A mudslide three miles south of Mukilteo this afternoon has caused cancellation of Sounder Northline commuter trains and Amtrak service through at least Friday morning.
The 6-foot-deep mass of mud stretched across 30 feet as it came down at about 3:30 p.m., according to BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas. At least 30 mudslides have reached the railroad tracks between Seattle and Everett since Thanksgiving, he said.
One of those derailed a 66-car freight train south of Everett Monday. A witness recorded video of the 75-foot-wide slide of silt knocking over seven cars filled with general merchandise items such as soap and disinfectant.
“This year has been a challenge, but we’ve seen worse years,” Melonas said. He said BNSF already invests millions every year in stabilizing the area and structures near 150 miles of track between Tacoma and Vancouver, B.C., but the company is looking at additional ideas to help minimize mudslides.
“The railway plays a key role in moving things everyone here depends on … so we’re going to continue to make those investments,” he said.
If there aren’t any more mudslides on the BNSF Railway tracks between now and Friday, Friday evening passenger service will start again.
Until then, here are the alternate commuter routes and schedules Sound Transit released Wednesday afternoon:
Morning bus service – Thursday, December 20 and Friday, December 21
Everett-Seattle: Board regularly scheduled ST Express Route 510 at Everett Station bay C1, departing approximately every 10 minutes.
Mukilteo-Seattle: Board regularly scheduled Community Transit Route 417 at the Ferry Terminal departing at 5:49 a.m., 6:21 a.m., 6:51 a.m., and 7:53 a.m.
Edmonds-Seattle: Board regularly scheduled Community Transit Route 416 at Edmonds Station departing at 6:15 a.m., 6:35 a.m., 6:55 a.m., and 7:47 a.m.
Evening bus service – Thursday, December 20.
Seattle – Edmonds: Board regularly scheduled Community Transit Route 416 at the temporary stop on 5th, between James and Cherry at 4:27 p.m., 4:58 p.m., 5:31 p.m. and 5:57 p.m.
Seattle – Mukilteo: Board regularly scheduled Community Transit Route 417 at 4th Ave S and S Jackson St at 3:59 p.m., 4:22 p.m. 4:50 p.m., and 5:30 p.m.
Seattle – Everett: Board regularly scheduled ST Express Route 510 buses are also available at 4th Ave. S and S. Jackson St. departing approximately every 10 minutes.