Early Construction/Development

-1887 First Northern Pacific train  over Stampede Pass. 

-1888 First Northern Pacific train  through Stampede Tunnel. 

-1900 North Coast Limited rail line between Chicago and  Seattle via Stampede Pass  inaugurated. 

< Pictured at Left: Original rail crew.   Image source: University of Washington Libraries – Special Collections (2017)   http://blackdiamondnow.typepad.com/.a/6a00e5513924e688330192ac805601970d-pi  (accessed May 5, 2017).     

Pictured Below: Amtrak Empire Builder at Ellensburg, WA 1974. Image source: TrainWeb (2017) Ellensburg Washington.   http://www.trainweb.org/usarail/ellensburg.htm -(accessed May 5, 2017)     

Management in Transition

-1970 Burlington Northern railroad  created through merger of  four railroads.

-1971 Service through Stampede  Pass taken over by Amtrak  North Coast Hiawatha.  

-1981 Last passenger train through Stampede Pass.


-1983 Freight services through  Stampede Pass discontinued. 

-1996 Line rehabilitated and  freight service resumed ($150 million investment).

-1996 BNSF created through merger of BN and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad.  

Looking to the Future

 -2001 Washington State Department  of Transportation estimates it  would cost $350 million to  improve Stampede Pass route  to Amtrak passenger  operations standards.

-2017 Market survey undertaken by All Aboard Washington and Central Washington University.

< Pictured at Bottom Left: Stampede Pass Tunnel, 2003.   Image source: Railfanning BNSF’s Northern Lines – Stampede Sub (2017) http://www.qstation.org/Northern_Lines/Stampede_Sub/stampede_gallery_2.html (accessed May 5, 2017).