- The project team is working on finalizing agreements with the Federal Railroad Administration and BNSF in order to begin engineering and design work.
Why is WSDOT
making rail upgrades at the Blaine-Swift Customs Facility
Congestion on the rail line is a major challenge for WSDOT and Amtrak in achieving reliable Amtrak Cascades passenger rail service.
Freight Train inspections at the US Customs inspection area near Blaine, WA frequently cause delays to Amtrak Cascades service. Construction of a new 9,000 feet main track and conversion of the existing main track into a second siding will allow two freight trains to be inspected clear of the main track.
These improvements will reduce freight train interference on the main track and improve the reliability of the Amtrak Cascades rail passenger service.
The End Result
Amtrak Cascades will be able to move past the US Customs Facility with less interference from freight train inspections.
Improvements include the construction of a new 9,000 feet main track and conversion of the existing main track into a second siding. Major components of the work include track, ties and ballast.
- Reduces a major source of freight train/passenger train conflict by constructing a new main track and converting the existing main track to a second siding track to be used for freight train inspections.
- Reduces congestion, adds rail capacity and eliminates a substantial bottleneck.
- The new inspection tracks for freight trains will shorten travel times for Amtrak Cascades through the congested rail corridor and improve the reliability of the passenger service.
What is the project timeline?
Preliminary engineering and design work has begun with construction scheduled to begin in summer 2013. Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2015.
Washington State was awarded nearly $800 million for rail corridor improvements between Vancouver, WA and the Canadian border. This $8.5 million project is funded through the following sources:
- Federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant – $5 million
- State Funds – $3.5 million
How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
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