Passenger train service resumes north of Seattle

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SEATTLE - Northline Sounder service between Everett and Seattle is running again after repeated mudslides stopped passenger rail service for the better part of a month.

 

BNSF owns the tracks and will be keeping a close eye on the hillsides as the trains resume.

 

Neighbors who have lost pieces of their yards will also be watching, and will alert the railway if there are any new slides.

 

Phil Henderson, a homeowner in the area, said he walked into his backyard after Christmas and discovered half of it was gone.

 

"We lost about 5 feet in depth by about 35 feet in length," Henderson said.

 

A spokesperson for BNSF railway said there have been 73 mudslides in the area since Thanksgiving.

 

Snohomish County Emergency Management officials said it is the beginning of a slide cycle, so even though passenger train service is back, that could change if any other cliffs give way and the debris hits the tracks.

 

Jay Cook also lives the area at risk for slides but isn't as concerned.

 

"We've done all we could do. If you've done all you can do I think you can rest if something happens it's sort of beyond your control," Cook said.

 

The railway said engineers have also been in touch with homeowners in case any new debris avalanches pop up.

 

If that happens, the rail line would be shut down again for at least 48 hours at a time.

 

"We go out there several times a day and look at the slope and if we saw the slightest change we'd be on the phone to them."