Mudslide shuts down rail tracks south of Everett

EVERETT, Wash. (AP) — A mudslide Friday morning covered the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks just south of Everett.

Spokesman Gus Melonas says the tracks have been cleared for freight trains Friday afternoon but Amtrak and Sound Transit passenger trains have to wait 48 hours — until late Sunday morning — to resume. Rail passengers are bused between Seattle and Everett during the safety moratorium.

Melonas says BNSF geotechnical experts are monitoring steep slopes along the tracks for stability.

Recent heavy rains are likely responsible for the mudslide that covered the tracks 5 feet deep. The rail line south of Everett runs along Puget Sound at the base of a bluff and is frequently hit by mudslides.