Mudslides continue to plague rail traffic north of Seattle

Mudslides continue to shut down train tracks, and halt passenger rail traffic north of Seattle.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says tracks between Seattle and Everett have been shut down for passenger trains 95 percent of the time since Thanksgiving. 

He says there have been 74 slides in that period. The latest was at south Everett Wednesday morning. Another slide Tuesday night covered tracks in British Columbia south of Vancouver.

Crews can usually clear the tracks quickly to allow freight train traffic to resume, but Amtrak and Sound Transit Sounder trains must observe a 48-hour moratorium for safety.

The earliest that Amtrak and Sounder trains could roll north from Seattle would be 8 a.m. Friday. Alternate bus service is in place for the Northlink service and for Amtrak

You can see what a dramatic mudslide along the line looks like in this video, posted on YouTube this past December. (The drama's at about 1 minute 5 seconds in.)

And here's BNSF Spokesman, Gus Melonas, explaining that the disruptions along the line are just the reality of the geography in the area, until they can get more funding to improve conditions near the tracks.