Pro-railroad PAC or group for the PNW?

Discussion related to railroading activities past and present in the American Pacific Northwest (including Northern California, Oregon, Washington, and southern British Columbia).

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Pro-railroad PAC or group for the PNW?

Post by 88cougar5point0 » Thu Aug 18, 2011 11:12 am

Hello everyone,

I'm new to this forum, but not new to rail fanning here in the pacific northwest. Born in Olympia, WA in 1986, I've seen tracks been built, but sadly, many more miles abandoned or torn up. I remember the line that stretched from what is now Puget Sound and Pacific's main at Gate near Oakville, WA, went through the middle of Littlerock WA, along the Black river to go all the way to downtown Olympia. All thats left of it is a grade that's marked No Trespassing by Thurston County, overgrown ballast, and some of the line that goes from the Mottman industrial park.

I remember trains that went on the old Fredrickson to Chehalis line that cut through Maytown, bordered I-5, and bordered Grand mound, now mostly used as storage, with hundereds of sidings, specifically near Richie Bros Auction at the Maytown I-5 exit that are unused, overgrown, with dry rotted ties and switches so unused, they arent even padlocked. Tracks that dissapear into woods, literally, or under concrete retaining blocks.

The fredrickson line could have been upgraded and revitalized to better condition than its Milwaukee Road glory days with the 2008 project by Tacoma Rail to create a massive inland rail port and distribution center on the grounds of an old, decomissioned explosives factory in Maytown, WA. But, it was for lack of a better term, cock-blocked by the Aubodon Society and the "Friends of Rocky Prairie" environmentalist group, claiming the construction would damage natural prairie ground, that clearly hadn't already been damaged by an explosives factory...if it ever existed as a prairie in the first place.

I would respect these groups more if they clearly werent NIMBYs under the guise of actual concerned environmentalists, that own 10-50 acre plots of land and just dont want the extra noise, while the rest of us get hosed out of saving and revitalizing a piece of railroading history, oh, and by the way, over a thousand jobs that could have been.

The Port of Tacoma had no one in their corner from the public, I dont think there are any grassroots activist groups that are willing to say look, these are the benifits of rail over highway in terms of pollution, congestion, and economy. No one to stand up to environmentalists and say hey, dont speak for the rest of us, we want the jobs and the rail!

Well, I'd like to change that, get something off of the ground, some sort of group that isnt directly attached to a railroad company or something similar, so we can show that were just people that think its a good idea. So if a project like this comes along again, we can stop ourselves from getting screwed. Though, I'm not sure where to start with this group, save for posting this mini-manifesto here. Let me know what you think and thanks for reading.

-Chris Moceri

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Re: Pro-railroad PAC or group for the PNW?

Post by wigwagfan » Thu Sep 01, 2011 11:52 pm

There's a group in Oregon called AORTA, or Association of Oregon Rail and Transit Advocates.

By nature of the fact that most of Oregon's passenger rail is tied to Washington they have some interest in Washington rail. I believe they'd be a good place to start - they can point you in the right direction to some contacts that would be better suited towards the various branchlines in the area you describe.

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