– “Amtrak coming inland in December”
“Just in time for the holidays travel crush, WSDOT is adding two additional round-trip runs daily between Seattle and Portland starting Monday, Dec. 18.
That will also be the inauguration of scheduled Amtrak trains using the Point Defiance by-pass, which will send 12 trains each day along the I-5 freeway through DuPont, Lakewood and South Tacoma up to a new train station under construction at Freighthouse Square,” quoting the Business Examiner.
– From WSDOT on the Inland corridor route
Why is WSDOT upgrading tracks for passenger trains to bypass the Point Defiance area in Tacoma?
Passenger trains, including Amtrak Cascades, currently must slow down due to curves and single-track tunnels on the BNSF Railway main line tracks near Point Defiance and along southern Puget Sound.
This project reroutes passenger trains to an inland route. The bypass is on an existing rail line that runs along the west side of Interstate 5 (I-5), from south Tacoma through Lakewood and DuPont. It reconnects back to the BNSF Railway main line near Nisqually, on the east side of I-5. It also adds a new Amtrak Cascades station in Tacoma’s Freighthouse Square building.
Freight train traffic patterns will not change with most freight trains continuing to use the existing main line near Point Defiance and along southern Puget Sound. The few freight trains that currently use the bypass route will continue to use it during and after the project.”