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Rail - Kelso Martin's Bluff - Kelso to Longview Jct

This project is in the design phase
 Kelso/Longview area rail improvements map  
Click to enlarge map

bridge over coweeman river

A new rail bridge will be built next to this one over the Coweeman River


July 2014

  • 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.
  • An Environmental Assessment will identify impacts and explore ways to minimize or avoid those impacts. It is expected to be ready for review in April 2014.
  • Preliminary Engineering is nearly complete.

Why is WSDOT applying federal high speed rail funds to construct rail improvements near Longview Junction?
Shipments coming in and out of the Port of Longview create a major rail line chokepoint at the Longview Junction, slowing down passenger rail traffic. WSDOT will upgrade existing track and add a third main track between Kelso and the Longview Junction. This will separate freight and passenger rail traffic, allowing trains to move around each other and improve 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.

Project Benefits

  • Adds capacity by building third main track near Longview Junction;
  • Reduces congestion allowing passenger trains to move freely around Longview Junction;
  • Improves passenger train reliability and accommodates increases in 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 in early 2015 with the new siding in place by summer of 2017.

Financial Information

This project is funded through the 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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