Dozens of citizens, elected officials, and community leaders from Redmond, Kirkland, Bellevue and King County unveiled the new name for Eastside Rail Corridor on July 20.
Together at Redmond Central Connector, they unveiled Eastrail, the new name of the emerging 42-mile multipurpose trail. Leaders also unveiled a new partnership that will complete the trail connected to link light rail. Eastrail’s uninterrupted 42-mile trail will connect to four of the 10 light rail stations that Sound Transit will open on the Eastside in 2023.
King County Councilmember and regional advisory committee chair Claudia Balducci said through bold vision, hard work and leadership, the corridor was purchased and preserved for public use.
“Twelve years ago, the future of this rail corridor was uncertain,” Balducci said. “There was a lot of vision at the regional and local level. We have preserved the corridor and started opening segments of the trail to the public. Today, we make a turn as we begin the process of transforming these segments into a singular, regional whole. We open a new chapter that will make this an exceptional Eastside treasure for all to enjoy.”
Eastrail is owned and managed by King County, Snohomish County, and the cities of Kirkland, Redmond, and Woodinville, as well as Sound Transit and Puget Sound Energy. The trail runs along a former freight railway corridor from Woodinville to Renton. It was purchased to develop an uninterrupted multi-use corridor through east King County. Today, around 13 miles of trail are open to the public. The goal is to complete the rail from Renton to Woodinville and Redmond by 2025.
A new partnership, Eastrail Partners, was also announced at the celebration. The new nonprofit organization includes representatives from local businesses, non-governmental organizations and community leaders. The partnership’s highest priority is to establish an uninterrupted trail along the entire corridor, all while supporting the development of trail-side amenities and trail-oriented urban development. Eastrail Partners board member Bill Finkbeiner said they are already seeing developers, businesses and neighborhood organizations up and down the trail who are wanting to get involved.
“We’re very excited,” Finkbeiner said. “I believe this is the absolute best public amenity on the Eastside.”
Eastrail’s new tagline, “Let’s Connect,” reflects the corridor vision to connect Eastside communities with an uninterrupted, non-motorized trail.
“[Eastrail] is going to knit the Eastside together. It is going to bring the entire region here to enjoy the Eastside and all we have to offer,” Balducci said.