Fwd: Advice requested for saving railroad and starting transit on it
>Dear Transit Executive,----- ### -----
>We would like to request your advice regarding (1) saving our railroad in the Seattle, WA area from a threatened scrapping and (2) starting a low cost, environmentally-friendly transit service on it.
>This is an urgent matter, because some local government officials are pushing to acquire the railroad from BNSF, its current owner, as quickly as possible in order to remove the tracks and replace them with a bicycle trail. Once the tracks have been removed (at an estimated cost of $66 million to the taxpayers), it would be extremely difficult both politically and financially to reinstall them. This could set back transportation and environmental progress in our area by decades.
>The 47 mile railroad runs through the eastern suburbs of Seattle, parallel to I-405, which is said to be the most congested freeway in the entire Northwestern U.S. It passes through or near most major destinations on the Eastside, a rapidly growing area that already has a population and level of economic activity that rival that of nearby Seattle. This includes passing near downtown Bellevue and directly through its growth path for future expansion to the east. Bellevue already has the second largest urban core in the state of Washington and is in the midst of a massive high rise construction boom. The railroad is in good condition for a branch line (despite claims to the contrary by its opponents), and it is used daily for both a dinner train and a small volume of freight service.
>More information about this situation can be found on our web site, www.eastsiderailnow.org.
>We would greatly appreciate any suggestions that you could provide based on your experience in the rail transit field and/or on similar situations that have occurred in your area.
>Thank you in advance for your assistance.
>Eastside Rail Now!
J.H. Crawford Carfree Cities