- WSDOT is preparing to start environmental work on this and two other projects on a 14 mile section of track between Kelso and Kalama.
- These studies will evaluate potential impacts from the improvements on the surrounding environment and explore ways to minimize or avoid those impacts.
Why is WSDOT
applying federal high speed rail funds to construct rail improvements near Longview Junction?
The growing number of shipments coming in and out of the Port of Longview has created a major rail line chokepoint at the Longview Junction, slowing down freight and passenger rail traffic. WSDOT will upgrade existing track and add a third main track between Kelso and Longview Junction. This will separate freight and passenger rail traffic, allowing trains to move around each other, ultimately improving the reliability and on-time performance of Amtrak Cascades trains.
The End Result
Improvements will allow Amtrak Cascades trains to move around slower-moving freight trains that enter and exit the rail yard at Longview Junction. The reduced congestion helps passenger trains maintain higher speeds and arrive at their destinations on time.
Passenger train reliability will be much improved and the additional infrastructure can accommodate additional daily round trips planned in the corridor.
This work is part of WSDOT's High-Speed Rail Program that will increase the frequency and reliability of Amtrak Cascades service between Seattle and Portland.
Washington benefits from critical infrastructure investments that improve mobility in congested areas along the rail corridor. These projects create and preserve jobs, foster economic growth, and improve air quality across our state.
- Adds capacity by building third main track near Longview Junction;
- Reduces congestion allowing passenger and freight trains to move freely around Longview Junction;
- Improves passenger train reliability and increases passenger train frequency.
What is the project timeline?
Preliminary engineering and conceptual design work began in early 2012. Environmental studies will begin in early 2013 with final design following in early 2014. Construction is expected to begin at the end of 2014 with the new siding in place by fall of 2017.
This project is funded through the following sources:
- American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - $123 million
How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
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