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4th November 2017

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Published by membersonly, 2018-04-12 10:59:20

1292i

4th November 2017

INTERNATIONAL SUPPLEMENT TO BLN 1292 04 NOVEMBER 2017

BRANCH LINE NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

This newsletter covers the World outside the British Isles from information
supplied by members.

Opinions expressed are not necessarily those of the Compilers or of the Society.

INTERNATIONAL NEWS TEAM:-
International Editor (to whom all email and postal contributions should be sent):
Paul Griffin, 7 School Bell Mews, Church Lane, Stoneleigh, COVENTRY, CV8 3ZZ
Email: [email protected]
Deputy International Editor: Derek Woodward, 68 Church Street, Matlock, DERBY, DE4 3BY

________________________________________________________

An unusual tramway runs from Villa Opicina (the Italian border station for Slovenia) to Piazza Oberdan, close to Trieste railway
station. For most of the journey the line operates as a conventional, electrically powered tramway, with a mixture of street
running and reserved track. On the steepest section of the line, between Piazza Scorcola and Vetta Scorcola, the trams are
pulled uphill and braked downhill by a pair of cable tractors that operate on funicular principles. The picture was taken on this
section in early 2015. Sadly, after an accident in August 2016 the line was taken out of service in July 2017 and replaced by
buses. A recent visitor found it still out of use and commented that the tram terminus in Piazza Oberdan looked very much in
decline with cars parking on the tracks across the square.

EUROPE

[417] Austria - Be careful travelling to and from the airport
Travelling as a ‘normal’ with his wife to Wien (Vienna) one members holiday was ruined by the actions
of OBB ticket inspectors who declared that the Vienna City Card (which includes a Wiener Linien card)

recommended by the tourist authorities was not valid for travel to Vienna Airport despite there being
no indication of this in the booklet and the map issued to promote the ticket. Whilst the booklet is
clear that the ticket is not valid on CAT direct airport train (a similar service to Heathrow Express) there
is nothing to suggest it is not valid on OBB services. This member had his passport confiscated until he
paid a fine of 90 Euros. A long running complaint supported by the Vienna Tourist Board which
despairs of the activities of OBB finally resulted in a partial refund but has really soured his view of
Austria.
Another member had a better experience from the airport end. Enquiring at the information desk they
not only sold him a 24 hour Wiener Linien ticket, but also explained the limit of validity, then gave him
a printed sheet with details of how to purchase the necessary single from the airport to Schwechat
from the ticket machine. The area of validity of this ticket is the ‘core zone’ detailed at:
https://www.wienerlinien.at/eportal3/ep/channelView.do?channelId=-
2000629&programId=2001491#2001491

[418] France - St Louis to Bâle tramway to open after 60 years
A new tramway at Saint-Louis (Alsace) was handed over to the operator, Bâle city transport authority
(BVB), for test running at the beginning of August. This line is a 3.8 km extension of Bâle city tram line
No 3 from Burgfelden Grenze at the Swiss border to Saint-Louis SNCF station. There is a project to
extend this tram line further to reach Bâle-Mulhouse airport by 2022. This will be the 4th time that
Swiss trams have crossed into Saint-Louis. The first incursion was during 1900 - 1914 when Alsace was
part of the German empire. Then, after the war from 1923 - 1939 the tram line was re-activated. After
the Second World War, the line opened again in 1947 but closed in 1957 after Bâle unsuccessfully
asked the Alsatian town to share in the financial deficit. The original route of the Swiss tramway was
along the main street of Saint-Louis. When the present municipality of Saint Louis finally agreed to
support the new project they did not want to choose that route again. So the new tram line passes
through suburban areas and avoids the town centre. The line will open on 9 December 2017 and it will
be operated with the latest Bombardier Flexity Basel trams. A new multi-storey car park is being built
adjacent to the Saint-Louis terminus. Cross border workers ("frontaliers") are expected to use the tram
to avoiding increasing road congestion at the border and in Bâle. It will take approximately 20 minutes
to travel from Saint Louis Gare SNCF to the centre of Bâle (Barfusserplatz) on the tram.
Courtesy of the The French Railways Society

