VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – A mudslide has come down north of White Rock, leading to a stoppage of Amtrak service between Vancouver and Bellingham until at least Sunday afternoon.
“Due to the heavy saturation from the extensive rainfall over the last month, we had a slide come down … right around noon,” said Gus Melonas with BNSF Railway.
He says a 48-hour suspension of Amtrak service went into effect at noon Friday.
“For at least 48 hours, Amtrak will not run through the corridor between Vancouver, B.C. and Bellingham. That’s due to the slope instability.”
Amtrak Cascades Train 516 is currently returning to Bellingham (BEL) due to a mudslide blocking the tracks ahead. Alternate bus transportation will be provided for passengers between BEL and Vancouver, BC (VAC).
— Amtrak Alerts (@AmtrakAlerts) January 4, 2019
“We brought in track cranes from both the U.S. and Canadian side. They’re working … removing debris. The side is roughly 60 feet wide and 10 feet deep. It did partially cover the main line. Once that debris is removed, we’re going to inspect the track. It appears as if it’ll be okay,” said Melonas.
Just off the phone with BNSF following mudslide on train tracks north of White Rock. Early indications are that track is O-K. Freight trains expected to resume after debris cleared — Amtrak trains won't run along route for at least 48 hours.
— Martin MacMahon (@martinmacmahon) January 4, 2019
Melonas adds geotech experts are on scene, ensuring the slope is stable.
“At this point, it’s looking like the slopes are looking okay. But you never know until it’s time to open up.”
– With files from Martin MacMahon