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NW Mudslide Season 2013-14


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#61 CHamilton

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Posted 05 March 2014 - 01:06 AM

BNSF hopeful it can avoid mudslide-related closures

 
NEAR EVERETT, Wash. -- The cliffs along the waterfront between Mukilteo and Everett are notorious for dumping mud, rock and trees onto the Burlington Northern Santa Fe tracks below.
This year, despite a recent surge in rainfall, the trains are hardly missing a run....
BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas....says the railroad has used $16 million in federal money to protect the tracks from slides that can tie up freight and passenger service for days.
"With all these measures in place, there has been only six blocking events this season compared to sixty this time last season," said Melonas.
BNSF has installed barriers, improved drainage and removed 13,000 tons of debris. It also helps that we had a much drier December and January than the year before.

 


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#62 CHamilton

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 08:52 AM

And in Montana...

Passengers will ride motor coaches between Whitefish and Shelby until Saturday

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#63 CHamilton

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:35 PM

Amtrak, Sounder canceled as mudslide hits tracks at Mukilteo

 
MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) - A mudslide hit the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks on Thursday morning near Mukilteo.

Spokesman Gus Melonas says crews will have the mud, rocks and tree debris cleared later in the morning, so freight trains can continue to roll.

But Amtrak and Sounder commuter trains will have to observe at 48-hour safety moratorium until Saturday morning. Passengers can be bused.

 


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#64 NW cannonball

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:44 PM

Weh!

This scenic water-level route seems so vulnerable.

Hope the BNSF keeps up the work to stabilise the ROW.


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#65 jimhudson

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 12:52 PM

Do Seattle Kids try to "Mud Surf" when the Slides are going on???? :lol:


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#66 CHamilton

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:28 PM

Do Seattle Kids try to "Mud Surf" when the Slides are going on???? :lol:


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#67 fairviewroad

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:34 PM

So to get from Seattle to Chicago via the Empire Builder this week, it's Bus/Train/Bus/Train.

 

Lovely.



#68 CHamilton

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 01:36 PM

So to get from Seattle to Chicago via the Empire Builder this week, it's Bus/Train/Bus/Train.

 

Lovely.

Time to put saddles on the mountain goats. They might not be as fast, but they're probably more reliable.


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#69 CHamilton

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 02:58 PM

More avalanches. See the EB Mess thread.

Edited by CHamilton, 06 March 2014 - 02:59 PM.

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#70 CHamilton

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 04:34 PM

Mudslide pictures at http://kiro.tv/HeavyRainProblems

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#71 Big Green Chauvanist

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Posted 06 March 2014 - 04:52 PM

This scenic water-level route seems so vulnerable.

It's the only one we have realistically.

 

Hope the BNSF keeps up the work to stabilise the ROW.

There is no other choice but to.

#72 CHamilton

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Posted 07 March 2014 - 09:55 PM

More Mukilteo mudslides hit railroad tracks

Updated 10:53 am, Friday, March 7, 2014

MUKILTEO, Wash. (AP) — Two more mudslides hit Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks near Mukilteo Thursday night, following one Thursday morning.
Spokesman Gus Melonas (mel-OWN'-us) says crews quickly cleared the debris so freight trains can continue to roll. But Amtrak and Sounder passenger trains will have to observe a 48-hour safety moratorium until 10:40 p.m. Saturday.


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#73 rickycourtney

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 04:51 AM

While the 7 or so closures this year is still too many... I think BNSF does deserve a little credit for their work over the last year. Cascades and Sounder trains have been rolling much more frequently this year. 

Most have been on the north portion of the corridor that only has 6 round-trips per day. It's also worth noting that while the closures are inconvenient... it's not like these communities are lacking for transportation. The Sounder trains serve as high-capacity transportation... but there is already a very robust system of Sound Transit Express commuter buses and commuter routes from Community Transit. Amtrak also runs several thruway motor coaches along the same route. It's not the same experience... but at least there is an alternative.



#74 CHamilton

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Posted 08 March 2014 - 08:49 PM

Overnight rains to boost chance of floods, mudslides

 
Another 2 to 4 inches of rain expected in the Cascade Mountains overnight will raise the chance of lowland flooding and mudslides, according to the National Weather Service....

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport had nearly half an inch of rain Saturday by 4 p.m., and could get another inch overnight, according to the weather service’s 3:30 p.m. forecast.  Coastal areas could see 1 to 3 inches of rain overnight.

The weather service issued a “flood watch” for Western Washington rivers, and warns that landslides could occur as saturated slopes give way.

As of 4 p.m. Saturday, the airport had 4.25 inches of rain so far in March, surpassing the normal amount for all of March, 3.72 inches.

 

 


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#75 CHamilton

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 08:39 AM

Mudslide extends moratorium on passenger rail service


 

Freight trains were rolling through Mukilteo Saturday night, but passenger trains won't be allowed until engineers can check the stability of the slopes above the tracks. 

There have been a series of mudslides near the tracks since Thursday. The most recent mudslide, on Saturday afternoon, was five feet deep and twenty feet across. ...

While the tracks between Seattle and Everett have been cleared of mud, rocks and trees, a 48-hour moratorium on passenger service starts every time there is a slide just to make sure the rail line is safe.  The current moratorium won’t end until 4:30 p.m. Monday. 

 

 


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#76 montana mike

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Posted 09 March 2014 - 09:06 AM

The weather forecast for the Pacific NW improves as the week goes on, hopefully allowing things to dry out some!



#77 CHamilton

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 06:19 AM

MUKILTEO -- A new state report outlining the troubles and possible solutions for recurring mudslides on the 26-mile stretch of train tracks between Seattle and Everett suggests increased grants and spending my homeowners could help keep the vital line clear.

The study, completed by the Washington State Department of Transportation, also points out the line operator, Burlington Northern, has spent millions to try and keep land from sliding onto the tracks.

Inside the "Landslide Mitigation Action Plan", the state determined there have been around 900 slides in the area between Seattle and Everett since 1914.

During the fall and winter of 2012-13, BNSF spent more than $4 million to clear the lines of landslide debris, the most ever.

Amtrak, which shares the railroad, had 81 trip 'annulments' from landslides, while Sound Transit's North Sounder Line lost 206 scheduled trips and nearly 30 days of usage.

The report highlights eight 'strategies' to reduce landslides.  In the immediate future, homeowners can take advantage of incentives such as lowered permit fees to stabilize their property.  BNSF plans to continue to monitor the line, and a $16.1 million federal grant is expected to pay for rail protection measures in six different spots.

 

 

WSDOT's Landslide Mitigation Action Plan is available from their website (PDF).


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#78 neroden

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 09:36 AM

I still think the route along the, ahem, "Burke-Gilman Trail" and the inland line north from there should be restored. But I realize that that doesn't currently have a snowball's chance in hell. Instead, money will keep being poured into the hopeless line-on-the-water.
--Nathanael--

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#79 CHamilton

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Posted 10 March 2014 - 07:15 PM

From Sound Transit on Twitter: "All Northline Sounder service between Everett and Seattle is canceled for Monday 3/10/14 and Tuesday 3/11/14 due to another mudslide that occurred on Sunday evening." This will affect the Cascades and Empire Builder between Seattle and Everett.


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#80 CHamilton

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Posted 11 March 2014 - 08:50 PM

Interesting tidbit from the Sound Transit Twitter feed.

Work underway thx to $16 m from feds. 2 of 6 projects done but w/35 cliff miles, long way to go. Sounder still 97% on time.

 


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