Trains have right of way over Edmonds ferries

The in basket: On one of my rare trips aboard the Kingston-Edmonds ferry this spring, I was signaled by a deckhand to got forward to offload at Edmonds, only to be forced to stop before I got off the boat.

It was clear to see why. A train was crossing from north to south on the tracks that cross in front of the terminal, interrupting the offload.

I thought that with offloading so close to complete, it would make more sense to stop the train to prevent the ferry’s running late.

It took me a beat to realize the whole on-loading process also would have to be finished before stopping the train would do any good.

But I asked the ferry officials if that’s an option when a train shows up when loading the ferry is nearly complete.

The out basket: Marta Coursey of Washington State Ferries said, “(We) routinely work with Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) on coordinating our ferry schedule with their train schedule. Thirty-six trains use the tracks daily, and we have 22 to 26 daily sailings out of Edmonds depending on the day of the week

“In spite of our best efforts, traffic volumes and service disruptions are unpredictable, and BNSF does have the right-of-way, so it’s inevitable that there are times when ferry traffic will be held up. We continue communications with our transportation partners and remain committed to constantly improving our related service schedule.”

One thought on “Trains have right of way over Edmonds ferries

  1. It’s a Railroad Crossing!

    Trains have right-of-way over vehicle traffic. One does not simply “stop” a 100 car freight casually. It’s an event to stop, and to restart, and can reverberate throughout the line.

    But, yes, it can be a pita.

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