UPDATE 5:01 P.M.
The BNSF Railway says it just fixed a dispatching problem affecting several states — allowing Sound Transit commuter trains and other traffic to move again soon.
“It’ll be a slow process initially, but it’ll return,” said BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas.
Sounder commuter trains won’t be running this afternoon until the BNSF Railway fixes a technical problem at its dispatch center.
BNSF Railway spokesman Gus Melonas said the problems started at 2:26 p.m., and as of 4:40 p.m., it’s unknown when regular train service will resume in the Everett-Seattle-Tacoma corridor.
The 3:12 p.m. and 3:42 p.m. southbound commuter trains to Tacoma didn’t make it out of King Street Station. A few more could be delayed or canceled, if the problem persists. A 4:25 p.m. return trip from Tacoma to Seattle is also canceled.
The four north line trains to Everett, starting at 4:05 p.m., are also not running.
Sound Transit advises riders to find an ST Express or other bus, and to “anticipate heavy bus loads.” Transit employees are being sent to King Street Station to guide passengers.
Sounder trains carry an average 450 passengers, so hundreds of commuters will be delayed, or improvise by finding buses or carpools.
A dozen freight and Amtrak passengers trains also are affected, Melonas said. Most are stopped, but some “are being walked through at slow speeds,” he said.
BNSF operates its North American trains from a central dispatching center in Fort Worth, Texas. Problems with system control are also affecting freight trains in other states, Melonas said.