October 14, 2023

AAWA General Meeting, October 2023

All Aboard Washington was pleased to have Stephen Sadis from Great Northern Filmworks as our guest speaker on October 14, 2023.

Our speaker for October's Zoom meeting was Stephen Sadis, Director/Editor, Great Northern Filmworks. He is the producer of a 4-part documentary series capturing the compelling story of James J. Hill and the Great Northern Railway.

He was known as "The Empire Builder" and "The Devil's Curse." Streets, towns and counties were named in his honor along with a persistent and invasive weed. He was mythologized in novels and was the target of union battle cries. In households across America, James J. Hill was as well-known as any industrial leader of his day – yet today he is largely unknown.

When the railroad ushered in one of the most transformative eras in American history, James J. Hill emerged as its unrivaled leader. Building a transportation empire that stretched across North America and to the Orient, he was a catalyst for the agriculture, timber and mining industries of the West and settled tens of thousands of immigrants along his lines.

As the pendulum swung from the Gilded Age to the Progressive Era, Hill was a lightning rod for the most impactful issues of the day: immigration, settling the West, government regulations, market manipulation, trust-busting, Native American displacement, environmental stewardship as well as redefining our nation's political and financial role on the global stage.

Also discussed during the meeting

Survey on Passenger Rail and Specialty Care Accessibility

Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility, All Aboard Washington, and researchers from the Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences are conducting research on the impact of restoring passenger rail service in Central Washington on specialty medical care accessibility. The researchers are seeking feedback from physicians and advance practitioners from Central Washington communities who refer patients for care in a brief survey on how patients in Central Washington get to specialty medical care appointments more than one hour away by car. Responses to this survey will help planners evaluate the effectiveness of current transportation infrastructure for patients. The results of the survey will be summarized and presented to the Federal Railroad Administration in November 2023 and to the Washington State Department of Transportation and Washington legislators in January 2024. Participation is completely voluntary and will take approximately five minutes. Take the survey.

Because of the anonymous nature of the survey, participants will experience minimal risk. Breach of confidentiality is the only potential risk, which will be minimized by not collecting direct personal identifiers and by careful data management plans. There are no direct benefits to survey participants. Participation in the survey is completely voluntary. The PNWU Institutional Review Board has reviewed this study. Results of the study will be available for public review on both the All Aboard Washington and Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility websites in the fall of 2023.


Rail User Network autumn conference, Oct. 21

The Rail Users’ Network’s Annual Meeting / Virtual Conference which is taking place on Saturday, October 21 from 12:30 pm – 5:00 pm. This exciting event will highlight the environmental benefits of passenger rail / rail transit in America.