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Budget Information

Rail - Corridor Reliability Upgrades South

porject is in design and construction phase

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Example of track that needs repair.


May 2017

  • Work on replacing railroad ties is complete. Crews continue to clean ballast and resurface areas around tracks.
  • This project, in addition to a project north of Everett, will upgrade and improve track quality, travel times, and passenger comfort along the entire Amtrak Cascades corridor.
  • In this southern section, (Nisqually area to Columbia River), WSDOT has installed new track, 33 turnouts and switches at 12 control points.

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.

Project Benefits
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 in 2017.

Financial Information

Financial Data for PIN 751040A
Funding Source Amount ($ in thousands)
2003 Gas Tax (Nickel Funding) $0
2005 Gas Tax (TPA) $0
Pre-Existing Funds (PEF) $86,638
CWA $0
Total $86,638

WSDOT received federal high speed rail funds from the Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).
Project Budget: $86.5 million

How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407

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