January 6, 2013 at 12:17 PM
Passenger trains running again north of Seattle
The Associated Press
Passenger train service is up and running again north of Seattle, following two mudslides that hit the tracks last week.
BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas says the tracks opened for passenger service at about 4 a.m. Sunday.
The mudslides struck near Mukilteo, one on Thursday and another on Friday. Freight service resumed after the tracks were cleared, but the slides triggered an automatic 48-hour moratorium on passenger service through the corridor.
Melonas said that since Thanksgiving, 45 to 50 debris slides blocked the tracks. Passenger service was cancelled more often than at any time in the region over the past 25 years. He said the cause was day after day of heavy precipitation triggering mud and debris slides on high bluffs, particularly between Edmonds and South Everett.
Melonas said railroad geotechnical engineers continue to monitor the stability of slopes along the Sound.
The Seattle Times reported last week that as of Thursday, the Sounder Northline route had experienced a record 122 train cancellations for 2012-2013, according to Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason. The last record for cancellations was 70 during 2010-2011.
The Times also said that a $16 million federal grant will help fund future mudslide-reduction work.
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The Today File is a general news blog featuring real-time coverage of Seattle and the Northwest. It is reported by the news staff of The Seattle Times and edited by Assistant Metro Editor Nick Provenza.
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