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Three members of the Bellevue City Council were all ears Wednesday night when a California rails-and-trails advocacy group told how they mustered voter support for a 70-mile commuter rail line through Marin and Sonoma counties — complete with a bike trail along the entire route.

Why are rails-with-trails so interesting to Eastsiders? Because the Port of Seattle last year purchased the BNSF Railwayrail corridor, which runs through the Eastside from Renton to Woodinville, and on to the town of Snohomish in Snohomish County.

There’s a $50 million chunk of voter-approved money in the Sound Transit budget that could be used in partnership with a private firm to help get a commuter train running on the BNSF corridor.

And there are some aggressive players who want to see a commuter rail line brought to this area, fast.

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