SEATTLE — As President Biden's ambitious passenger rail expansion plan faces an early test on the Gulf Coast, Washington train advocates have expressed concern about how it could affect the Pacific Northwest.

Central to the Gulf Coast case is the issue of Amtrak passenger trains competing for space with freight trains on privately owned tracks. Most of Amtrak's routes outside the northeastern U.S. run on tracks owned by private companies, like Union Pacific or BNSF in the Pacific Northwest. A federal board will decide whether private rail companies have the right to keep Amtrak trains off crowded tracks.

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