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Rail - Blaine Swift Customs Facility

Status

July 2014

  • Agreements are final and BNSF Railway Company is working on engineering and design work.

Why is WSDOT making rail upgrades at the Blaine-Swift Customs Facility
Inspections at the U.S. Customs inspection area near Blaine 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 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.

Project Benefits

  • 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.
  • Reduces congestion, adds rail capacity and eliminates a substantial bottleneck.
  • The new tracks 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 October 2014. Construction is expected to be complete by February 2015.

Financial Information

Washington State was awarded nearly $800 million for rail corridor improvements between Vancouver, WA and the Canadian border. This $10.5 million project is funded through the following sources:

  • Federal High Speed Intercity Passenger Rail grant – $7 million
  • State Funds – $3.5 million

How can I get more information?
Contact:
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
360-705-7900
E-mail: rail@wsdot.wa.gov

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