State of Washington Working on Stabilizing Slopes Along Rail Lines in Everett

August 19, 2013


Everett train derailment

Back in April a loaded passenger train derailed near Howarth Park following a mud slide.

Last year was a record setter for delays and cancellations of rail service between Everett and Seattle. Today the Washington State Department of Transportation announced work has begun to stabilize slopes above the railroad tracks running along the Everett shoreline. Here’s part of a news release sent out this morning from the WSDOT…

Construction is underway on the $16.1 million federally funded project which helps stabilize slopes above the rail line near Everett, representing the first step to help eliminate landslides and keep passenger rail service moving.

During long periods of heavy rain, rail line owner BNSF Railway temporarily suspends passenger rail service to ensure safety when a landslide occurs or a high-level threat of landslide exists. Alternate transportation is provided when rail service is suspended by landslides.

Between November 2012 and early January 2013, landslides cancelled a record number of daily trips. The Washington State Department of Transportation is working with government and private rail partners to review recent slope studies and historical slide data, with a goal of determining all factors contributing to landslides.

These projects are part of the $800 million federally funded high-speed-rail grants, awarded for 20 projects that will deliver more reliable, faster, more frequent Amtrak Cascades rail service. The grants are part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act high-speed-rail program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration.

In addition to the stabilization project near Everett, WSDOT starts construction on six additional federally funded rail projects in 2013. Earlier this year, WSDOT completed three projects, including the renovation of King Street Station.

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