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RAIL EMPLOYMENT & NOTICES



Rail News Home Intermodal

2/27/2007



Rail News: Intermodal

BNSF, King County and Port of Seattle to transfer ownership of unused rail line


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Yesterday, BNSF Railway Co., Port of Seattle and King County, Wash., officials signed two memoranda of understanding under which the county will take ownership of an unused freight-rail corridor and transfer ownership of King County International Airport to the port.

King County will own a 40-mile BNSF line that runs along the eastern edge of Lake Washington between North Renton and Snohomish. The port, on behalf of King County, will pay the railroad $103 million for the line and pay King County up to $66 million to redevelop the line’s right of way into a hiking and biking trail in exchange for the airport.

Currently, there is not enough demand along the route to convert the line into a commuter-rail corridor, but that might change in the future, according to a recent Puget Sound Regional Council study. If building a commuter-rail line in the area would become economically viable, King County has agreed to reactivate the line as a transit-rail route.

The parties also agreed to support funding from the state to improve Stampede Pass for double-stack rail cars and identify a site for an intermodal terminal in the Central Puget Sound region.

The King County Council and Seattle Port Commission still have to approve the agreements.


Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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