Coal trains + mudslides = blocked waterfront
A headline in today's Seattle Times that should give us pause: "Mudslide shuts down Amtrak and Sounder service between Everett and Seattle."
It's a rough stretch of track to keep open, and with our weather, mudslides seem to be a fairly regular occurrence, sometimes shutting down the tracks for up to two days.
Friends of mine from BC who wanted to visit in Edmonds and then catch the train down to Portland found rail service cut off a week or two ago; so we had a Keystone Cops dash to Seattle to pick the train up there, but it was by the skin of our teeth that we made it.
How many times has this happened so far this winter? In a wetter, normal winter we could expect even more frequent shutdowns.
Imagine a two-day (or even a two-hour) shutdown with the projected 16 mile-long coal trains!
I imagine the railroad would do everything possible not to park trains waiting for a clear track between Edmonds and the waterfront, but equally, it could happen.
Can the railroad guarantee it won't happen? Do we have any plans for dealing with it, if it does?