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Western Railroad Discussion > Seattle Sub third main


Date: 05/19/16 17:10
Seattle Sub third main
Author: Auburn_Ed

If there were any doubts earlier that a third main would be constructed on the BNSF Seattle Sub, they can be dismissed now.  In several locations from Black River/Tukwila to Tacoma, the excavators are at work digging the sub-roadbed, removing switches, and marking the landscape with paint.  Suits in rental cars have been spotted recently surveying the project.  Does anyone here know the schedule for this construction?  What about new bridges?

Ed



Date: 05/19/16 20:23
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: Coalca

Between this and the Lakewood - Nisqually line upgrade, there's a lot of projects going into help Amtrak and sounder keep schedule. Not complaining!



Date: 05/19/16 21:18
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: railstiesballast

Capital Investment in infrastructure, generally a good thing.
Done by people with hopes and plans for the future.
Discouraged by quarter-by-quarter financial management of corporate owners and "No taxes" elected officials.
Does it work?
My unofficial observation is that once the main line yard by-pass tracks and the port access underpass track were completed I have stopped seeing trains backed up trying to get into or through Vancouver WA.  Has to be a lot of money for equipment costs and crew starts that were being spent a year ago that are going towards profits now.



Date: 05/20/16 05:30
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: TAW

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Capital Investment in infrastructure, generally a
> good thing.
> Done by people with hopes and plans for the
> future.
> Discouraged by quarter-by-quarter financial
> management of corporate owners and "No taxes"
> elected officials.
> Does it work?

Most of it is paid for by taxes, so "no taxes" doesn't work.

> My unofficial observation is that once the main
> line yard by-pass tracks

...and the third main - passenger projects


> and the port access
> underpass track

Port of Vancouver project

> were completed I have stopped
> seeing trains backed up trying to get into or
> through Vancouver WA.  Has to be a lot of money
> for equipment costs and crew starts that were
> being spent a year ago that are going towards
> profits now.

...which nobody will admit to when passenger projects are being proposed - anywhere.

TAW



Date: 05/20/16 12:58
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: up833

Its pretty hard to find No Taxes officials in Western WA.
Roger Beckett



Date: 05/20/16 15:26
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: railstiesballast

These projects are indeed a cooperative public/private investment.
I am trying to make the point that using tax money for infrastructure investment that is used by the local, state, and national economy is a good thing.
So I pay my taxes and am glad to see some of it being spent on the future.
A civilized society and a built infrastructure cost money, the only thing worse is to not invest in the future.
Perhaps the ultimate "no tax" places can teach us something to value in our world.
Examples furnished upon request.
I am looking forward to riding on and driving along this project.



Date: 05/20/16 15:35
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: lamta_jay

FYI

The east side Sounder Platform at Tukwila will be taken out of Service starting
June 6th to put in the new track #2 through the station platform. This was a
temp platform anyway. Said this should take no more than 2 weeks.

I have to work the platform at Tukwila on May 26-27th and will document
the progress. I will be working the PM Sounder Rush.

Jay
​Sounder roaming Station Agent south end




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/20/16 15:54 by lamta_jay.



Date: 05/20/16 16:19
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: NWRailfan

But like in western washington fashion one town is being a PITA and making a great project kinda only ok in my eyes. Kent, WA refuses to BNSF the permits to run the third main through town. So we have the Tukwilla-Orillia project running down to Auburn North and going to go back down to the exsisting two mains through town on high speed switches and then just south of Rainer three main tracks will resume for a distance south of Auburn Yard. This efectively makes Kent a gauntlet and will a be a PITA for running freight trains via Sounder and Amtrak rushes. You could have three mains from Stadium in downtown Seattle all the way south of Auburn if Kent would play along. Stupid!   



Date: 05/21/16 09:41
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: lamta_jay

I was told that at one time there was a siding between the two main tracks in Kent.
Since the was a Glue Factory where the Kent Station Mall is now. I think I was told
Borden Glue was a maker of Glue products.

I lived in Kent from 2002-2010 then bought a house in Sumner. My wife rode Sounder
until we moved and I made friends with the local historians in the area.

Check out the distance between track 1 and track 2 in Kent

​Jay



Date: 05/21/16 10:48
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: MP555

NWRailfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> So we
> have the Tukwilla-Orillia project running down to
> Auburn North and going to go back down to the
> exsisting two mains through town on high speed
> switches and then just south of Rainer three main
> tracks will resume for a distance south of Auburn
> Yard. This efectively makes Kent a gauntlet and
> will a be a PITA for running freight trains via
> Sounder and Amtrak rushes.

Going south, new construction will connect Main 3 at Black River to the Glacier Park siding.  The Glacier Park siding and Kent Industrial Lead will become Main 3.  That switches back into Main 2 at James in Kent.  It will be 2 MT down to a new control point called Thomas that will be just south of the Green River bridge.  From there, a new Main 1 will be built down through the Auburn station.



