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Work starts on landslide solutions for Pacific Northwest Rail Corridor

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Date:  Monday, August 19, 2013

Contact: Alice Fiman, WSDOT communications, 360-705-7080
Kevin F. Thompson, Federal Railroad Administration, frapa@dot.gov (202)493-6024

EVERETT – Work is underway to help stabilize slopes and stop landslides along the Pacific Northwest’s only north-south passenger rail corridor.

Construction on a $16.1 million federally funded project began in early August. The project, which helps stabilize slopes above the rail line near Everett, represents 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.

To view schedules and book a trip, visit AmtrakCascades.com or call 1-800-USA-RAIL.

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WSDOT keeps people, businesses and the economy moving by operating and improving the state's transportation systems. To learn more about what we're doing, go to www.wsdot.wa.gov/news for pictures, videos, news and blogs. Real time traffic information is available at www.wsdot.wa.gov/traffic or by dialing 511.


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