[419] Finland – Excursion to the Kaskinen Herring market
TR Europe had an article recently describing the poor financial viability of the 112 km branch line from
Seinäjoki to Kaskinen and predicting possible closure. The branch appeared on the threatened list
produced by VR some years ago, and will feature on the proposed 4 day BLS tour in April 2018 subject
to sufficient interest. On the basis that the branch may close at any time, the opportunity was taken to
travel the line on the annual special train in connection with the Herring Market in Kaskinen. A direct
flight from Manchester to Helsinki, then a pre-booked €20 ticket to Seinäjoki, with arrival just after
20:00 hours, saw our member in position for the train.
In fact there were six Brits on the train the following morning for the 09:20 departure, though this was
delayed awaiting a late running train (presumably a connection) from the south. Haapamäki Museum
Association (Haapamäen museoveturiyhdistys) loco Dr12 2216 was the motive power, with a lengthy

rake including a buffet car, five wooden bodied coaches, and a family coach complete with wooden toy
train for the kids. The electrification from the south towards Oulu finished at Seinäjoki for many years,
and class Dr12 worked trains forward to Oulu. These big powerful locomotives were not used on the
112 km branch to Kaskinen however. Still, nice to see one back at an old haunt.
The single-track non-electrified line used to have a number of connections to industrial premises, but
these are all disconnected or lifted now. The train called at all the former major stations (or nearby
road crossings if these were not suitable), filling steadily. The line enjoyed passenger services from
1913-1956 and 1959-1964. After the village of Perälä, a turntable (no building visible) was located by
the side of the track several hundred metres away in open countryside roughly where the former
branch from Kristiinankaupunki diverged, though no trace of this was visible. Passenger traffic
between Seinäjoki and Kristiinankaupunki ended in 1968 and freight in 1982.
At Kurikka the station building is apparently used by a Society who look after plinthed steam loco
1037, in immaculate condition under a wooden cover on the platform.

Disused sidings provide an ideal place to photograph the locomotive and stock of the Herring Market special train,
stopped outside Kaskinen station which is hidden from view behind the train. Enthusiasts, mainly British, take
pictures in the drizzle. Behind the photographer the line continues past the old roundhouse then divides into two
branches, the longest of which goes to the port.

Kaskinen town is on an island linked to the mainland by two short causeways, one of which carries
both road and rail into the town. The former art nouveaux style station building dates from 1912 and
lost its railway function to the goods station building in 1980. It is now a private home and the train
stopped outside this. One wonders what the owners felt about a train load of people traipsing by their
house into town. Beyond the old station is the former goods station building, still serving an industrial
function in private ownership.

The old station building at Kaskinen dates from 1912 and is in an Art Nouveau style. It is now privately owned and
the owners operate a ladies makeover business, advertised by a sign on the street side of the building as ‘Beauty
Station’.

Three parallel sidings were thick with rust, some of which was removed from one by the loco running
round. Five hundred metres further along is the former stub to the turntable (overgrown with
vegetation now) and the two stall roundhouse complete with integral water tower – in good condition
and used for storage of various materials. All lines now come together and it is single track that crosses
the road before immediately dividing into two lines which run parallel into the distance before
separating. The line to the industrial user is 2 km long and the line to the outer harbour is 4km long.
They are privately owned, so no attempt was made to persuade the train crew to go further! Maybe
for the BLS tour if permission can be obtained? The train manager informed our member that the
previous train down the branch had been two weeks ago, and another might run the following week.
Occasional kaolin and timber for export from the port and an undefined but infrequent industrial
traffic were the only sources of freight. The big pulp mill closed in 2009, so not a lot to justify keeping
112 km of line maintained.
The Herring Market, when located, was found to be on the site of the former Inner Harbour which was
rail connected many years ago. Rails could still be seen passing through the market and running up to a
quay, but the branch itself had long been lifted and was now a footpath which ended at a road,
beyond which industrial development had erased the track bed to the junction. Several old wooden
warehouses had obviously been served by a siding, and were suspected to have been for storage of
fish ready for transport. A more substantial building with doors facing the same siding had the letters
SOK below the roof line. Seinäjoki and Kaskinen? Alas, no. The warehouse had actually been owned by
the Finnish Co-operative Society!

Some tracks remain in the Inner Port area from the old docks branch, since superseded by the outer
port on the other side of the island.

Some tracks remain from the sidings of the old port, seen here with the Herring Market on top of them. They end
after less than 100 metres and are lifted beyond the market area.

