Business Class onboard the Cascades by chuck.taylor
Business Class onboard the Cascades by chuck.taylor

Stanwood Station opens November 21.  Full press release after the jump.

OLYMPIA — Long-awaited passenger rail service will return to Stanwood and Camano Island when the Washington State Department of Transportation unveils the new Amtrak Cascades train station in Stanwood on Saturday, Nov. 21.

“This has been a long time coming, and it’s going to make a huge difference for so many people in so many ways,” said Sen. Mary Margaret Haugen, D-Camano Island. “Everywhere I go, people are talking about the train station.”

Transportation Secretary Paula Hammond and other officials will join Haugen for the station’s grand opening and to greet the 9:03 a.m. arrival of the first train to stop there. The event is open to the public.

Amtrak Cascades will make two morning and two evening stops daily in Stanwood as part of its service from Eugene, Ore., to Vancouver, B.C. The northbound train will stop in Stanwood at 9:03 a.m. and 8:14 p.m. The southbound run will stop in Stanwood at 9:18 a.m. and 8:25 p.m. The run includes stops in Seattle, Portland and 13 other cities including Bellingham and Mount Vernon.

Sample fares from Stanwood start at a range of $9 to Mount Vernon, $11 to Bellingham, $8 to Everett, $13 to Seattle and $31 to Portland.

“This will make a big difference for commuters and other travelers in the surrounding communities,” Haugen said. “It’s about time, energy, environment, quality of life. This increases the travel options for everyone in the Stanwood and Camano Island area.”

Haugen wrote legislation authorizing the station in 2006 and has followed up every year since with additional funding and legislative measures to ensure its completion. Built on land donated by the city of Stanwood, the $5 million project was funded by the state of Washington. After extended negotiations to establish a site, construction began in April of this year and was completed this month — on time and under budget.

The new station is an unstaffed platform, which means tickets are purchased online at Amtrak.com or by calling 1-800-USA-RAIL. Passengers may also reserve tickets online or by phone at least three days in advance, board the train with printouts of their reservations and purchase their tickets from the train conductor. For more information, visit amtrakcascades.com.

28 Replies to “Stanwood Amtrak Station Opens Saturday, Nov. 21”

  1. Excellent news.

    Thanks Brian – have you heard any inside news on the grape vine as to how Amtrak feels about its second train to Vancouver? Does it feel it has been a success for them?

      1. “Looks like ridership is down pretty considerably.”

        Ridership was up considerably in 2008 because of gas prices. Ridership in 2009 is still up over 2007, but because of the recession and the easing of gas prices, it’s down versus 2008.

    1. Tim, sorry, I totally missed this.

      WSDOT is really liking how ridership continues to grow. It so far has been a good successful train with the most common complaint of the late arrival into Vancouver.

      British Columbia and WSDOT are studying the feasibility to increase to 3 and 4 trains sooner but may require additional train sets for that to happen.

  2. Dammit Amtrak and WSDOT! Why no QuikTrak machine at Stanwood???

    Same goes for Tukwila!

    And don’t bring up the excuse of vandalism.

    If you can have one in Oakland at the Coliseum station which is very seperate from the BART station (althogh they are linked by footbridge) and in a not so very nice part of Oakland:

    http://www.amtrak.com/servlet/ContentServer?pagename=am/am2Station/Station_Page&code=OAC

    …YOU CAN HAVE ONE AT UNSTAFFED STATIONS IN WASHINGTON STATE!!!

      1. Other places I can think of off the top of my head are San Juan Capistrano where the QuikTrak is outside the station and thus is available longer than inside the staffed station; Exeter, NH where the QuikTrak is located inside a nearby convenience store; and then there are the Metrolink TVM’s which are now setup to print Amtrak tickets! Sound Transit, are you reading this?

      2. I find that amazing that Wenatchee is unstaffed it is a major stop and a major city between Seattle and Spokane.

    1. Someone sent this blog to me I need to respond. I’m the WSDOT Project Manager for Stanwood Station and we will be putting a Quik Trak machine in Stanwood once Amtrak successfully completes its testing on an all weather prototype. The wiring is already in place.

      1. Hi Kirk!

        Thank you for responding to this! Do you know by chance if the other unmanned stations will get the Quik Trak machines?

      1. And there is always slack in the schedule as trains near their final destination – providing they are on time, of course. I’ve made the trip from PDX to SEA on 508 in about 3:20 more than once.

        And, yes, there should be Amtrak TVMs at all unstaffed stations, and the WA DOT should have that as a very high priority in their discussions w/ Amtrak.

      2. I’ve been 3’15” many many times. Its nice when you have all greens and not crossing over all the time!

  3. i really hope customers notice the part about actually calling to make reservations and not just showing up to a sold out sunday train. and writing down or printing their reservations saves a lot of hassle.

    and yes all of those stations need quik trak machines, wenatchee especially. tukwila is getting more and more ridership. when we stop there a lot of people are surprised and ask to get of there instead of seattle cause its way closer to where they live and they had no idea it was an amtrak stop.

  4. Does anyone know whether the Sounder Train will ever come north to Stanwood? I would love to ride the Sounder to Seattle every day.

    1. Megan,

      Stanwood and neighboring areas are not a part of the Sound Transit RTA tax. I am not sure what would be required besides a public vote to extend Sounder service North to Stanwood but I for one would love it if 2 of the trains went North to Stanwood. I think that would be an excellent idea!

  5. The Sound Transit boundaries don’t include Marysville, Stanwood, Snohomish, or Monroe, other towns that could easily be served by the existing Sounder North trains. The easiest way to expand these trains North would be for Community Transit to pay Sound Transit for the incremental costs of running these trains further north/east. And these trains already exist, so it would be relatively cheap to improve the route. This will take some time to implement, so to get the ball rolling email Community Transit and ask them to put an extension of the sounder trains into their long-range plan. Visit this link and email Roland Behee, whose email is listed on the right side of the page: http://www.commtrans.org/Projects/TransitDevelopmentPlan.cfm .

  6. I know many bus riders who would prefer to take the train daily from Stanwood to Seattle, including me. Does anyone know in the meantime if Amtrak will honor the Rail Plus to Stanwood? They accept the Puget Pass now from Seattle to Everett….what about a little further now that the Stanwood station is open? I can’t find anything on this topic yet. Thank you.

  7. That would be quite the awkward schedule.

    The 9:18am southbound from Stanwood arrives in Seattle at 11:05am, and to make it a daily commute – as you’d suggested – you’d catch the 6:50pm to be back in Stanwood by 8:14pm. Not exactly good commuting hours (!), and RailPlus is only designed to run on segments also covered by Sounder. (Seattle-Tacoma…someday I hope!) In truth though, since Amtrak’s not really in the business of making money, I don’t see the harm in allowing it. =)

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