Mudslide extends moratorium on passenger rail service

by: Chris Legeros Updated:

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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. 

Jae Rocheleau and her husband, Tannon, went to Portland for the weekend. Rocheleau said, “We wanted to take the train all the way into Everett. We were actually excited that we could take it home to Everett, and then we found that there were mudslides and now we couldn’t get there.” The couple didn’t find out until Saturday morning that Seattle would be the end of the line on their return trip.  Rocheleau admitted she was disappointed.  She said, “Definitely, it’s my first time…on a train, so I was really excited.”

Fortunately, Rocheleau’s sister agreed to drive down from Everett to pick up the couple at King Street Station, so they wouldn't have to hop a bus.

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.