Mount Rainier is a 14,411 foot (4,392 meter) dormant stratovolcano and has the greatest single-peak glacier system in the United States. The state park surrounding the volcano is the fifth oldest national park in the United States and is located in west central Washington about an hour and a half driving time from the Seattle/Tacoma area.

The base of the volcano occupies approximately 100 square miles and the lava flows from past eruptions radiate out as much as nine miles. As much as 160 cubic miles (270 cubic kilometers) of lava have been ejected in the past million years.

The last eruption was in 1879, and current activity is limited to steam vents and hot rocks around the summit and occasional steam explosions on the upper slopes. There are about 30 earthquakes per year, making it the most seismically active volcano in the range aside from Mount St. Helens.

Surrounding geology indicates that the volcano has a history of massive avalanches, debris flows, and shallow seismic activity. About 6000 years ago, a mudflow caused by a steam explosion was one of the largest known in the world.

Most predictions have Mount Rainier erupting again within the next 100 years. Unfortunately, this mountain is one of the most dangerous in the Cascade Mountains primarily due to the large population living at the base of the mountain. The huge quantities of ice and snow (92x10^6 cubic meters and 4.4x10^9 cubic meters, respectively) could melt to form massive debris flows like those seen during the eruption of Mount St. Helens.

"Mount Rainier" (one of the most significant new storage formats of the future) enables native OS support of data storage on CD-RW. This makes the technology far easier to use and allows the replacement of the floppy. This is done by having defect management in the drive, by making the drive 2k addressable, by using background formatting, and by standardizing both command set and physical layout. The new standard is promoted by Compaq, Microsoft, Philips, and Sony and is supported by over 40 industry leaders: OS vendors, PC-OEM's, ISV's, chip makers, and media makers.

Serving Seattle, Tacoma, Portland, Eugene, and intermediate points

Amtrak train numbers: 195 and 196, then 795 and 796, then 796 and 797

Predecessor railroad train numbers: Various Northern Pacific Puget Sound Line trains

The Northern Pacific Railway ran fairly frequent service on its main north-south line between Seattle and Portland, with some of the trains carrying dining cars and one carrying through cars from the Southern Pacific Cascade for Seattle-San Francisco service.

With Amtrak's takeover in 1971, service was down to the Coast Starlight from San Diego three days a week, and two nondescript Seattle-Portland daily trains, the Mount Rainier and the Puget Sound.

The Coast Starlight's frequency was eventually increased to daily, and the Puget Sound was replaced by the Pioneer; meanwhile, the Mount Rainier was the one constant train on the corridor, although for a time in the late 1970s, it only ran northbound while the Pacific International served the route southbound.

In the early 1990s, the states of Washington and Oregon became interested in developing the corridor as a high-speed rail line. The first step toward the goal was extending the Mount Rainier to Eugene in October 1994.

Oregon senator Mark Hatfield then suggested to Amtrak president Tom Downs that the train being named for a mountain in Washington didn't accurately reflect its extended route. With the October 29, 1995 timetable, it became the Cascadia.

Condensed historical timetables:

           READ DOWN                                      READ UP
(1972)  (1979)  (1987)  (1994)                (1994)  (1987)  (1979)  (1972)
 5:30P   -----   5:30P   5:10P Dp Seattle  Ar 12:45P  11:50A  12:20P   9:15P
 6:20P   -----   6:24P   6:05P    Tacoma      11:39A  10:50A  11:20A   8:19P
 9:15P   -----   9:20P   9:10P    Portland     8:50A   8:00A   8:30A   5:30P
 -----   -----   -----  11:45P Ar Eugene   Dp  6:10A   -----   -----   -----

The Amtrak Train Names Project

from the north:

                       _.--_  <-- columbia crest
                      /     \
little tahoma--> .-^-' ^     \_
                |'    ' '      ^\
               /        ...      '-.
           __-'   ^        \   \    `-.
          /                 \          \__
        /'                                \

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