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12/19/2003



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Sound Transit purchases, leases track from BNSF to extend commuter-rail service




On Dec. 17, Sound Transit reached an agreement with Burlington Northern Santa Fe to extend Sounder commuter-rail.

The agreement will enable the agency to offer service between Everett and Seattle beginning Dec. 22. The service initially will include one round trip each weekday, which will be free through Jan. 2 to promote ridership. Sound Transit eventually plans to operate four round trips a day. The second train is scheduled to begin service in fourth-quarter 2005; the third and fourth trains, in fourth-quarter 2007. Sound Transit will pay BNSF $258 million during the next four years to operate the trains.

Sound Transit also purchased 21 track miles from BNSF for $32 million. The track will enable the agency to extend service between Lakewood and Tacoma. Service is scheduled to begin in late 2007, after Sound Transit has updated track and signals.





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