[420] Germany - Neumarkt-St. Veit to Frontenhausen Marklkofen has closed
This is line 5700 which ran Rosenheim – Wasserburg – Mühldorf - Neumarkt-St. Veit - Frontenhausen
Marklkofen – Pilsting – [Plattling]. Rosenheim to Neumarkt-St. Veit is still open. Frontenhausen
Marklkofen to Pilsting (junction with the Landshut to Plattling railway) closed in 1969 and was
dismantled. The section from Neumarkt-St. Veit to Frontenhausen Marklkofen lost it passenger service
on 25 September 1970, but the 23.2km from Eisenbach (the junction just north Neumarkt-St.Veit) to
Frontenhausen Marklkofen was retained for freight. In recent years the only traffic has been domestic
waste to a waste recycling plant operated by Zweckverband Abfallverwertung Südostbayern. The line’s
infrastructure manager Rhein-Sieg-Eisenbahn GmbH had earlier announced annual maintenance costs
of €3 million and there are track bed and embankments needing repair. With no funds available the
line closed on 6 October 2017 with all traffic transferred to road. Unless someone steps forward to
fund repairs and take over the line by February 2018, the closure will be permanent.

[421] Germany - No escape for the line from Colditz; better news from Sachsen-Anhalt
The Deutsche Regionaleisenbahn (DRE) has announced that it wishes to dispose of the line from
Colditz to Glauchau (48.7km) and the connection from Rochlitz to Narsdorf (8.9km), under paragraph
11 of the German General Railway Regulations (AEG). These lines, both in Sachsen, have been without
regular traffic since 2000. If no buyer is found, which seems unlikely unless a preservation group is
interested, they will be formally closed.
In better news from neighbouring Sachsen-Anhalt, the passenger service on the branch from
Merseburg to Querfurt, which often appears in lists of closure-threatened lines, is now secure until at
least 2032, according to regional transport authority NASA. Another often-threatened service, that
from Weissenfels to Zeitz, has also had a guarantee, but this time only until 2024.

[422] Germany – Railway Ramblings (part 2) – Trams in Naumburg and trains in Thuringia
Having arrived at Naumburg, our member found to his delight that the town had a tramway system
and that it was narrow-gauge (metre). Actually the word ‘system’ is a bit of an exaggeration as there’s
now only one route, but it’s a classic small town tramway, single track with passing loops, laid
alongside the main ring road just outside the town walls. Apparently there used to be a complete ring
route but the southern part of the ring has been closed some years, though there seems to be an
effort to reopen at least part of it. Until the 1970s there was also a line into the centre of the town
and tracks still exist in the Market Place. This route must have been difficult to work in the very narrow
streets causing disruption in the Market Place.
They caught the tram to the present terminus and our member was actually allowed to go and explore
the route, including the depot. No two trams seemed to be the same and if you look at the website
you’ll see they come from all over the place. Worth a ride.

Naumberg route 4 tram arriving at the Hauptbahnhof stop. Note the unusual offset single buffer.

The next trip of railway interest was again into Thuringia, to a place simply called Bahnhof Rennsteig.
Examination of the map indicates that’s it is a terminus in the middle of a forest with little or no
habitation around it. The station is unusual as the approach pointwork consists of one double slip. The
reason for this arrangement is that because of the 6% gradient, all trains were propelled up from
Ilmenau or Schleusingen to Rennsteig (the summit station) and there reversed to descend the equally
severe gradient on the other side. Regular services were withdrawn some years ago but campaigning
by local groups has resulted in the introduction of the Rennsteig shuttle. There is no service during the
week, but on Saturdays and Sundays there are four trips a day from Erfurt, via Ilmenau to Rennsteig.
The continuation of the line from Rennsteig to Schleusingen has no booked passenger or freight
service, but seems to be used by something, as the lines were shiny when the train crossed them.
There are certainly steam specials every now and then. This is no heritage line, but is run as an integral
part of DB’s local operations, with modern diesel railcars. Rennsteig station still has all its station
buildings and the main building is a popular restaurant called Gleis 1 (Platform One). Not surprisingly
its décor has a very obvious railway theme. The outdoor dining area is novel, consisting of a flat
waggon with tables and chairs! Our member rode down to Ilmenau and back, just for the fun of it (as
you do), then they had their lunch at Gleis 1 before going for a walk through the forest to a place
called Frauenwald. The walk back from Frauenwald to Rennsteig was along the route of another
branch line, closed in 1965 and now made into a multi user trail called the ‘Laurabahn’ but with a lot of
wooden ‘toy’ train features at various points. At one such ‘station’ called Rennsteighohe there was a
timetable for the original line dated 1944 and marked ‘until further notice’. Given the situation in
Germany at that time, one wonders whether any of the trains shown actually ran to time or even at
all.

Rennsteig station with two single diesel railcars in the platform.

