Project Info

Rail - Corridor Reliability Supplemental Work - Complete July 2016

This federally funded program for passenger rail improvements included work at six sites (pdf 179 kb) near Everett and Mukilteo to stabilize slopes and add a catchment walls to decrease the chances of landslides covering rail tracks.

The project included:

  • Retaining walls to catch landslide debris before it hits the tracks
  • Slide detection fences to give early warning of active landslides
  • Improved drainage systems
  • Erosion control

Work on this project also included formation of the Landslide Mitigation Work Group and the Landslide Mitigation Action Plan (pdf 2.7 mb) -- as well as community outreach to residents who live along the coastal bluffs from Seattle to Everett.


How you benefit

Improves safety
Work reduced the risk of landslides along coastal bluffs near Everett and Mukilteo. Slide detection fences now give early warning of active landslides. Residents also learned ways to reduce landslide risk on their property.

Relieves congestion
When trains are canceled due to landslides passengers must use buses or personal vehicles to complete their trips, adding to roadway congestion.

Economic incentive
Each time a landslide covers tracks near coastal bluffs passenger train service is suspended for 48 hours. Reducing the risk of slides reduces the number of cancelled trips -- making the service more reliable for travelers.
Reducing future landslides and damage also saves on property damage and response costs.

Partnerships & cooperation
Working with BNSF Railway, Sound Transit, Amtrak and several municipal and state agencies, WSDOT formed the Landslide Mitigation Work Group and developed the Landslide Mitigation Action Plan.

Several informational meetings were held in Everett, Edmonds and Mukilteo about landslide risk and what landowners can do to reduce risks. Informational fliers also were mailed to all residents along the coastal bluff rail line from Seattle to Everett.


Washington state spent $17.75 million in federal funding to identify, design and construct slope stabilization and retaining wall projects.

Contact us
WSDOT Rail Division
PO Box 47407
Olympia, WA 98504-7407

Visit the project Flickr album for the latest project photos.

Crews work to stabilize bluffs and reduce the slope.