Date: 05/21/16 12:29
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: sums007

MP555 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NWRailfan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > So we
> > have the Tukwilla-Orillia project running down
> to
> > Auburn North and going to go back down to the
> > exsisting two mains through town on high speed
> > switches and then just south of Rainer three
> main
> > tracks will resume for a distance south of
> Auburn
> > Yard. This efectively makes Kent a gauntlet and
> > will a be a PITA for running freight trains via
> > Sounder and Amtrak rushes.
>
> Going south, new construction will connect Main 3
> at Black River to the Glacier Park siding.  The
> Glacier Park siding and Kent Industrial Lead will
> become Main 3.  That switches back into Main 2 at
> James in Kent.  It will be 2 MT down to a new
> control point called Thomas that will be just
> south of the Green River bridge.  From there, a
> new Main 1 will be built down through the Auburn
> station.

Thanks.  That's a good description of what's happening.  Will the new Main 1, then, run all the way to TR Jct?



Date: 05/21/16 12:41
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: TAW

MP555 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> NWRailfan Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > So we
> > have the Tukwilla-Orillia project running down
> to
> > Auburn North and going to go back down to the
> > exsisting two mains through town on high speed
> > switches and then just south of Rainer three
> main
> > tracks will resume for a distance south of
> Auburn
> > Yard. This efectively makes Kent a gauntlet and
> > will a be a PITA for running freight trains via
> > Sounder and Amtrak rushes.
>
> Going south, new construction will connect Main 3
> at Black River to the Glacier Park siding.  The
> Glacier Park siding and Kent Industrial Lead will
> become Main 3.  That switches back into Main 2 at
> James in Kent.  It will be 2 MT down to a new
> control point called Thomas that will be just
> south of the Green River bridge.  From there, a
> new Main 1 will be built down through the Auburn
> station.

The south end of the third track will be at Ellingson, just north of the White River bridge.

TAW



Date: 05/21/16 12:55
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: TAW

railstiesballast Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> These projects are indeed a cooperative
> public/private investment.

The Vancouver port connection may be, but I don't think so. The Vancouver bypass and third main, the Kalama third main, the Longview Jct - Kelso third main, the Kent - Tukwila third main, and the Thomas - Auburn - Ellingson third main are 100% public projects.

> I am trying to make the point that using tax money
> for infrastructure investment that is used by the
> local, state, and national economy is a good
> thing.

I spent about 20 years singing that song to the railroads and to the public. However, as Ringo said: It don't come easy.

> So I pay my taxes and am glad to see some of it
> being spent on the future.

Me too (I get tax money for making the investment happen, but I would be in favor even were I not).

> A civilized society and a built infrastructure
> cost money, the only thing worse is to not invest
> in the future.

As a society, we've been there, done that, and got the badge.

> I am looking forward to riding on and driving
> along this project.

I am too. The past 25 years have been frustrating, aggravating, exhausting, and fun between episodes of all that. It's nice to see my 25 year old sketches, drawings, and correspondence being drawn now in dirt, concrete, and steel.

However, when these projects are complete, the entire program will be nowhere near complete. There is a lot to do yet.

TAW



Date: 05/21/16 13:24
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: TAW

NWRailfan Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> But like in western washington fashion one town is
> being a PITA and making a great project kinda only
> ok in my eyes. Kent, WA refuses to BNSF the
> permits to run the third main through town.

The map I have shows that BNSF does not own property between Meeker and Gowe Streets. I don't have any other records, but there is probably some sort of right of way or easement for city property through there. That gives the city a lot of leverage. That's probably how they get away with a public park, an alley, and parking extending right up to the ballast section. At one time, there was some funding available for at least one grade separation in Kent, and maybe two (I think they were Willis and James, or maybe Smith). The funding was intended to eliminate grade crossings. Kent said, sure, you can separate those, but no, we're not closing Meeker, Gowe, or Titus, let alone all three.

> So we
> have the Tukwilla-Orillia project running down to
> Auburn North and going to go back down to the
> exsisting two mains through town on high speed
> switches and then just south of Rainer three main
> tracks will resume for a distance south of Auburn
> Yard. This efectively makes Kent a gauntlet and
> will a be a PITA for running freight trains via
> Sounder and Amtrak rushes.

Not necessarily. This arrangement is basically mine from 25 years ago. At the time, I planned for 30 minute minimum Sounder headway for this arrangement. Now there are some 20-ish minute headways, so it is a little more difficult, but a 50 mph freight train only needs to stay ahead of a Sounder that is stopping at the end of, and in the double track segment.

I know, things are different now and all that, but back when the line was double track ABS, I would regularly run the SLA (BN - SP Seattle - Eugene run through) out of Argo (the last possible place to put Amtrak 795 by before Tacoma) ahead of 795, figuring on 795 catching up to SLA at Reservation, finally seeing an approach on the approach signal to Reservation, on 30 mph track. It can be done.

> You could have three
> mains from Stadium in downtown Seattle all the way
> south of Auburn if Kent would play along. Stupid!

Not necessarily. Thee is only so much money, and it is hard to get. That money must be used to provide for the maximum possible number of trains on the minimum amount of track. It's a fact of life. This isn't highway construction, it's robbing from highway construction, which is a particularly heinous offence.

To me, the stupid part is that it took 25 years to get this much.

TAW



Date: 05/21/16 14:15
Re: Seattle Sub third main
Author: TAW

lamta_jay Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> I was told that at one time there was a siding
> between the two main tracks in Kent.

There was a center siding, about 3400 feet long, north of Meeker Street. It was there in the 1952 track chart. By 1970, it was reduced to a long trailing point crossover just north of James Street. It was erased by the Sounder construction that put in CTC befoire the service started.

TAW



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