21 Replies to “Flooding-Related Service Disruptions”

  1. But it is still a good source to get info on just what the hell is going on…Thank you for posting this info, even though it is *Not* “Seattle Adverse Weather Transit Blog”

  2. How about the Seattle Partial Transit Blog?

    To return to my comment about all of this being pathetic yesterday, I stick by my overall contextual point that we should not have to be in this position after just a few days of rain and sudden snow melt. It all speaks to the total lack of targeted investment over decades. The second part of my point is that if you are booked on either the Coast Starlight or the Empire Builder, a delay of one or two trains can ruin vacations and whole travel plans whether for business or pleasure because there are no back-up resources to get people to where they need to go, only one train on each of those two lines a day and poor disaster recovery times for whatever reasons – some legitimate and logistcal (mudslides takes a long time to clear), some purely financial (no one has the money to fund things and improvements) and not a little spite from BNSF towards Amtrak that has been reasonable for numerous delays for both improved Amtrak and Sounder service down the years – the railroads just do not like passenger service and seem determined to make it as hard as they can for Amtrak to offer comprehensive and extensive passenger service on most lines under railroad control.

    Only a massive investment in track, signalling, siding, shoring up unstable hillsides and creating suitable bridges across flood plains will counter this pathetic situation we are currently in.

    1. Tim,
      Pretty much every river in Western WA has crested or will crest at record levels, this is a very unusual event, though I will agree these “unusual events” seem to be occurring with disturbingly regular frequency. All the more reason to encourage low-carbon transportation modes and lifestyles.

      I will point out that the Pt. Defiance bypass will route passenger trains around a major site of mudslides that close the rail mainline between Seattle and Portland.

      The issue in the Chehalis Valley is somewhat larger. There are plans to improve the levees to protect homes, businesses, I-5, and I would imagine the rail line as well. However the project is on hold due to lack of funding.

      1. The Point Defiance Bypass is shelved until WSDOT and ST come up with more money for it.

      2. That is a good use of money but the need is driven by reducing Cascade travel time not avoiding the potential of mudslides.

      3. True, travel time and Sounder are driving the Pt. Defiance bypass. A nice side effect is to re-route passenger traffic around one of the more slide prone sections between SEA and PDX.

      4. I thought the portion needed to get Sounder to Lakewood was still happening? In any case I hope the feds come up with any remaining funds needed. The amount is pretty small potatoes as such things go at the Federal level. If it doesn’t make it into the stimulus one hopes it will get in the next Amtrak funding bill.

      5. Yes, Brian said so in an earlier post – it seems the funding shortfall is for points south of there to rejoin the main line at Nisqually?

      6. I also heard a comment on one of the local news channels about “Back to back 100 year events” concerning the weather.

        And this is supposed to be a “normal” year. Not El Nino or La Nina.

        It would seem to me that “global Warming” or as it should be “Global Climate Change” would be roughly analogous to More extreme weather. This winter is making a darn good point of that.

        Folks, We’re looking at an uphill battle this winter. And it’s not going to be pretty. Same goes for next year, and the year after…

    2. 1st Point) No it really speaks to cost vs. benefit analysis. Pumping billions of dollars to lessen the impact of a relatively infrequent occurrance is not a good use of public or private dollars. It might happen once a year and slow us down for a few days. Big deal. Assuming that kind of money was available (which it’s not)I’d rather see the money go into overall service expansion for all transit modes.

      2nd Point) If you are booked on the Coast Starlight you are almost guaranteed not be be there on business unless your job is a train travel blogger or a conductor. If you are there for vacation, the train trip is your vacation not the destination.

      1. Is there any private money in transit at all? I can’t think of any off the top of my head.

      2. The private money reference was BNSF’s to protect their right of way from mudslides. Private money in transit??? Seattle Center Monorail, Microsoft Connector ;)

        Private bus systems are pretty common in larger cities (LA, Chicago, Miami, NY). Denver RTD is pursuing private funding for a few LRT and Commuter Rail projects. Off topic. For another post.

      3. I live in an alternate reality! Imagine all the funding, it is not hard to do, there’s no willpower, and that is true

    3. Oh and another thing if you think BNSF is hostile to Amtrak and commuter rail try UP. At least from what I’ve read in Metrolink documentation they seem to have a much easier time getting co-operation from BNSF for scheduling and increasing train frequency.

      1. Yes, I have heard that the UP is even more irritating than the BNSF! The last Coast Starlight I took back in August, Amtrak was complaining a fair bit about the amount of single track in Oregon and California.

Comments are closed.