Sounder Train in Seattle, photo by C. Hamilton
Sounder Train in Seattle, photo by C. Hamilton

About AANW

May 2022

Purpose and Mission

All Aboard Northwest (AANW) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit public policy advocacy and action organization dedicated to improving the quality of life in the Greater Northwest region, extending from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Northwest: Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Washington and Oregon.

AANW believes that a comprehensive, long-distance, passenger and freight rail network, with seamless connections to other modes of transportation throughout the Greater Northwest will create significant benefits to the region’s economy, environment and equity.


A national transportation network that


The Greater Northwest region must take advantage of today’s opportunities:

Challenges and Needs

Decisions regarding rail are made not only in Washington DC, but also in state capitols throughout the country. In DC, there is excellent representation from the Rail Passengers Association and other groups. But they cannot have a presence in every state capitol. Some states rely on small, volunteer advocacy organizations, while other locations have no organizations at all. Thus, supporters of passenger rail do not have as loud a voice as users of other modes, not because their needs are less important, but because they do not have strong, professional groups representing them. AANW provides the Greater Northwest region with the advocacy it needs.

How AANW Can Achieve the Vision

All Aboard Northwest advocates for the needs of rail passengers, especially on a regional scale over state lines, and coordinates with infrastructure and transportation interests to strengthen relationships between existing groups to bring economic, environmental, and equity benefits to our citizens.

AANW’s small staff conducts outreach, education, engagement, and coordination of stakeholders to build an effective coalition to bring about new and enhanced services throughout the region. AANW provides professional content, training and technical assistance to existing advocacy groups, while enhancing their message in locations not currently served. AANW’s efforts do not duplicate ongoing efforts at the local and state level.

Engage Local Communities

Share the benefits of rail throughout the region by:

Educate and Energize Elected Officials, Business & Local Leaders

Advocate for interactivity between rail and all other modes through:

Unite Coalitions of Stakeholders on a Regional Level

Enhance coalitions by educating and coordinating activities among a broad group of stakeholders, including environment, economic development, equity, labor and health groups, together with organizations representing rail, port, transit and other transportation modes.

AANW’s 2022 Activities

During 2022, AANW’s primary focus is to help the Greater Northwest region take advantage of opportunities from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL).

Goals for 2023 and Beyond

  1. Create a Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Passenger Rail Working Group (modeled on the successful Gulf Coast Working Group) to investigate new and restored passenger rail service throughout the region, identifying a completed network vision, with understanding of multi-modal, intermodal, connections through funding available in the BIL Sec. 22214.
  2. Implement long-term economically-viable, user-friendly, non-automobile transportation services through the region on a core passenger rail system: Seamless transportation.
  3. Create a sustaining moment for better passenger rail and multi-modal transportation (and infrastructure investment more broadly) for the economy, environment and equity of our citizens.

Be a Founding Sponsor

Help us share economic, environmental and equity benefits with underserved communities.

Leadership Contacts

For more information, contact:

Dan Bilka
[email protected]

Charlie Hamilton
[email protected]

Patrick Carnahan
[email protected]

About All Aboard Northwest (PDF)

All Aboard Northwest Introduction (Presentation)