SPOKANE, Wash. - A train derailed south of Tacoma on Monday morning, killing at least three people and sending around 100 people to the hospital. The commuter train had been traveling between Seattle and Portland.
KREM 2 decided to compare the two areas' respective train systems.
The Amtrak station downtown Spokane is considerably smaller compared to sister stations in Seattle and Portland. In 2017, Seattle saw 667,475 passengers board a train compared to the 50,347 in Spokane. Only two trains are offered everyday at 2:15 a.m. and 2:45 a.m. going west. One train is offered at 1:25 a.m. going eastbound.
Spokane lies on the Empire Builder route and is where the Portland and Seattle sections of the route are joined (eastbound) or separated (westbound). One can travel by train all the way to Chicago on the Empire Builder.
Amtrak spent $18,472,224 on goods and services in Washington in 2017. Only $1,549,652 went to Spokane.
According to the Amtrak Fact Sheet for 2017, Since 1993, the State of Washington has invested $446 million to upgrade track and signal systems, renovate stations, and buy state-of-the-art trains. Of this money, the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has invested $120 million, and Sound Transit has invested $346 million. During the same period, Amtrak invested over $60 million in equipment and facilities.