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BNSF’s Seattle Subdivision is one of the busiest rail lines in the Pacific Northwest. BNSF and Union Pacific polish the rails with a great variety of unit trains plus intermodal, mixed merchandise, and many locals.In addition to freight traffic, the busy subdivision hosts ten Amtrak trains: four Cascades each direction, plus the north and southbound Coast Starlight. Between Tacoma and Seattle, Sounder commuter trains are also added to the mix. See this beautiful line between Vancouver, Washington and Seattle’s King Street Station.
The rails provide access to the busy ports of Kalama, Longview, Tacoma, and Seattle. Watch trains tackle the Napavine Grade to Chehalis. The scenic highlight of the route is the section of track along the Puget Sound between Steilacoom and the Nelson Bennett Tunnel at Tacoma. Amtrak trains are covered here prior to being permanently rerouted over the Point Defiance Bypass.
UPDATE: After the tragic accident of Amtrak 501 on December 18th, the line around Point Defiance will continue to be used by Amtrak through the spring of 2018.
Shot in the summer and fall of 2017, see why BNSF’s Seattle Subdivision is truly a railfan’s paradise!
2 Hours 13 Minutes
Amtrak 507 crosses the Kalama River on a warm summer afternoon.
UP 8993 north exits the Ostrander Tunnel near Kelso.
BNSF 5711 leads a coal train over the Lewis River near Woodland.
A BNSF grain shuttle enters Steilacoom along the Puget Sound.
A UP “Seagull” crosses the unique Chambers Bay Bridge near Tacoma.
The Coast Starlight has a great view of the Puget Sound at Steilacoom.
Amtrak 14 from Los Angeles arrives at Seattle’s King Street Station.
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