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King County Executive
Dow Constantine


Constantine praises federal support for improvements to Northwest rail lines

Summary

King County Executive Dow Constantine today praised the work of Senator Patty Murray and President Barack Obama to dedicate $590 million for improvements to the rail lines connecting Vancouver B.C., Seattle, Portland, and Eugene.

Story

King County Executive Dow Constantine today praised the work of Senator Patty Murray and President Barack Obama to dedicate $590 million for improvements to the rail lines connecting Vancouver B.C., Seattle, Portland, and Eugene.

"The Northwest corridor is one of the most-used corridors in the nation, and these actions will help our region to compete as one to build our local economy," said Executive Constantine.

The money for the Pacific Northwest rail corridor is part of an $8 billion national package to improve heavily traveled rail corridors that are between 100 and 600 miles long, so that trains can help reduce congestion on highways and provide an alternative to flying. Much of the money will fund improvements to tracks and sidings to reduce conflicts between freight trains and vehicle traffic on surface streets.

The major investment in King County is funding for seismic retrofits at King Street Station in Seattle's Pioneer Square area.

"The funding for King Street Station will help us with our goal of making the historic facility a true regional hub for Amtrak, Sounder, Link Light Rail and local and regional buses," said Constantine. "This action will give our area another powerful tool to move people around the region."

Significant improvements in Tacoma will enable both Amtrak and Sound Transit's Sounder trains to shorten their trips considerably and avoid delays. Two additional daily round trips will be added between Seattle and Portland, and travel time will be reduced by at least 5 percent.

The federal government has pledged to continue to fund rail improvements over the next five years to improve the high-speed rail network. For more information on the federal funding, visit the White House web page on the project.



King County Executive
Dow Constantine
Dow constantine portrait

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