More Seattle-Everett passenger train runs halted

Associated Press

SEATTLE (AP) — Runs of passenger trains between Seattle and Everett will be canceled until Tuesday morning after more mudslides fell this weekend, a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway spokesman said.

Closing the tracks all say Monday marks at least the seventh day of closures for Amtrak and Sound Transit trains along this corridor since Thanksgiving, spokesman Gus Melonas said. Passenger train service is now scheduled to restart at 4 a.m. Tuesday, he said.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway had estimated the closure of tracks to Amtrak and Sound Transit trains would end on Monday, but more mudslide damaged occurred overnight Saturday as heavy rain soaked the Puget Sound region, pushing mud, rocks, trees and debris onto the tracks.

The downpours have soaked loosened dirt on the slopes — some as high as 150 feet — along the track that runs between the two cities.

BNSF crews have been mobilized to clean up debris, Melonas said. During the dry season, the railroad company built ditches, enhanced culverts and slide sensors, he added.

Freight trains will continue operating because their sturdier build, flexible schedule and don't carry passengers, Melonas said.

"The major difference between passenger trains as opposed to rail car full of lumber is the human factor. We're not going to put the public in harm's way," he said.

Commuters can check soundtransit.org for updates. Sound Transit announced Sunday it will have buses running from the two cities to make up for the lack of train service.

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