Rail Map shows the rail system and how it connects to surrounding ports. It is important to remember that these rail lines are privately owned rights-of-way and just because they intersect, it doesn’t mean they connect. The Burlington Northern Santa Fe’s main north-south route in Washington runs through the center of Thurston County. Several shortline railroads also operate in our region. For more information on how the rail system works, see the Appendices from the Passenger Rail Workgroup Findings.
Passenger Rail Work Recommendations
The Passenger Rail Workgroup convened between 2005 and 2006. As one of their findings, they recommended TRPC pursue a High Capacity Transportation strategy looking comprehensively at the Region’s multimodal investment options. TRPC policy makers and staff remain involved in state and central Puget Sound rail planning efforts, as well as looking for funding to complete the high capacity transportation strategy.