Snohomish County has given a private company, GNP Railway rights to operate commuter rail in the portion of the old BNSF railway in Snohomish county. Currently that portion of the former railway is a trail. GNP railway wants to operate commuter rail service from Snohomish to Bellevue or Renton, with a station in Snohomish (the city) where there was one the larger part of a century ago.
In order to accomplish this, GNP would need to make a similar deal with the Port of Seattle, get the capital to add rails where there’s currently just a trail, and build stations along the line. It sounds a little iffy to me, because I doubt the line would get enough ridership to make this a profitable enterprise, but GNP chairman Tom Payne has a history of bringing railroads from the dead:
Payne, a former locomotive engineer, transformed a failing rail line into Canada’s third-largest railroad in the 1980s and 1990s. He operated a tourist-oriented excursion train out of Tacoma in 2006.
I would be awesome if this works, though I imagine some sort of public-private partnership would be needed. This is going to be an interesting one to watch.