Mudslides and Seahawks

Friday, December 12, 2014

By Mike Harbour, Sound Transit Deputy CEO

Unfortunately, mudslides continue to be an issue on our Sounder north line. On Wednesday evening, a slide came down in front of a Sounder train heading into Everett. Mud slid onto the tracks immediately in front of the train, which came to an emergency stop in the shallow mud and vegetation. There were no injuries or damage to the train equipment. The train waited about an hour while inspectors evaluated the conditions. Then the train proceeded slowly to Everett Station, pushing the debris off the tracks.

The slide knocked out north line service the rest of the week and we decided to cancel the Seahawks train that was scheduled to run this Sunday between Everett and Seattle. The forecast for new storms was making more slides likely and we didn’t want riders to be stranded trying to get back home. And then another slide hit this morning near Edmonds. The Sounder Seahawks trains on the south line between Lakewood and Seattle will run Sunday as planned.

We appreciate the patience of our riders when slides occur. Fortunately, during the shutdowns we are able to provide direct bus service from the train stations into Seattle and back.

The slide Wednesday was about a mile south of Everett and was the third in the Everett area this season. This part of the corridor is one of six project areas identified for the federally funded slope mitigation efforts underway by the state Department of Transportation and the BNSF Railway Company. Two slope mitigation projects near Edmonds and Mukilteo were completed in March and design on the remaining four is complete. The state DOT, BNSF and the City of Everett are discussing when to begin construction on the third project. Meanwhile, the state DOT is awaiting additional funding to begin construction on the remaining three projects. 


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