Posts Tagged ‘Tacoma Washington’

Test Trains Run on Point Defiance Route

January 25, 2021

Amtrak earlier this month operated test trains over the Point Defiance Bypass in Washington State.

It was the first Amtrak operation on the route since a December 2017 derailment of a Cascade Service train on the first day of service of the route left three dead and more than 70 injured.

The Point Defiance route between Tacoma and Nisqually Junction is designed to be a passenger-only line and divert Amtrak and commuter trains from a BNSF route closer to the Pacific coast.

The test trains on the 14-mile Point Defiance route were intended for familiarization and certification of train crews.

Amtrak has not set a date for when revenue service would resume on the route.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigation into the Cascades derailment concluded that the train was speeding on a curve.

Woman Awarded $4.5M in Cascades Lawsuit

November 14, 2019

A jury has awarded a woman injured in the December 2017 of an Amtrak Cascades train $4.5 million in damages.

The award was made in a Federal District Court in Tacoma, Washington, to Madeline Garza.

She was a passenger aboard the southbound train No. 501 when it derailed on a curve in DuPont, Washington.

A news release issued by Garza’s attorney said she was found lying on her back on the ceiling of an overturned passenger car.

The news release said Garza, who was 18 at the time of the crash, suffered a major injury to her pelvis and lower spine, as well as three fractured ribs and a lacerated liver.

Her case was the second to go to trial stemming from the derailment.

Three other plaintiffs who sued Amtrak were in September awarded nearly $17 million combined for pain and suffering.

The derailment had sent part of the train tumbling off a bridge onto Interstate 5. Three passengers were killed and more than 60 others injured.

A National Transportation Safety Board Investigation determined that the train was going faster than the posted speed limited for the curve when the derailment occurred.

The train was making the first revenue run on the Point Defiance Bypass at the time.

Amtrak immediately returned its Cascades Service trains to the previous route and has yet to resume using the Point Defiance route.

Pacific Northwest Schedules Modified

January 2, 2018

Amtrak has modified schedules in the Pacific Northwest until further notice.

In service advisory Amtrak said that daily Cascades round-trips are being provided between Seattle and Portland, Oregon. Two additional roundtrips that had been scheduled to go into service on Dec. 18, 2017, have been canceled indefinitely due to lack of equipment.

One Talgo trainset was sidelined after a Dec. 18 derailment while another set has been out of service since a derailment last July.

Cascades service between Portland and Eugene and Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia are unchanged from the schedule that went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017. In addition to these schedules, the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Startlight will continue to operate to all scheduled stations.

Amtrak continues to use its station at 1001 Puyallup Avenue for all trains.

New Tacoma Station to Open Dec. 18

November 30, 2017

The new Tacoma Dome Station in Tacoma, Washington, will open on Dec. 18, the same day that additional Cascades Service begins.

Amtrak is adding two more daily roundtrips between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, thereby increasing the level of service between the two cities to six roundtrips a day.

The new service will coincide with a route change whereby Amtrak trains begin using the inland bypass between Tacoma and Olympia.

The Tacoma Dome Station is located in Freighthouse Square at 422 East 25th Street, about a half-mile west of the existing station on Puyallup Avenue.

Trains will stop at Puyallup Avenue station for the final time on Dec. 17

Passengers leaving motor vehicles at the Puyallup Avenue station on or before Dec. 17 and who return on or after Dec. 18 will be provided a courtesy shuttle to retrieve their vehicle during the first week after the move.

Effective Dec. 26, passengers will need to make their own arrangements to travel from the new station to the Puyallup Avenue station to retrieve their vehicle.

Amtrak said in a service advisory that once the station change occurs there will be no security at the old station parking lot.

All vehicles must be moved from the Puyallup Avenue station by Dec. 30, 2017,  or be subject to being towed at the owner’s expense.

A limited number of free short-term parking spaces are available across the street from the station at the Pierce Transit parking garage.

Passengers needing overnight parking are being directed to a pay lot at the corner of D Street and East 25th Street.

To reserve a space, visit www.calltopark.com for more information on other nearby parking options.

Amtrak passenger/guest parking is not permitted in the short-term parking stalls in front of Freighthouse Square Marketplace.

After Amtrak begins serving the Tacoma Dome station, Northwestern Trailways buses will not directly serve the new Amtrak station.

Passengers will instead board and disembark from buses at the Tacoma Greyhound station, located at 510 Puyallup Avenue, one block from the new Tacoma Dome Amtrak station.

Changes Coming to I-5 Rail Corridor

November 10, 2017

Amtrak will begin using a new station in Tacoma, Washington, that is located in a former Milwaukee Road freight house.

It is one of many changes in the Interstate 5 corridor between Seattle and Portland, Oregon, including the $181.2 million dollar Point Defiance Bypass Route south of Tacoma.

The latter includes 14.5 miles of upgraded tracks between Tacoma and Nisqually, Washington, where the bypass will rejoin the mainline to Portland.

A portion of the upgraded route has its original alignment on former Northern Pacific rails south of the Tacoma Amtrak depot where the tracks climb a 2.85-percent grade to South Tacoma.

Passenger trains are being moved away from the more scenic route along Puget Sound due to freight congestion, tight curvature and a single-track tunnel under Point Defiance. The track was also subject to mudslides.

The new route is also expected to be 10 minutes faster or Amtrak.

Once an additional daily Cascades round-trip in the morning and the evening between Seattle and Portland is launched, Amtrak will have 14 trains in the corridor, including the Seattle-Los Angeles Coast Starlight.

There will be 16 Sounder commuter trains north of Lakewood, Washington, is 16 daily trains which will result in 30 daily passenger trains on the new single track line. The new route is slated to reduce Amtrak passenger times by 10 minutes.