Rail - Vancouver - Rail Bypass and W. 39th Street Bridge


August 2014

  • Design is underway on the Vancouver rail yard bypass, a project that will reduce passenger rail congestion through the Vancouver rail terminal.
  • An earlier portion of this project, the 39th Street Bridge, was completed in late 2010.


Why is WSDOT making improvements to the Vancouver rail yard?
The Vancouver rail yard serves as a major hub for both freight and passenger trains. It is one of the busiest rail yards in the Pacific Northwest. More than 100 trains pass through the Vancouver rail yard everyday. 

Eliminating this major chokepoint will increase Amtrak Cascades on-time performance and improve freight movement.

This project will reduce freight and passenger congestion, increase safety, and help Amtrak’s on-time performance.

The End Result
New bypass tracks in the rail yard allows passenger trains to bypass congestion caused by freight trains.

In addition, the new vehicle/pedestrian/bicycle bridge over the railroad tracks at the West 39th Street crossing enhances safety.

The vehicle/pedestrian/bicycle bridge also provides greater connectivity between neighborhoods east and west of Fruit Valley Road in the West 39th Street vicinity.

Project Benefits

  • Improve safety
  • Reduce rail congestion
  • Allow for more frequent, reliable Amtrak Cascades service
  • Enhance connectivity between neighborhoods in the project area


What is the project timeline?
A portion of the Vancouver Bypass project is in the design phase while crews are constructing its first part. Rail construction will continue through spring 2016.

The West 39th Street bridge project construction contract was awarded in April 2009. Construction on the bridge began in May 2009. The new bridge was opened to traffic on Nov. 3, 2010.

Financial Information
This project is funded through the following sources:

  • 2003 Transportation Funds (New & Used Vehicle
    Sales Tax) - $35.2million
  • Existing Funds (pre-existing State, Federal High Speed Rail, and other partnership funds) - $115.2 million
  • Total Funding From All Sources - $150.4 million


How can I get more information?

WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407
E-mail: rail@wsdot.wa.gov

BNSF has hired contractors for earthwork and will use their own forces to construct the track and signal improvements.