Derailment disrupts travel between Seattle, Portland

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SEATTLE – Travel along the Interstate 5 corridor between Seattle and Portland was expected to be disrupted for a second day following the fatal derailment of Amtrak train No. 501 near Olympia on Monday.

Washington State Department of Transportation officials expected the southbound lane of Interstate 5 to be closed in the area of the wreck until at least Tuesday morning while the National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation into the derailment that sent a locomotive and multiple passenger cars off an overpass and onto the roadway.

“We are working closely with multiple partners, including Washington State Patrol, Sound Transit, Amtrak, Pierce County, JBLM and local emergency responders to assess the situation and render assistance,” a WSDOT spokesperson said Monday. “After emergency response is complete, and the National Transportation Safety Board has released the scene, the train will be removed from the interstate right of way”

WSDOT is encouraging drivers to avoid the area and warning those that do not to expect travel delays throughout the area. The northbound lanes of Interstate 5 remain open.

On Tuesday, train No. 502, the morning run from Portland to Seattle, was canceled but all other Amtrak Cascades runs were expected to run on schedule. Monday’s derailment occurred on the newly completed Point Defiance Bypass that takes Amtrak trains away from Puget Sound and inland toward the Interstate 5 corridor. Amtrak trains are expected to use the Point Defiance route for the foreseeable future as well as the original Tacoma Station located at 1001 Puyallup Ave.

With ground transportation between Portland and Seattle limited, Alaska Airlines announced Monday that it was reducing the price of flights between the two cities through Tuesday.

NEWSWIRETrains News Wire

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