Joint Transportation Committee

​Assessment of State Support for Short Line Rail Infrastructure

The Washington State Legislature has directed the Joint Transportation Committee to update the Washington State Short Line Rail Inventory and Needs Assessment, to assess the effectiveness of state support for short-line rail infrastructure and to make recommendations to improve and enhance that support.  The study report is due to the transportation committees of the legislature by January 1, 2022. The JTC has contracted with DB Engineering and consulting to conduct this study.

The specific elements of the study include:

  • Consultation with agencies and stakeholder groups. The first objective of this outreach will be to gather information regarding specific infrastructure needs for specific short lines within the State of Washington. This information will be gathered from the short line operators and other entities responsible for funding or maintenance of short line rail infrastructure. The second objective is to gather feedback on the successes and opportunities with the state's current support programs.
  • Collection and analysis of data and information to update the 2015 Inventory and Needs Assessment. Detailed information will be gathered through an on-line survey of short-line owners and operators.
  • Development of recommendations aimed at improving and enhancing state support for short-line rail infrastructure. These recommendations will be based upon input from stakeholders and research of programs in other states. 
Budget:    $200,000
JTC Staff:     Dave Catterson, Paul Neal
STC & HTC Staff:     Kelly Simpson, Jennifer Harris
Report Due Date:     By January 1, 2022​    

Presented at JTC Meeting 9-23-21:    
Short Line Rail Study   ​

Presented at JTC Meeting 12-16-21:    
Assessment of State Support for Short Line Rail        
Assessment of State Support for Short Line Rail Draft Final Report​ ​

Final Report Assessment of State Support for Short Line Rail Infrastructure​     


​​What is a short line railroad?

Short lines are smaller railroads that run shorter distances. They provide connectivity between rural agricultural and timber/wood products production areas and the main line rail networks. Several of the state's deep-water and inland ports rely on short line railroads to transport both state and national exported goods.​


​If you have questions about this study, please contact:

Dave Catterson, JTC Staff,​

Mat​t Kirson, Project Manager, DB Engineering & Consulting,