[423] Germany/Austria - Electrification of cross-border line by 2020
A joint declaration of intent to electrify the 16km cross-border line from Reutte in Austria to Pfronten-
Steinach in Germany was signed on 29 September. Funding is agreed, with Tyrol paying the lion’s share
and the Bavarian government the remainder – though EU funding will also be sought. Completion
should be in 2020 and will allow the extension of the hourly Garmisch-Partenkirchen to Reutte electric
service to Pfronten-Steinach.

[424] Italy – A visit to the Mendelbahn
The Mendelbahn is a funicular that links St Anton with the Mendelpass, near Bolzano/Bozen. When it
opened in 1903 it was, at 2,370 metres, the longest single-section funicular in the world. (The longest
funicular now is Sierre to Vermala in Switzerland, which was originally in two sections, but was rebuilt
as one, 4,192 metres long, in 1997). The height difference is 854 metres. The railway has a concave
profile, with the upper section being particularly steep at a 64% gradient. Some concave funiculars
require overhead sheaves, to restrain the cable when the cars are towards the end of the line. The
weight of the long cable on the Mendelbahn makes this unnecessary. The track is metre-gauge, the
lower half having timber sleepers on ballast, and the upper part steel sleepers set in concrete. About
half way up there is a large masonry viaduct, 110 metres long and with seven arches. A smaller bridge,
with two arches, is further up. The line passes through two tunnels, one on the lower part and the
other on the upper part. Near St Anton there is a drawbridge to take a private road over the line.
There is a long and sinuous road over the Mendelpass, so there is a small village at the top of the
funicular, largely given over to restaurants, hotels and gift shops. The line was electrically worked from
the start, but the initial installation gave a speed of less than 5 km/hour and a journey time of half an

hour. During the first full year of operation, 1904, about 55,000 passengers travelled on the funicular.
Passengers in 1905 included Emperor Franz Joseph. The service was suspended in 1917, because of
the war, but resumed on 1 July 1918. A health cure resort had developed at the Mendelpass, but it lost
much of its business when Südtirol was transferred from Austria to Italy under the Treaty of Versailles.
However, the line survived. It came under threat in 1980, because it no longer met safety
requirements. Following pressure from the Freunde der Mendelbahn, the line was completely
modernised between 1981 and 1987. The bridges and tunnels were renovated, track renewed and
new cars obtained. The electrical installation was renewed, allowing a higher speed and a journey time
of about 12 minutes. Since 1991 the funicular has been operated by SAD, the local bus company that
also works the Rittnerbahn. The new cars and electrical equipment had a life of little over twenty
years, being replaced for the 2009 season. The 12 minutes journey time was maintained. The line
operates most days from late May to early October, from 09:00 or 10:00 until 17:30. There are up to
three trips each hour. The lower station, at St Anton, can be reached by bus from Bolzano/Bozen.
Route 132 runs hourly from the bus station, which is near to the Trenitalia station. Originally, this
journey would be made by train. The Überetscher Bahn opened from Bozen to Kaltern in 1898 and was
extended to St Anton in 1903, to connect with the Mendelbahn. It was standard gauge and electrified
at 650 volts DC from 1911. The passenger service was withdrawn in 1963, but freight continued until
1971. Since then parts of the trackbed have been used for road improvements, but much is in use as a
cycle path. Sections of this can be seen from the bus. There is talk of re-opening the railway. Nothing
remains of the line at St Anton, but station buildings survive at Eppan and Kaltern. A former station
building can also be found at Mendelpass. This was the terminus of the metre gauge branch off the
Trento-Malé line from Dermulo, open from 1909 to 1934.

[425] Kosovo – Passenger trains return to Pejë
The Trainkos website reports that the service from Prishtinë to Pejë recommenced on 9 October 2017
after a two-month hiatus with the introduction of 10 new carriages funded by the Kosovan
government. Only one out and back journey though.

[426] Netherlands – Section of Betuweroute in use for diversions
BLNI 1256.192 reported the possibility of the freight-only Betuweroute between Rotterdam and
Germany being used for passenger train diversions in 2017. Testing of ICE on the route was reported in
BLNI 1269.465 and now the time has come for the diversions. According to Dutch sources the
Amsterdam - Frankfurt/Basel ICE services will be diverted via the Betuweroute on 25/26 November
and 11 - 17 December 2017, which is the first week of the new timetable. Check before booking
flights!

