BNSF track projects, WA State 2014

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redlynx

Member
With what we all hope is a temporary down turn in traffic, wouldn't it be a good time for BNSF to go ahead, finally, and do something about the StampedeTunnel? Seems to me, the major things that need to happen are: a)Enlarge the existing bore to allow forseeable equipment such as double stacks through; b)PTC; c)Fully signal/CTC so none of the Yakima Valley or Stampede subs are dark; d)Double tracking of choke points on Lakeside Sub.
The tunnel itself can be enlarged fairly quickly, although there are structural limitations (concrete cross bracing) in the existing floor that likely make crowning simpler and faster. Ideally though, they'd bore an entirely new tunnel, lower, from roughly Cabin Creek to somewhere near what used to be Weston, but that is going to be initially more expensive and would likely take a year or two. (BNSF likely has those plans -- which have been throughly explored by the NP, somewhere!)
The other thing is that there are two tunnels to enlarge, both the Stampede Tunnel proper, and a much shorter tunnel -- I want to call it Tunnel 4 -- on the west approach loops to Stampede.

The Lakeside Sub is a choke point in that it feeds both the Stampede and Fallbridge Subs and there are a few areas that need to be double tracked in order to handle traffic over Stampede and along the Columbia River.
 




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