Changes coming to Blakeslee Junction

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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
There's a project out for bid that will be removing the diamonds at Blakeslee Junction (Centralia, WA). Get your photos now, they won't be around much longer. The new alignment will have Tacoma Rail run in a sort of "S" curve, using turnouts rather than diamonds.
 

p51

Marty, it runs on steam!
The old MLW main through there has been routed to the PS&P. I was there today and looked around. The old MLW tracks end south of I-5, so I guess that the Chehalis Steam train group is now landlocked? Anyone have a clue if they'll get to retain that track for the steam operation?
 

Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
The steam train doesn't operate north of Chehalis, and hasn't for quite a long time now. They run from the shops/station towards Ruth.

The line is going to be connected to the PSAP on both ends though. We installed the second turnout on Friday, and the connector track will be finished in a couple weeks.
 

p51

Marty, it runs on steam!
Yeah, I know where the Chehalis operation always runs, but I couldn't see exactly what other use that track is going to have now. Good to know it's connected elsewhere to the PS&P, though!
 

Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
Exactly what they'll use it for is a mystery to me. I guess it gives TR access to the BNSF at Chehalis without having to use PSAP trackage rights.

The connection isn't "elsewhere", it's right there at Blakeslee. Instead of the diamonds, it now makes a big "S" shape, with two switches in the middle of the S connecting it to/from the PSAP on either side of I-5.
 

Macster

Only known as Mac
Exactly what they'll use it for is a mystery to me. I guess it gives TR access to the BNSF at Chehalis without having to use PSAP trackage rights.

The connection isn't "elsewhere", it's right there at Blakeslee. Instead of the diamonds, it now makes a big "S" shape, with two switches in the middle of the S connecting it to/from the PSAP on either side of I-5.
That is one phase of the project (to allow TR access to the BNSF to the south end). That way TR can remove/add cars to that area without having to use a third party (Chehalis steam train) to assist with switching.

The next phase will be the realignment of Centralia Center on the BNSF that will ease the curve at the wye for slightly higher speeds. There is another project out for bit I believe for another track/loop at the terminal in Hoqualim.

Here is the project summary on WSDOT - http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/projects/rail/chehalistoblakeslee/
 




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