- The Federal Railroad Administration granted final design acceptance in November, allowing the project to proceed into construction.
- The Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission issued an order granting modifications to the Toteff Road closing in October, which allows the project to move toward construction.
Why is WSDOT
applying federal high-speed rail funds to extend a siding track near the Port of Kalama?
More shipments coming in and out of the Port of Kalama have created a major rail line chokepoint, slowing down passenger rail traffic through the Port.
WSDOT will contract with railroad owner BNSF to add approximately 7,400 feet throughout Port of Kalama. Crews will also replace 38 switches, extend the signalized siding, and construct improvements at the Toteff Road at-grade crossing.
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 and completed summer 2014. Environmental studies began in early 2013 and completed summer 2014. Final design is expected to begin in summer 2014. Construction is expected to begin in late 2014 with the rail improvements in place by 2015.
This project is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) - $47.1 million.
How can I get more information?
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
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