What you need to know about freight heading to California
The Federal Transit Administration says a major freight corridor in the Pacific Northwest is set to open to passenger rail this spring.
The agency says the Tacoma and Lynnwood lines, both operated by freight rail operator Northwest, will open to freight in 2019.
The line between Seattle and Tacoma is slated to be completed by 2020.
The Northwest line will operate via two terminals, which will be equipped with automated train control systems and will provide a central hub for freight and other operations.
The first of these terminals, on the Tacoma route, is expected to open by 2021.
The Lynnwood line will be operated by another freight rail company, Transcontinental, and will open by 2022.
The project is a direct response to the rapid growth of the freight industry in the U.S., said John Deere, vice president of Northwest freight rail.
Deere said the Tacoma project is expected be a success, and he expects the Lynnwood project will be similar.
“We are very pleased to be able to provide this new, more convenient and more cost-effective service to our customers,” Deere said.
Transcontinental, which operates more than 1,400 freight rail trains and is part of Northwest, said it expects the project will have a positive impact on its business.
“The expanded Pacific Northwest freight corridor will help create a more efficient, reliable and profitable rail system, especially for Northwest,” said Transcontinental President and CEO Jim Johnson.
“Our partnership with the FTA will benefit the entire Puget Sound region, both for the benefit of our customers and for the long-term benefit of the industry.”
The agency said it has awarded the federal contract to Transcontinental to construct and operate the terminal and terminals on the Everett and Tacoma lines.
The contract covers all construction costs, including the cost of materials, materials, equipment, freight and freight and terminal equipment, transportation of cargo and personnel, security, fire and police protection and the costs of related personnel.