Mudslide closes train line in Wash. state

Dec. 20, 2012 at 5:53 PM

EVERETT, Wash., Dec. 20 (UPI) -- A mudslide caused a freight train to derail in Washington state and closed commuter rail service outside Seattle, transportation officials said.

Amtrak and Sounder Northline commuter trains between Mukilteo and Everett, Wash., were halted as workers cleared about 6 feet of mud that covered a 30-foot section of track north of Seattle Wednesday afternoon, a train company spokesman said. The track was expected to be closed until Friday.

Another mudslide derailed a 66-car Burlington Northern Santa Fe freight train hauling household and other goods, spilling soap and sanitizer containers Monday night. No injuries were reported, The Seattle Times reported Wednesday.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said mudslides in the area were common -- at least 30 since Thanksgiving alone -- and the company works year-round to secure loose ground surrounding the train line, which runs north 150 miles to Vancouver, British Columbia.

"This year has been a challenge, but we've seen worse years," Melonas said.

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