- Environmental review is underway. The project team is evaluating potential impacts these improvements may have on the surrounding environment and exploring ways to minimize or avoid those impacts.
- Preliminary engineering is nearly complete.
Why is WSDOT
applying federal high speed rail funds to extend siding track at the south end of the Port of Kalama?
More shipments coming in and out of the Port of Kalama have created a major rail line chokepoint through the Port, slowing down passenger rail traffic.
WSDOT will contract with railroad owner BNSF to extend approximately one mile of siding track near the south end of the Port of Kalama. Crews will also upgrade switch components in the tracks to allow Amtrak Cascades trains to maintain more consistent speeds through the area.
Extending the siding track, along with other improvements, allows freight trains to move off the main line tracks more quickly - resulting in fewer delays to Amtrak Cascades passenger trains.
The End Result
Reduced congestion and reduced passenger/freight rail conflicts improves reliability for both, allowing for better movement of people and goods through the corridor.
Washington benefits from critical infrastructure investments that improve mobility in congested areas along the corridor, create and preserve jobs, foster economic growth, and improve air quality across our state.
- Dispatcher-controlled freight train arrival and departure, allowing Amtrak Cascades to move through the area quicker
- Allows passenger trains to move around freight trains traveling into and out of the Port of Kalama;
- Improves passenger train reliability and accommodates increases in passenger train frequency.
What is the project timeline?
Preliminary engineering work began in early 2012. Environmental studies have begun with final design following in early 2014. WSDOT expects to kick off construction in 2014 and be using the new siding by fall 2016.
This project is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - $36.5 million.
How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
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