All of the major Highways are closed and if you want to go East, there is no easy way of doing that.

I-90 is closed at Snoqualmie Pass due to very heavy snow and avalanche dangers
Hwy 2 is closed at Stevens Pass/Scenic/Berne due to very heavy snow and avalanche dangers
I-84 is closed near the Umatila Indian Reservation.

Is Blewett next?

8 Replies to “I-90, Hwy 2, I-84 all Closed…. Blewett Next?”

  1. You can still go over Highway 12 with traction tires.

    I don’t think Blewett will close anytime soon.

  2. BNSF’s Stevens and Stampede Pass routes are open and operating with a spreader running between Skykomish and Merritt.

  3. If the Spreader is enough to do the job, or if a Rotary was available, it would still show rail does better in a snowstorm, although there are times when even rail fails. Wonder if there is room for Super Sidings on the East Side of Stevens Pass through Wenatchee to boost capacity. That way they could use Columbia Station and the soon to be built station at Leavenworth for the Empire Builder to help at least with any Northwestern Trailways buses that are stuck. Also, I saw on LINK Transit’s site, they were having Route 22 buses turn back at Peshastin because of the traffic jam.

  4. evergreenrailfan, The 2006 WA St. Rail Capacity Study indicated that the Cascade Tunnel was not the only constrait on the old GN route. A lack of sidings east and west prevent expansion almost as much as the summit tunnel.

    I think a double-tracked Stampede Pass route is the best long-term solution for E-W rail traffic. This would reduce the Stevens Pass route to a branch line as far is BNSF is concerned, but allow more passenger rail.

    May also be worth looking into an emergency car train over the pass when I-90 is closed.

  5. Blewett is unlikely to be next and, as noted it’s not an east-west pass, but a north-south route that connects I-90 and US 2. It also has NO AVALANCHE ZONES.

    Regarding Stevens Pass Rail – the 8 mile long tunnel was built to run the trains under the portion of the pass that has the avalanche zones.

  6. What I was wondering, is there room to put the sidings that are needed in?

    Your ideas for Stampede Pass and the emergency car-train, sound great. In fact, we have a nice hiking and biking trail in what would have been the perfect right of way to run that train on. The Milwaukee Road used Snoqualmie Pass, even promoted it’s ski industry for awhile with the Ski Bowl at Hyak(complete with night skiing lighted and lifts powered, by power drawn from the Hyak Substation for their electric trains). WHen Burlington Northern briefly acquired this right of way, it was for a market that never materialized, export coal traffic, and in the 1970s and 1980s, nobody saw a need for emergency shuttle trains on the pass. That should have been incorporated into the planning for the route as US10 was converted into Interstate 90.

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