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Rail - Corridor Reliability Upgrades North


February 2017

  • This project was completed in March 2016.
  • This project from Everett to the U.S./Canadian border and a project south of Nisqually will upgrade and improve track quality, travel times, and passenger comfort along the Amtrak Cascades corridor.
  • In a related project, WSDOT also has several Slide Management Projects designed to improve rail service north of Seattle.


Why is WSDOT working on Cascade Corridor railroad tracks?
This project addresses deficiencies along the corridor by improving track quality, reliability, and passenger ride comfort by upgrading track infrastructure with state of the art technology and equipment. In order for passenger trains to travel at higher speeds, it requires applying a more durable type of track than what is required for freight trains. 

The End Result

The end result of this project is more reliable on-time performance for Amtrak Cascades intercity trains travelling between Everett and the Canadian border at Blaine.

Major components of the work include:

  • upgrading track quality to accommodate faster speeds,
  • cleaning 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 Everett and Blaine. 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?
BNSF is currently working on engineering and design work. Approved to prepurchase materials, WSDOT was able to accelerate the timeline and construction was completed in March 2016.

Financial Information

WSDOT received federal high speed rail funds from the 2009 Recovery and Reinvestment Act, administered by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

Project Budget: $31.8 million

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

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