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Trains resume rolling through Sumas after rail lines were damaged during mid-November flood disaster

Flood damaged rail lines and rail cars in Sumas area (November 2021). Photo courtesy of Western Refinery Services

SUMAS, Wash. — Ferndale-based Western Refinery Services (WRS) recently issued a press release marking completion of repairs to the flood damaged international rail lines through the Sumas area.

The damaged rail lines stretched from W Garfield Street, south through a crossing at West 3rd Street and past the Johnson Creek rail bridge.

Approximate location of rail line damage

“The flood washed out the bridge over Johnson Creek, damaging 1,225 feet of the main line and spur lines totaling 4,650 feet of track were affected,” according to Bill VanZanten, COO of WRS, as quoted in the press release. “It was a complex project that needed to be done quickly because the damage stopped cross-border rail traffic there, making trains use other routes that took longer and added congestion.”

Repairs begin on flood damaged rail lines and rail cars in Sumas area (November 2021). Photo courtesy of Western Refinery Services
Repairs begin on flood damaged rail lines and rail cars in Sumas area (November 2021). Photo courtesy of Western Refinery Services

Work began on November 28, 2021, when flood water began receding and included working with Jammie’s Environmental to right 15 tipped-over rail cars averaging 200,000 pounds apiece. WRS also hauled in more than 10,000 tons of rock to rebuild the line’s subgrade and finish grade in order for BNSF to install new rail according to the press release.

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Repairs underway to rail lines in Sumas area following mid-November flood disaster (date unknown). Photo courtesy of Western Refinery Services
Repairs underway to rail lines in Sumas area following mid-November flood disaster (date unknown). Photo courtesy of Western Refinery Services

Work was completed February 28th.

View of repaired rail lines in Sumas area following mid-November flood disaster (date unknown). Photo courtesy of Western Refinery Services
View of repaired rail lines in Sumas area following mid-November flood disaster (date unknown). Photo courtesy of Western Refinery Services

One Comment

  1. KAY SARDO March 27, 2022

    Great pictures and stories of good and interesting happenings here.

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