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UPDATED: BNSF tracks closed to Amtrak for 48 hours due to slide near Vancouver, Wash.

Post by Mike Archbold on March 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
March 1, 2011 1:42 pm

UPDATED: Amtrak trains are under a 48-hour moratorium  to insure the slope than slide onto  the main line is stable, BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said.

The slide this morning covered about 25 feet of the tracks closest to the hillside to a depth of about two feet, he said. That material will be cleared and freight trains will be allowed to run on it by 3:30 p.m.

The other set of tracks was not hit   by the slide as much and is now open to freight trains only.

He said the slide was caused by super saturation of the 65-foot high hill side by recent weather.

POSTED EARLIER: A major land slide two miles north of Vancouver, Wash., has closed the Burlington Northern Sante Fe lines between Portland and Seattle, according to BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas.

Details about the slide were not immediately available but Melonas said it could shut down Amtrak  trains between Portland and Seattle for up to 48 hours.

The slide marks the second major interruption on the West Coast line in the past three days. Last Saturday night, a train derailment  below Chamber Bay Golf Course in University Place just south of Tacoma closed the  BNSF mainline for more than 14 hours.

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