Washington State rep talks Gateway Pacific Terminal, rail issues

January 4, 2016

From The Northern Light Newspaper, Blaine and Birch Bay, Washington State

State representative Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg) was one of several lawmakers and union officials invited by SSA Marine to tour the Cherry Point area and learn the talking points for the proposed Gateway Pacific Terminal. As head of the Washington State Rail Caucus, Manweller contacted The Northern Light to talk about railroad issues and the proposed terminal.Website Insert Out of the Box Thinking copy

TNL: In Blaine, which is a border town, one of the community concerns with rail traffic is that trains heading over the border have to slow down for a radar detection system to make sure no one is smuggling anything across the border, and there are sometimes long waits at road intersections. Is there any way the rail caucus can help the community mitigate rail traffic through overpasses or other means?

Manweller: One of the things that we learned when we started the rail caucus was that the single most important issue for rail traffic is something called grade separation. You need trains to go over roads or under roads. As long as railroads are crossing roads, you’re going to have traffic, you’re going to have threats to public safety and you’re going to have congestion. We have tried to impress upon the transportation committee exactly how important funding is for grade separation.

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