[427] Norway – Hønefoss to Roa freight line in use for two weeks
Bane NOR is carrying out planned improvement works on the Asker-Drammen line from 04:15 on
Saturday 18 November to 03:00 on Monday 4 December. Buses replace trains from Hønefoss to
Sandvika and Oslo, but Oslo trains to/from Bergen are diverted via the Hønefoss to Roa freight line.

[428] Russia (European)/Lithuania - New border station opened
Construction of a new border facility at Chernyshevskoye (in the far east of the Kaliningrad oblast)
started in 2005 and was used as a passing point since 2016, opening on 2 October 2017 and replacing

the previous facility at Nesterov, some 10 km to the west. Kybartai remains the Lithuanian border
post. By having all staff in the same building it is expected that Russian border controls will be
completed in 45 minutes for passenger trains and 2½ hours for freight. On-train border controls for
passenger services starting and terminating at Chernyshevskoye are planned, which would reduce the
time taken to 5 minutes.

[429] Serbia – Beograd Centar
The new Beograd Centar station currently comprises eight platforms, numbered 3 to 10, with a deck
above. The effect is rather like the main station in Bern, but for there being few trains and hardly any
passengers. The city centre tunnel stations, Karadordev Park and Vukov Spomenik, appear much
busier. Platforms 1 and 2, on the north side of the station, are partly built and may end up being in the
open. However, with reinforcing bars projecting from the concrete in all directions, it is hard to tell
what further construction is intended. There are no passenger facilities, such as a booking office,
refreshments etc, but quite extensive areas to which there is currently no access. Station name
pedants may wish to note that the station name appears in timetables and on departure sheets as
‘Beograd Centar’, but on platform name signs as ‘Beograd Center’. However it is spelt, the name is not
at all accurate, because the station is well to the south of the city centre. It is evident that there has
been little maintenance of lines into the old Beograd terminus, in view of its impending closure. There
are 10 km/h speed restrictions on the approach to the station and over the River Sava bridge to Novi
Beograd. Although the terminus and surrounding area is to be redeveloped, it appears that the freight
line along the bank of the River Sava will have to remain. The diesel-hauled trains running along it
convey petrol tanks (according to the UN Hazchem code displayed), so are hardly likely to be allowed
through the city centre tunnels. Very extensive rebuilding work is taking place between Rakovica and
Resnik, on the main line south out of the city. Single line working and speed restrictions mean that
trains can easily lose half an hour passing through the area. Even expresses are overtaken by trams on
the parallel road.

[430] Spain – Granada light rail line finally opens
A new 15.9km light rail line, the first in the city, opened in Granada on 21 September – a mere five
years late. The line runs from north to south from Albolote to Armilla and includes three underground
stations in a 3km tunnel under the city centre. Opening was originally scheduled for early 2012, but
stopped due to the Spanish economic crisis, resuming in 2014 when finance for completing the line
was found.

[431] Spain – Canfranc renaissance?
The longstanding proposal to convert the massive station building at Canfranc into a hotel is
mentioned in this web item (though it mainly covers the history of the station), along with the desire
of local government on each side of the Pyrenees to reopen the Canfranc tunnel and the cross-border
link. It does seem to be building up a head of steam….. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-
41445860

[432] Switzerland – The Olten to Sissach line gets a referendum
As reported in BLNI1288.358 this line is in danger of closure in 2019. Under Swiss law any official
measure, local or national, can be approved or rejected by referendum if a minimum number of

signatures are obtained. This is the case with the line and a referendum on its future will be held on 26
November 2017. However, this is the same canton than rejected the scheme for a direct access of the
Birsigtalbahn to Basel SBB central railway station, so don’t get your hopes up.

REST OF THE WORLD

[433] Australia – The Murray Basin upgrade project
V/Line appointed the McConnell Dowell Martinus Rail joint venture team in June 2017 to deliver
stages two, three and four of the Murray Basin Rail Project. Stage 1, completed in June 2016, was for
enabling works and repair of existing rail on the Mildura and Hopetoun rail lines.
Stage 2 will see gauge conversion and upgrade works on rail freight lines between Maryborough and
Yelta, and Ouyen to Murrayville. Also upgrade works and reopening of the Maryborough to Ararat line.
Project runs July 2017 to January 2018.
Stage 3 is for gauge conversion and upgrade works on freight lines from Dunolly to Manangatang and
Korong Vale to Sea Lake. Project runs March 2018 to August 2018
Stage 4 will see gauge conversion and upgrade works on freight lines from Gheringhap to Warrenheip
for delivery March 2018 to August 2018
Stage 5 is for gauge conversion and upgrade works on freight lines from Warrenheip to Maryborough,
dates to be confirmed.
In total 1055 km of track will be upgraded and converted from broad gauge to standard gauge, with
axle loadings increased from 19 to 21 tonnes, though the Ouyen to Murrayville line will remain at 19
tonnes. The work requires the temporary closure of the Maryborough to Yelta and Ouyen to
Murrayville sections, but the Sea Lake and Manangatang lines will remain open as alternative routes.

