This week has been a miserable one for trains in the Seattle area. After two Monday mudslides, one near Nisqually and one near Everett, on Tuesday not a single Amtrak train arrived or departed King Street Station. Another mudslide yesterday has put North Sounder and Amtrak off until at least Friday. Mudslide prevention projects are still on the way thanks to stimulus dollars, but at this point these efforts seem meager compared to the enormity of the problem. At least 30 mudslides have occurred just since Thanksgiving.
From YouTube user John Hill, here’s up close video of Monday afternoon’s mudslide and 7-car derailment just south of Everett. The slide begins at the 1’00″ mark. The 48-hour passenger moratorium may be frustrating — and moving to a case-by-case assessment would be superior to an arbitrary time period – but let’s not forget that mudslides are serious business. Video like this shows just how dangerous they can be.