Amtrak Trains Halted Due to Mudslides; Vancouver, Seattle and Portland Passengers Affected
On Saturday, a number of mudslides on the tracks of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe ( BNSF) railroad in the Seattle region closed down the traffic of Amtrak passenger trains that ply between Seattle and Everett and Ridgefield and Vancouver. According to a BNSF spokesman, the route will be closed Monday.
BNSF spokesman, Gus Melonas said that the freight trains will carry on operating on the railroads nut the traffic of the passenger trains will be stopped as officials of the company will examine the mud slides to make sure that the affected stretches of the tracks are safe for continuing operation of the passenger traffic.
According of the officials of Amtrak, the tracks in question are used by Empire Builder trains and Amtrak Cascades.
A separate landslide affected the service of Amtrak between Washington, Portland and Kelso.
The company said that they are arranging for alternate transportation for the passengers by providing services through chartered buses. They say that it is expected, by Monday all the tracks will be functional for the passenger traffic.
Meanwhile, this year BNSF Railway Co. plans to spend $189 million for improving and maintaining its track system in Washington State. In an announcement on Friday, the company said that the work will incorporate 1,000 miles or more stretch of track surfacing as well as undercutting. Among other planned renovations, it also includes replacement of approximately fifty miles of rail track and 200,000 railroad ties.
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