Video of Mudslide Derailing Train Monday

A dramatic video of yet another mudslide near Everett - and what will be coming down on coal trains. Amtrak service to Bellingham is shut down.

A dramatic video of yet another mudslide near Everett - and what will be coming down on coal trains. Amtrak service to Bellingham is shut down.

The mother of a local fellow lives in Buffalo, New York, and saw this video on her local TV news of a mudslide and train wreck that happened Monday near Everett.  Nothing in our Bellingham Herald.   Did you know of it?   It did appear on KOMO - and that is where the Buffalo station got it.  

Update - 12:28 p.m. - Correction. The Bellingham Herald did carry the story.  Searching Tuesday's paper again showed a very small article on page 9 but no photo.  Was missing from their Whatcom and Northwest news section on page 2 - where it belonged.  We call that buried.

As you watch the video, think what it would look like if that were an Amtrak train loaded with passengers.

WIVB 4 of Buffalo, New York has the video.  

And to see how it played on KOMO, click here.  But it took some pounding on the KOMO site to find this as it is now buried.  

Update - 2:30 p.m. - Youtube has a more complete video.  Thanks to Bob A. for the link.  Interesting to see the preliminary slides that alerted John Hill to start taking a video.

So, how much intimidating influence does Goldman Sachs and SSA and Burlington Northern Santa Fe have with local media?   Just askin'.  The Herald just probably thought this news was of no interest to citizens in Whatcom County.  Yeah.

This slide happened at 1:30 p.m. Monday. BNSF crews cleaned it up overnight.  Freights and coal trains were able to use the tracks yesterday, Tuesday.  After the 48 hours since cleanup is finished, Amtrak will be allowed to use the tracks again.  That should be Thursday.  

There is a $500 million Federal Fund set aside to make rail improvements that include this section of track and also other switching yards and additional rails as needed for the coal port.  All this courtesy of Senator Patty Murray.  Of course her office says only that a previous fund was updated.  Yes, quietly.  The point is - this mudslide area has not been fixed because it runs for miles along the railroad tracks near Everett.  Too expensive - but will not be too expensive if the coal port is built.  A sad comment on Senator Murray's misplaced priorities.  

About John Servais

Citizen Journalist and Editor • Fairhaven, Washington USA • Member since Feb 26, 2008

John started Northwest Citizen in 1995 to inform fellow citizens of serious local political issues that the Bellingham Herald was ignoring. With the help of donors from the beginning, he has [...]

Comments by Readers

Larry Horowitz

Dec 19, 2012

Holy Schmoly!


Anne-Marie Faiola

Dec 19, 2012

Terrifying; thank you for posting. I had missed that news elsewhere.


John Erickson

Dec 20, 2012

Another mudslide yesterday in Mukilteo also under reported by our local news media. As my daughter says"It’s like monopoly when you own all of the railroads you own the game.” Please stay aware.


John Servais

Dec 20, 2012

Thanks, John.  That sent me searching - and the Seattle Times has an article.  The mudslide occurred yesterday, Wednesday, afternoon and closed the tracks before Amtrak had a chance to restart.  No Amtrak all week to Bellingham.

Most interesting is the article notes BNSF said at least 30 mudslides have reached the tracks between Seattle and Everett since Thanksgiving.  Nothing in the Herald this morning, but then there is no page 9.

To my thinking, these mudslides are a primary reason that the forces behind the coal terminal will build - are planning now and not telling us - a connector track between Lynden and Custer.  This will allow coal trains to use Canadian tracks from Montana to Sumas and then over to Cherry Point.  Our north county friends - who tend to be so for this coal terminal - will feel very betrayed.  But that is a primary route to Cherry Point.  The coal terminal cannot function with train delivery interruptions.  They need 2nd and 3rd routes in from Wyoming.  Once the terminal is built then the damage to our county begins.  We need to ask smarter questions.  Patty Murray either knows the answers or can get the answers.  But she has worked quietly in the background to fix the approval of this terminal.

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