BNSF is now confirming it will build a second line of tracks in Edmonds, Wash., in 2023.
However, details still have not been provided to the likes of Amtrak and Sound Transit.
Both have known about the project for years, but so far the Class 1 railroad has been holding specs close to the vest. The second track will be placed along an existing 2-mile single track that begins north of Point Wells and stops at Edmonds Street. There it will be connected to a two-track segment already in place. Currently there are only two single-track routes between Seattle and Everett, Wash.
BNSF said the project would improve efficiency of operations for Sound Transit, Amtrak and freight service.
A second track has been badly needed for Amtrak service. In its annual report, Amtrak gave BNSF an F grade for the Amtrak Cascades route, which includes the single track through Edmonds. Only 67 percent of the trains arrive within 15 minutes of schedule.
Federal law gives Amtrak the right-of-way over freight trains on any line, but the law is mostly ignored in favor of trains carrying product.
Back in 2003, BNSF signed an agreement with Sound Transit, which obligates the Class 1 to commit to parameters with the goal of providing on-time reliable service for commuters.