Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

April 7, 2013 at 10:29 AM

Southbound Amtrak train derailed near Everett

Alison Lovern carries her 18-month old son Fionn as passengers from Amtrak's "Empire Builder" line wait at the train station in Mukilteo for buses to take them to Seattle, Edmonds and Redmond.

Alison Lovern carries her 18-month old son Fionn as passengers from Amtrak’s “Empire Builder” line wait at the train station in Mukilteo for buses to take them to Seattle, Edmonds and Redmond. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

A mudslide is being blamed for the derailment of the last three cars on a southbound Amtrak train a mile south of Everett at 8:50 a.m. today. No one was hurt.

Mud, rocks and trees slid 100 feet down a 200-foot cliff, striking the train and causing the last three cars to lean to one side, said BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas.

The slide – which was described as 15-feet high and 30-feet wide – prompted BNSF to issue a 48-hour moratorium on passenger trains on the railway’s double main line. Freight trains will be able to get through on the adjacent line today and resume travel on the line where the Amtrak train was derailed sometime tomorrow, Melonas said. A crane will be brought in to remove debris on the tracks and right the listing train cars this afternoon, Melonas said. About a quarter mile of track was damaged.

The rest of the train, the Empire Builder from Chicago, continued toward Seattle. An Amtrak spokesman in Chicago said the passengers on the derailed cars were moved to other cars. They were being bused to Seattle from Mukilteo, according to Amtrak employees in Seattle.

The train behind the Empire Builder, coming from Vancouver, could not get through, and those passengers were being bused from somewhere north to Seattle. Those continuing on can take an afternoon train from Seattle to Portland.

The derailment happened about a quarter mile north of Howarth Park, one mile south of Everett, where rail employees are working on the remaining three cars, two of which appear to be derailed.

Marc Magliari, an Amtrak spokesman in Chicago, said the train left Chicago en route to Seattle at 2:15 p.m. Friday, Chicago time. He couldn’t say how many passengers and crew members were on board at the time of the derailment, but called the derailment “a relatively low speed event.” The mudslide will affect trains between Vancouver, B.C. and Seattle and Amtrak is now working on a service plan, he said. The Sounder commuter train operated by Sound Transit will also be affected.

Three cars from an Amtrak train that was carrying passengers sit derailed on a track in Everett after the locomotive portion of the train continued on towards Seattle Sunday.  Passengers from the affected cars moved into the front portion of the train, which left the derailed cars behind. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Three cars from an Amtrak train that was carrying passengers sit derailed on a track in Everett after the locomotive portion of the train continued on towards Seattle Sunday. Passengers from the affected cars moved into the front portion of the train, which left the derailed cars behind. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Passengers from Amtrak's "Empire Builder" line coming from Chicago wait at the train station in Mukilteo for buses to take them to Seattle, Edmonds and Redmond. They were supposed to arrive in Seattle around 9:00 A.M. but were stranded for over four hours after a mudslide took out the back three cars on the train; the locomotive portion brought the remainder of them to Mukilteo. Passengers in the affected cars saw mud and trees coming down the hill and felt the cars shake and stop. Some said they were thrown to the side, and then the cars they were in sat tilted off the track. They had to gather their luggage outside and walk along the tracks to get in the forward cars. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Passengers from Amtrak’s “Empire Builder” line coming from Chicago wait at the train station in Mukilteo for buses to take them to Seattle, Edmonds and Redmond. They were supposed to arrive in Seattle around 9:00 A.M. but were stranded for over four hours after a mudslide took out the back three cars on the train; the locomotive portion brought the remainder of them to Mukilteo. Passengers in the affected cars saw mud and trees coming down the hill and felt the cars shake and stop. Some said they were thrown to the side, and then the cars they were in sat tilted off the track. They had to gather their luggage outside and walk along the tracks to get in the forward cars. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Hannah Munds, 7, and her mother Alicia, from Silverdale, are soaked from rain as they wait for buses after their train derailed. They boarded the train in Spokane and were in one of the back three cars affected by the mudslide. It was like being thrown around like a rag doll, " Alicia said of the experience. She was awoken by the sudden bumpiness and instinctively threw herself around Hannah to protect her. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

Hannah Munds, 7, and her mother Alicia, from Silverdale, are soaked from rain as they wait for buses after their train derailed. They boarded the train in Spokane and were in one of the back three cars affected by the mudslide. It was like being thrown around like a rag doll, ” Alicia said of the experience. She was awoken by the sudden bumpiness and instinctively threw herself around Hannah to protect her. (Photo by Bettina Hansen / The Seattle Times)

0 Comments | Topics: Amtrak; mudslide, Everett

COMMENTS

READER NOTE: Our commenting system has changed. Find out more.

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►