Export coal trains in WA state?

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Bob

Forum Host
Staff member
I've got a friend who's looking to shoot some video of the export coal trains in the Seattle area.

He's wondering about the routes and also the schedule.

The route would seem to be obvious, the BNSF mainline from Portland to Seattle and Vancouver, right? Do they run much traffic over Stevens Pass?

Also, what about schedule? He's hoping to catch one on the move. I know it's common to see them in Auburn yard, but they're parked, which isn't what he's after. Are they predictable at all?
 

RailroadJeep

The Herder Himself
Not really, the planning between Auburn and Canada rest's soley on them getting a slot for Robert's Bank, and then finding a slot in the spacing to run it North of Everett. I've been noticing them running them during the Sounder window lately, which is a little bit of surprise.

The empties normally run back via Steven's.

I wish I could give you a ballpark like how the VBT/VBC traffic runs, but alas, the coal traffic is unpredictable.
 

Ballard Beaver

ballard beaver
I wish I could give you a ballpark like how the VBT/VBC traffic runs, but alas, the coal traffic is unpredictable.
what is the VBT/VBC pattern?

the coal loads come out of auburn pretty reliably around 10am-noon and get up to everett 2-3 hours later. theres another that leaves auburn pretty reliably 630pm-10pm-ish, so thats a potential day time shot.

once they get to everett they can either crew change quickly or sit for several hours.

if i really wanted a pic of one of these loaded trains i would go to the area in seattle near the stadiums/king street station at 11am and be prepared to wait an hour or two, id bet money youd get a picture of one.
 

martin burwash

New Member
15:30 - 17:30 at Conway/Mt. Vernon you can just about bet you'll see an northbound load. More often than not a southbound mt goes by around 06:30 - 08:30. At least on week days.

Martin Burwash
 

auburnrails

New Member
They have seemed to frequently leave Auburn late morning as mentioned previously. Today I saw one riding the wye, not sure why they were turning it.

-Dave
 

RailroadJeep

The Herder Himself
They have seemed to frequently leave Auburn late morning as mentioned previously. Today I saw one riding the wye, not sure why they were turning it.

-Dave
Wying it, or throwing out bad orders? Typically, they use the Stampede Wye/Stampede sub for headroom to kick bad orders out, as opposed to the mainline and tying up crossings in Auburn.

I didn't realize there was a schedule to these things... Everytime I hear about coal trains, it's something about holding it for a slot at RBE. The timing out of Auburn makes sense though, the K crews that take them to Everett are "regular" jobs, so it's probably take a stack from the muni or coal train from Auburn.
 




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