The Weather Beat
Some Sounder, Amtrak trains still not running after mudslides
Posted by Jill Kimball
Heavy rains have led to a series of mudslides earlier this week, forcing another 48-hour moratorium on railroad transit.
Forty-four mudslides Monday through Wednesday kept BNSF crews busy cleaning up railroad tracks up and down Western Washington and shut down passenger train service for most of the week.
So far this season, BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said, there have been more than 100 slides affecting rail service, more than the state has seen in one season since 1996-1997. The bulk of this week's slides were on Monday and Tuesday, but lingering showers Wednesday continued to soak the ground and uproot trees and debris on hillsides.
About 95 percent of the slides were between Seattle and Everett, Melonas said; as a result, while passenger service south of Seattle resumed Wednesday afternoon, passenger trains still couldn't operate north of Seattle.
Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said the Cascades line from Seattle to Vancouver, B.C. is not running, and passengers are traveling by bus.
She said passengers traveling between Seattle and Spokane on the Empire Builder line will take a bus between Seattle and Everett, then take the train between Everett to Spokane.
Train service wasn’t expected to return to normal until early Friday morning, she said.
Sound Transit is directing Sounder train commuters to alternate methods of transportation for Wednesday evening:
Seattle - Edmonds: Use Community Transit Route 416 at FIfth Avenue and James Street at 3:56 p.m., 4:27 p.m., 4:58 p.m., 5:28 p.m. and 5:57 p.m.
Seattle - Mukilteo: Use Community Transit Route 417 at Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street at 3:18 p.m., 4:10 p.m., 4:35 p.m., 5:05 p.m., 5:40 p.m., and 6:08 p.m.
Seattle - Everett: Charter buses will depart Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street at 4:05 p.m., 4:33 p.m., 5:05 p.m., and 5:35 p.m. with direct service to Everett Station. Riders may also use ST Express Route 510 at Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street.
Here is alternate transportation information for Thursday morning commuters:
Everett - Seattle: Community Transit buses will depart "A" Bays to Seattle at regular Sounder schedule departure times: 5:45 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 6:45 a.m. and 7:15 a.m. Riders may also board regularly scheduled ST Express Route 510 buses at Everett Station.
Mukilteo - Seattle: Community Transit Route 417 will depart at 5:48 a.m., 6:18 a.m., 6:48 a.m., 7:18 a.m. and 7:48 a.m. Please board at Ferry Terminal. Note that these times do not correspond with the regular Sounder schedule.
Edmonds - Seattle: Community Transit Route 416 will depart Railroad & Main at 5:37 a.m., 6:15 a.m., 6:35 a.m., 6:55 a.m., 7:20 a.m. and 7:47 a.m. Note that these times do not correspond with the regular Sounder schedule.