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12/22/2009



Rail News: Rail Industry Trends

Seattle port acquires BNSF corridor


After nearly two years of negotiations, the Port of Seattle has acquired the Eastside Rail Corridor from BNSF Railway Co. Yesterday, the port announced it paid about $81 million for the northern section of the 42-mile corridor between Woodinville and Snohomish, Wash.

Freight service will be maintained on the line through an agreement between the port and a third-party rail operator.

BNSF previously donated the corridor’s southern portion between Woodinville and Renton, and a spur through the city of Redmond. King County and Sound Transit will acquire rights to that portion, which will be preserved for transportation and recreation uses under a federal rail banking program. King County plans to develop a regional trail along portions of the corridor, and Sound Transit plans to use a section for the East Link light-rail line and retain easements for future transit service.

The port, county, city of Redmond, Sound Transit, Puget Sound Energy and Cascade Water Alliance will partner to acquire an interest in the corridor. Negotiations determining each partner’s investment in the property will begin in the coming months.


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