[434] China – Two new lines open
Revenue earning trains started running on the final 886 km section of the Lanzhou – Chongqing line on
29 September 2017. This is a key north-south rail artery in the west of the country. Construction began
in 2008 and the Chongqing - Guangyuan section opened in December 2015, with operations beginning
on the Guangyuan - Minxian section in December 2016. In the 832km between Guangyuan and
Lanzhou the line passes through 178 tunnels and over 285 bridges.
China Railway Corporation (CRC) launched commercial operations on a 224km high-speed line linking
Wuhan in Hubei province with Jiuijang in neighbouring Jiangxi on 21 September.
The northern section between Wuhan and Daye, which forms part of the Wuhan Metropolitan Area
Intercity Railway Huangshi line, has been operational since June. At Jiuijang the line joins the 131km
high-speed line to Nanchang, which opened in September 2010. The completion of the line to Jiuijang
reduces the journey time from Beijing to Nanchang, the capital of Jiangxi province, to 6h 17min.

[435] New Zealand - North Main line reopens and steam returns to Picton
The first freight train since the 2016 Kaikoura earthquake arrived in Christchurch on 15 September
2017. The train, carrying general domestic freight from KiwiRail customers Bascik, Toll, Mainfreight
Group and Maersk, pulled into KiwiRail’s Middleton site at 14:00. Initially freight services will run at
night to allow reconstruction works to continue. KiwiRail hope to regain the million tonnes of freight
carried before the earthquake. The first train was driven from Kaikoura to Christchurch by KiwiRail
Locomotive Engineer Wayne Sullivan, who was driving a locomotive on the Main North Line when the
Kaikoura earthquake struck. Mr Sullivan, who shared his story for the first time on the day, felt his
train move “horrendously” and saw dust coming from the ceiling of the tunnel he was approaching.
Another optimistic note comes from the launch of a steam hauled charter train operating between
Picton and Blenheim. Called the Marlborough Flyer, operations start in December and are aimed at the
lucrative cruise market. See www.marlboroughflyer.co.nz. The Marlborough Flyer locomotive is the
historic World War I Memorial locomotive Ab608, “Passchendaele”, built in 1915.

[436] USA - Rerouting of AMTRAK services at Tacoma in December
http://www.railwayage.com/index.php/passenger/intercity/wsdot-expands-cascades-services.html
The existing Amtrak route between Tacoma and Olympia-Lacey is along the coast - the "choke point"
mentioned in the link is Nelson Bennett tunnel (on the Tacoma enlargement; Point Defiance is the
promontory jutting into Puget Sound there). Amtrak (and Sound Transit's Sounder commuter) trains
come from Seattle on the BNSF track to Reservation (also known as TR Junction).
From here, the two currently diverge, with Amtrak continuing through a modern Amtrak station
marked 2 on the plan and past the former Union Station building (marked), which still exists at street
level but not at track level, and then round the coast to a junction at Nisqually, and thence to Olympia-
Lacey station.
At TR Junction a link was installed a few years ago to enable the Sounder trains (the operator is called
Sound Transit, the trains Sounder trains) trains to leave the BNSF route and climb up to the former
Milwaukee Road line to a station known variously as Tacoma, Tacoma Dome or Freighthouse Square,
between East D and G streets, used by the Sounders (the Tacoma bus station is between this station
and the Amtrak station, both the latter being at lower level than the Sounders' station). From there,
another recent link leads Sounder trains to the (fomer) BNSF line to South Tacoma (this link replaced

the former line down to Union station) - and thence to their current terminus at Lakewood , just south
of the junction named Lakeview, on the line towards Nisqually. It is over this route that the Amtrak
trains will be diverted from 18 December (and for which a second track is being provided at Tacoma's
Sounder station - see https://www.soundtransit.org/tds2017) - although it seems Amtrak will be non-
stop between Tacoma Sounder station and Olympia-Lacey. This represents a reopening for passengers
of the Lakeview - Nisqually section of line.


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