Work is underway to help stabilize slopes and stop landslides along the Pacific Northwest’s only north-south passenger rail corridor. One project site is along Point Defiance.
During long periods of heavy rain, rail line owner BNSF Railway temporarily suspends passenger rail service to ensure safety when a landslide occurs or a high-level threat of landslide exists. Alternate transportation is provided when rail service is suspended by landslides.
Between November 2012 and early January 2013, landslides cancelled a record number of daily trips. The Washington State Department of Transportation is working with government and private rail partners to review recent slope studies and historical slide data, with a goal of determining all factors contributing to landslides.
These projects are part of the $800 million federally funded high-speed-rail grants, awarded for 20 projects that will deliver more reliable, faster, more frequent Amtrak Cascades rail service. The grants are part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act high-speed-rail program administered by the Federal Railroad Administration.