LACEY, Wash. — Lakewood city leaders and South Sound residents and media warned that the Point Defiance Bypass route where an Amtrak Cascades passenger train derailed near Lacey Monday, injuring dozens and killing three others on the first run of the new route, could lead to fatal accidents and traffic disruptions.
KIRO 7 has live on-air coverage of the train derailment now on TV and online. Watch live
More on derailment from KIRO 7
- LIVE UPDATES: At least 70 sent to hospital, 3 dead after train derails on I-5
- PHOTOS: Train details onto I-5 near Lacey in Washington
- What to know: Q&A after train derails over I-5, killing 3
- New era of rail service rolling into Tacoma Dome Station begins
- LIVE VIDEO: Train derails onto I-5
- Bloodworks Northwest in desperate need of blood donors after train derails onto I-5
In 2013, a post by the News Tribune’s editorial board questioned whether the new line, which shaved about 10 minutes off the Seattle to Portland route, was worth the threat to public safety.
The new high-speed route takes the trains inland, running parallel to I-5 through Tacoma, Lakewood, Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Dupont, separating passenger trains from freight trains that continue to use a waterfront route. See a map of the route here.
It is also the same route that Sound Transit uses for its Sounder commuter train, but that is not a high-speed train.
The News Tribune was not alone in its fear of what could happen.
The city of Lakewood had even sued Amtrak to stop the rerouting, and Lakewood Mayor Don Anderson and some residents in the area had long voiced their concerns about the danger.
At a city meeting on Dec. 5, Anderson said he believed the trains were too close to traffic and pedestrians.
© 2020 Cox Media Group