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The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is seeking public comment on a draft of the state's new rail plan.WSDOT prepares a state rail plan every five years to provide a framework for future actions that meet federal and state requirements. The final plan is expected to be published near the end of the first quarter.The new plan comes during a time of change for rail transportation in the state, the draft states. Near- and long-term challenges include:• addressing issues related to the December 2017 Amtrak Cascades derailment near DuPont;• meeting the increasing demand for passenger and freight rail services in Washington on the private rail network over which passenger and freight trains operate;• developing more efficient and effective connections between rail and other modes of transportation; and• ensuring the economic sustainability of Washington’s public and private short line railroads that face infrastructure investment needs in order to preserve these important services to communities.Comments on the draft are being accepted through Feb. 14.