Skip Top Navigation

Rail Update

 May 2016

In this issue:
• Construction update

2016-2017 Cascades High-Speed Rail Construction Update

Twelve of the 20 WSDOT federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act high-speed rail projects are complete. All of the eight remaining will be complete in 2017, including:
Tacoma – Point Defiance Bypass
A new Amtrak Cascades train station in Tacoma -- along with a new passenger rail bypass through Tacoma, Lakewood and DuPont -- will result in shorter travel times between Seattle and Portland. Construction on the station will start in June 2016.
New Locomotives
Eight new diesel-electric Siemens Charger locomotives will improve reliability, be more fuel efficient and position Amtrak Cascades for faster train speeds in the future.
Kelso Martin’s Bluff projects
A trio of projects near Kalama, Kelso and Longview will improve rail capacity and reduce congestion between passenger and freight trains.
• New Siding: New signaled track near Port of Kalama.
• Toteff Siding Extension: Intersection improvements and an extended siding track at Port of Kalama.
• Kelso to Longview Junction: New 5. 3 miles of signaled track near the Port of Longview rail yard.
Corridor Reliability Upgrades – South
Installing state-of-the-art technology and equipment along the southern Washington Amtrak Cascades rail corridor. (A similar project in the northern part of the rail corridor is already complete).
Corridor Reliability Supplemental Work (Landslide Mitigation)
Stabilizing slopes at vulnerable landslide sites near Mukilteo and Everett to limit passenger rail service disruptions. The final of six projects will be completed in June. While some landslides occurred this winter at the sites that were improved, none of the debris reached the tracks or disrupted train service, because the landslides were stopped by the catchment walls that were erected as part of the project.
King Street Station Track Upgrades
Extended tracks, new turnouts, a new platform and a high-tech switching system to improve access and travel times in and out of this busy station.