I’ve only ridden a train once, and that was just for the experience, not to really get anywhere. But it was pretty cool. The ride was nice and smooth and the seats were big and soft. I could get used to that, but obviously it won’t be on this side of the water. For what strikes me as transportation that had its heyday 100 years ago, trains seem to be making a comeback.
My pal Josh took one up to Vancouver, B.C., recently for a hockey game. I knew people who like to hop a train to Portland for a weekend getaway or event. Today I got a press release about Washington getting $31 million from the feds for high-speed rail improvements. The bulk of the money will go to updating the old King Street Station in Seattle. They’ll also spend $9 million to convert Sound Transit’s Tukwila station from a temporary platform to a full-service station.
This comes on top of $590 million in federal stimulus funds that were awarded to the state earlier in the year.
Growing up here, it was a novelty to ever see a train. I remember hiking way to the back of my friend’s property off the Old Belfair Highway to some tracks. That was the first time I’d ever seen tracks in person. We put pennies on them. They probably corroded away before the next train came.
It’s still neat on the rare occasion there’s a train running between Highway 3 and Sinclair Inlet. I don’t know what you’d do with them, but the tracks seem like they’re not being put to good use. They were used to ship warheads to Bangor at one point. There were too many protesters so they switched to nondescript semi trucks. They also tried to get a tourist train going several years ago between Bremerton and parts south, like Shelton’s Oysterfest. That seemed like a cool idea that never lasted.
What do you suppose we can do with the those tracks that cut through the middle of Kitsap and Mason counties and wind up either at Grays Harbor or the I-5 corridor, depending on which way you turn?