Posted by C.M.St.P.& P. on June 4, 2019 
No objection to train make up if this is what it takes to keep Stampede Pass open. Has there ever been any major reroutes here in recent times including the Empire Builder? What's the daily frequency on this line if there is one? I've always had a fascination for dormant lines being resurrected. Faint hopes for Tennessee Pass linger in the back of my mind when I see this.
Posted by snodgrass on June 4, 2019 
I saw four empty grain trains headed out of Auburn on the Stampede line yesterday. I also saw a loaded coal train that was sitting facing east on the line and a mixed freight headed off the Y toward Seattle. This shot of the Yakima river and the train are gorgeous.
Posted by Steve Carter on June 4, 2019 
I'm told by one who knows better than I, that 2-8 trains a day use this line, all eastbound, almost always empties (grain, oil, coal).
Posted by SES on June 4, 2019 
I no longer live in the area to know for sure what kind of traffic traverses this line, but the Stampede line was reopened because the Cascade Tunnel of Stevens Pass could not accommodate necessary traffic load and properly ventilate between trains. The Columbia Gorge route was also seeing heavy traffic, so management of the newly formed BNSF saw fit to reopen this route. I did hear that BNSF some time around 1999 or 2000 even talked about rebuilding the old Milwaukee Road route from Lind, WA across the Saddle Range and over Snoqualmie Pass. This would eliminate the big jog South to Pasco and North again to Ellensburg, saving several miles. Using Snoqualmie Pass would allow for much easier grades over the Cascade Range than the long, grueling 2.2% grade of Stampede. I can only assume why BNSF chose not to do this: it was either not cost effective to completely rebuild track over the abandoned grade and necessitate replacement of at least one bridge. The other reason could have been that State of Washington had already invested a lot of money in transforming the Snoqualmie portion of the abandoned line to a hiking trail and may have been unwilling to relinquish it; which in actuality would seem to be a violation of the whole rails to trails idea. Another possible reason could have been space issues along the Renton-Maple Valley Hwy where a section of the trackbed was completely eliminated when the highway was widened. It is great to see this line revitalized and in operation. This was the first transcontinental line to the northwest, completed in 1883 or 85.
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