BNSF reopens track hit by mudslide near Pasco

PASCO — Railroad crews have reopened a section of track in the Columbia River Gorge near Pasco that was hit by a mudslide Saturday during a thunderstorm with heavy rain.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman Gus Melonas said the track reopened about 12:30 a.m. Monday after workers removed boulders that landed on top of 300 feet of track. Workers also filled in washouts that took out the roadbed in two places.

Service has resumed, including passenger trains.

The mudslide was picked up by sensors before any trains reached the scene. The track is used by about 35 freight trains a day and two Amtrak trains traveling between Portland and Spokane.

Melonas said the mudslide was extremely rare for that area. Experts are inspecting the slopes to make sure they’re stable.

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