- BNSF started work upgrading track to accommodate higher-speed trains and replacement of ballast and rail cross ties.
- Design for improvements at more locations continues.
Why is WSDOT
working on railroad tracks in the Cascades corridor?
This project addresses deficiencies along the corridor by upgrading and improving track quality, reliability, and passenger ride comfort by upgrading track infrastructure with state of the art technology and equipment.
The End Result
The end result of this project is more reliable on-time performance for Amtrak Cascades intercity trains traveling between Seattle and Portland.
Major components of the work include:
- upgrading track to accommodate faster train speeds,
- cleaning ballast and replacing ballast,
- removing and replacing ties, and
- relaying and resurfacing rail.
This project will make a series of track upgrades to the BNSF main line tracks between Nisqually and the Columbia River. This work will allow Amtrak Cascades trains to maintain maximum speeds over longer distances, resulting in better on-time performance.
What is the project timeline?
Construction of first phase of rail replacement work is underway, while crews move forward with design on additional locations. Construction on the entire project is expected to be complete by 2016.
WSDOT received federal high speed rail funds from theRecovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Project Budget: $91.8 million
How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
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