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Rail News: Passenger Rail

FRA's Szabo, Sound Transit officials kick off Tukwila station project


Federal Railroad Administrator Joseph Szabo joined other federal, state and local officials at a groundbreaking held yesterday for a new Sound Transit station in Tukwila, Wash.

The $46 million project, which received $14.2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation, calls for reconstructing and enhancing a temporary station in Tukwila. The new facility will be a multi-modal transportation hub for Amtrak Cascades, Sound Transit commuter rail, and Sound Transit Express and King County Metro Transit bus services.

"The Tukwila Station project will make connections between car, rail and bus easier and more efficient for thousands of area residents and visitors," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood in a press release issued by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA).

Some of the project's funds will come from the FRA's $814 million investment in the High-Speed and Intercity Passenger Rail Program (HSIPR) that's dedicated to the Pacific Northwest, FRA officials said. The funds will cover upgrades to one of the busiest intercity passenger-rail corridors in the nation, from Vancouver, British Columbia, to Eugene, Ore.

Later in the day, Szabo joined officials from BNSF Railway Co. and the Washington State Department of Transportation to tour portions of the Pacific Northwest corridor that were affected by recent mudslides. The FRA is providing $16.1 million in HSIPR funds to alleviate mudslide problems in the area.

"With congestion already costing Seattle and Portland $2.7 billion annually, it's important that we improve safety, reliability and trip times," Szabo said. "The slope stabilization project set to begin this summer in Washington is fundamental to safety and will enhance reliability for passengers and freight."

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More News from 6/25/2013