BNSF Sumas Sub coal empties is a free online Railroad Discussion Forum and Railroad Photo Gallery for railroaders, railfans, model railroaders and anyone else who is interested in railroads. We cover a wide variety of topics, including freight trains, passenger and commuter railroads, rail news and information, tourist railroads, railway museums and railroad history.


New Member
First post here! As some of nw Washington residents have noticed coal empties have been routed over the Sumas sub from Roberts Bank to alleviate traffic on the Bellingham sub for work windows. As a bit of a pessimist about this line I never thought I'd see six axle ac powered hit these jointed rails. It sounds, from third hand info that these empties will be using this line for at least another two months so now is the chance to see a truly rare occurrence. I got a few pics of a sb empty tonight but hopefully will get a chance to get some better photos in the coming weeks.

Bill Anderson

Well-Known Member
Welcome to the forum. There has been discussion about this rerouting on the Northwest Railfan Yahoo Group.

Apparently there are some tight curves on the line which may present a challenge for six axle power. I used to ride my motorcycle on Hwy. 9 between Sedro-Woolley and Sumas. There are some very scenic sections which will be good photo locations if the empty hopper trains run in the afternoon.

If the empties run on Sunday, Bob's Burgers in Sumas has a very good Sunday brunch buffet.
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