Submitted by the City of Lakewood.
The state Department of Transportation’s Rail division sent the following update Thursday, Aug. 16: In spring 2019, Amtrak anticipates returning Cascades passenger train service to the Point Defiance Bypass between Tacoma, Lakewood, JBLM and DuPont. This schedule allows time for the National Transportation Safety Board to complete its investigation and issue its recommendations related to the 2017 derailment in DuPont.
It also provides time to monitor how Positive Train Control (PTC) is working on the current Amtrak Cascades route, before returning the service to the bypass. Amtrak, Sound Transit, and BNSF are all working together to ensure PTC is operating seamlessly in the entire Pacific Northwest and they are confident they will meet the December 31, 2018 federal deadline for implementation in our region. PTC equipment testing and crew training will occur on the Point Defiance Bypass throughout the fall and winter in preparation for the return of daily service next spring.