Everett to Wenatchee

The route is divided into the following BNSF subdivisions:

·        Scenic subdivision from (Seattle and) Everett to Wenatchee
(mileposts from Duluth?)

At PA Junction (MP 1782.7), with dual road bridges for I=5 overhead within the wye, where there is a 7,159 ft. siding, the ex-GN line to Vancouver, BC, turns away east with a very sharp curve taking it to the north, where the Everett Yard is located, while the line to Cascade Tunnel and Wenatchee heads due south at this point. The line is single track, CTC, with speed limit rising from 25 mph at PA Junction to 40 mph at Lowell (MP 1781.2), where a connector south from Everett Yard trails in on the east side, there is extra track alongside to the north, there is a grade crossing, a signal bridge, a road bridge overhead, and a Milwaukee Road line once crossed on the flat. At this point, the line is running along the west side of the Snohomish River. The speed limit rises to 79 mph for passenger trains, 50 mph for freights, as the line turns south-southeast and then east-southeast, along the river, mostly through agricultural land, passing an angled grade crossing, a bridge over a stream, a road alongside to the 'north' with the river beyond it, a bridge over a dirt road, a detector at MP 1778.6, a road alongside to the north, a bridge over two dirt roads, a signal bridge, a detector at 1776.2, at Snohomish Junction West, where the westerly leg of the wye with the BNSF Woodinville subdivision, going south to Black River on the south side of Seattle, goes off to the southeast (i.e., on the south side of the line), and a road bridge overhead.

The east leg of that same wye trails in at Snohomish Junction East (MP 1775.2), where the speed limit is 60-45 through the junction before resuming 79-50, where there is a grade crossing. A spur north from that same ex-NP line (that used to continue north) crosses overhead on a wooden trestle on a  as the roadbed of the ex-Milwaukee Road line comes alongside to the north. The main line crosses the Snohomish River on a through girder bridge, continuing east-southeast past a detector at MP 1771.1 near Fryelands, two through girder bridges over streams, Intermediate Signals at "Advance West Monroe", a bridge over a dirt road, a bridge over two dirt roads, a dirt road grade crossing, and US 2 alongside to the north, to the 11,988 ft. south side siding at Monroe (MP 1768.6), with two grade crossings, MP 1769, a grade crossing, a road bridge overhead, two extra tracks on the north side at a grain elevator in Monroe, extra track on the south side, and an angled grade crossing at the east end, within the siding where the speed limit is 45 mph, the line turns due east, and the former Milwaukee Road line once crossed on the flat and headed south (with a wooden trestle over a stream still standing just to the south of the former GN main line, just east of East Monroe, extra track on the south side, a bridge over drainage east of the siding), and a cutting.

The ex-GN main line continues east, with the Skykomish River alongside to the south, past a dirt track grade crossing, US 2 to the north, a dirt road grade crossing, Intermediate Signals, a grade crossing at Calhoun Road, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at MP 1763.3, a bridge over drainage, a dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing at Feron Bluff Road, a gated dirt track grade crossing, a grade crossing at xx Croft Road, a detector at MP 1762.0, where the speed limit is 50 mph and logging railroads once headed south, a dirt track grade crossing, a through truss bridge over the river, a grade crossing at NW Main Road, a spur trailing in on the north side, a grade crossing, Intermediate Signals at MP 1761.1, Sultan, where logging railroads once headed north, a dirt road grade crossing, a through truss bridge over the river, a road (not US 2) to the north, the river alongside to the south, a grade crossing, and  Startup (coincidentally, at the bottom of the grade), with grade crossing, through truss bridge over river, and grade crossing in the town, turning southeast past US 2 back on the north side, a through truss bridge over the river, the 10,244 ft. south side siding at Gold Bar (MP 1755.7/1754.5), with three extra tracks on the south side, a west-facing extra track on the north side, and the start of a 1% grade to the east, within the siding, where the speed limit is 70-50, two dirt track grade crossings, a dirt track alongside to the north, a through truss bridge crossing the river again, a bridge over a dirt road, a bridge over a stream and road, and Intermediate Signals, and turning east at a detector at MP 1751.9.

The line now enters on a period of running directly alongside the Skykomish River, where the speed limit is 50-45, turning southeast and crossing the river again on the through truss Boulder Drop Bridge, in the woods past a bridge over a drainage culvert, a bridge over a stream, a bridge over a culvert, a grade crossing, a road alongside to the south, a sheer cliff just to the north, the erstwhile? Manufacturer's Mineral Company Spur on the north side, looping away from the river to the east, past two grade crossings in town (Index, where a branch to Galena once headed east) as the line turns, a through truss bridge over the North Fork of the Skykomish River, and Intermediate Signals at MP 1745.7, with Mount Index prominent on the south side, and turning sharply, clockwise, back west to the  river, past a bridge over a road, then turning east to cross the river twice in quick succession, past a bridge over a gated road, a deck girder bridge over river and road at Sunset Falls Bridge (which has the eponymous 134 ft. drop waterfall right below it, and a through truss bridge, and a road bridge overhead.

