Continual mudslides prevent passenger rail north of Seattle

SEATTLE - Mud, rocks and trees keep sliding onto the railroad tracks between Seattle and Everett, all but halting passenger service there since Thanksgiving.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas says there were two slides Wednesday night and another one at 8:20 a.m. Thursday near Mukilteo.

Crews have cleared the tracks for freight trains but Amtrak and Sound Transit Sounder trains have to wait 48 hours for safety. Rail passengers are bused in the meantime.

The soonest passenger rail traffic can resume north of Seattle is Saturday morning. Sound Transit's Northline Sounder run won't restart until Monday at the earliest.

Melonas says there have been 77 mudslides in the area and one in British Columbia since Thanksgiving Day, preventing 95 percent of the passenger rail service north of Seattle.