During the #Realign99 closure, making sure we keep people and goods moving safely is our number one priority. During the longest highway closure that the Puget Sound region has ever seen, we’re balancing many different forms of transportation, including people walking, biking, driving, or taking transit…
… And freight!
One of the forms of transportation that doesn’t get quite as much attention day-to-day is freight movement. Moving goods like food, automotive parts, fuel, building materials, and other supplies is important to our everyday lives (even if we usually don’t think much about it!).
BNSF Railway (one of the largest freight railroad networks in North America!) is required to provide service for the transportation of goods. This is regulated by federal safety and transportation laws. However, they are aware of how their trains can impact local traffic, and we have been working with them to plan ahead and prepare.
How are trains moving during the #SeattleSqueeze?
In Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood at the BNSF Stacy Yard, BNSF moves stacked container trains that largely carry clothing, electronics, and other goods that we use on a daily basis. They are a 24/7 business, which means their trains travel at all hours of the day. Their goal is to safely and efficiently move freight and passenger trains across the transportation network, including in Seattle, as quickly as possible. In order to accommodate the #SeattleSqueeze, BNSF will be doing more overnight work, which we hope will help reduce the effect of trains on city traffic.
Fun fact: one stacked train (a train with two cars stacked on top of each other) can remove as many as 280 trucks from the street! That’s a LOT, and while it requires us all to be patient at railroad crossings while trains move through our city, remember that they’re carrying lots and lots of important materials that we use every day. Train traffic is a normal part of our transportation system, and they will continue to do their best to minimize impacts at intersections where railway lines cross roads.
How can we find out more information?
We want to make sure that we provide as much notice as possible when unusual events occur that have a significant interruption to traffic. Regularly, we’ll be talking to BNSF to see if there are any unexpected issues that come up. Look for this information on our social media channels and on our website, www.seattle.gov/traffic.
Additionally, sometimes incidents can happen at any time with no warning at all! If this happens, we’ll work to get the word out as quickly as possible and help to reroute traffic in a timely manner. We want you to reach your next destination without too much delay! Again, please be patient if this occurs, and continue to monitor our Twitter accounts at @SeattleDOT and @SDOTTraffic for the latest traffic updates.
Better yet: we’ve curated a list of tweets from all of our regional transportation partners! Subscribe here to our Regional Traffic Updates list.
Please follow @BNSFRailway for updates.