There is a turn southeast, past a slide fence alongside to the north, with the river alongside to the south, MP 1743, an angled road bridge overhead, a bridge over a stream, a rocky cutting, a bridge over a culvert, a through truss bridge over a "river", a road alongside to the north, a detector at MP 1740.5 (Halford), the 10,099 ft. south side siding at Baring (MP 1739.5), with a grade crossing, extra track on the south side, a dirt track grade crosisng, and a road alongside to the south, within the siding, a slide fence to the north, a bridge over a stream in the woods, an angled road bridge overhead, a bridge over a stream, Grotto, the river alongside to the south and US 2 alongside to the north again, a grade crossing, a detector at MP 1735.0, where the speed limit is 45 mph, and the line crosses the river again, on a through truss bridge, with the river then alongside to the north, past a through truss bridge over a side river, a rocky cutting, and a spur to a ballast pit on the south side, to the 8,949 ft. south side siding at Skykomish (MP 1732.3), with a grade crossing, an old wooden depot or freight house to the north (boarded up and on supports), a wye and extra tracks on the south side, with Maintenance-of-Way equipment and stores, the river alongside to the north again, US 2 alongside to the north, a grade crossing, and MP 1731, all within the siding, where the line turns east and the speed limit falls to 30-25 for the rest of the way across Stevens Pass, now on a 2.2% ruling grade.

After passing a detector at MP 1730.7, not far east of the east end of the siding, and a short stretch of slide fence on the 'south' side, the line takes a diversion up a side canyon to the south, in the woods, past MP 1729, on a ledge above the valley to the 'north', making a counter-clockwise horseshoe with a curved trestle over the Fir River in the middle of the horseshoe, into Tonga, past Intermediate Signals, and two bridges over streams, on a ledge above the same side valley, past a bridge over a side valley deep in the woods,   and then turning east along the south side of the river again, on a ledge high above the river valley, past Intermediate Signals at MP 1725.6, a detector at MP 1725.5, three bridges over side valleys, a bridge over a stream, Intermediate Signals at MP 1723.2, Alpine, four rocky cuttings, the Deception Creek Bridge over a side river, a rocky cutting, Intermediate Signals at MP 1721.x, a detector at MP 1721.2, a dirt road grade crossing, a road bridge overhead carrying US 2, and West Scenic, to the 9,259 ft. south side siding at Scenic (MP 1719.5/1709.5), all of it through lush forest.

Cascade Tunnel, one of the wonders of the railroading world in North America, is the third crossing of the Cascades at this location, following an original switchback route over Stevens Pass itself and an earlier Cascade Tunnel at a much higher elevation. Originally electrified to avoid problems with smoke in the tunnel, Cascade Tunnel is now operated in a similar manner to Moffat Tunnel in Colorado, with a big steel door at one end and massive air blowers for blowing diesel exhaust out of the other end. These latter facilities result in a practical minimum spacing of 30 minutes between trains passing through the tunnel, even if they are going in the same direction.

At Scenic, the original line once curved away southeast and then looped around crossing above the present line and over the river (Tye Creek), and then curving back west again on the north side of the river, climbing the north wall of the valley through tunnels and snowsheds and reversing its direction at a clockwise horseshoe. The present line passes Scenic in an east-southeasterly direction, and then turns east-northeast, across Tye Creek, through East Scenic and into the 41,152 ft. Cascade Tunnel 15, elevation 2,903 ft., whose east end is at MP 1700.3, with a bridge over a stream just east of the east portal, a rocky cutting, and a bridge over US 2, before reaching the 12,323 ft. south side siding at Berne (MP 1698.5), with US 2 below and to the north, where the original line trails in from the northwest.

In the arid landscape east of the tunnel, the line turns southeast to pick up the original line alignment in the deep valley of Nason Creek, on a ledge above the creek, which is alongside to the north and below, and then east-northeast and east at East Berne, past a detector at MP 1697.3, through 675 ft. Gaynor Tunnel 14.5 (MP 1696.7), past Gaynor Trestle over Nason Creek, just east of the tunnel, and then on a ledge above the north side of the creek,  past a detector at MP 1695.2 and MP 1695, in a deep rocky valley, bridging over a dirt road and "river", with the river alongside to the north, northeast and then east-southeast to the 6,759 ft. north side siding at Merritt (MP 1692.4), where the speed limit rises to 50-45, with a signal bridge over the west end of the siding, a west-facing spur curving away on the north side, and a dual-ended track on the north side, all within the siding, with a creek alongside to the north.

The line then passes a grade crossing at the detector at MP 1690.0, a grade crossing, and US 2 alongside to the north again, and turns east at Nason Creek, with a dirt road alongside to the north, and then south to the 10,978 ft. south side siding at Winton (MP 1686.9/1685.7), with MP 1687, a dirt road grade crossing, and MP 1686 within the siding, where the original line continued south and the current one, built in 1928, turns southeast, past a bridge over US 2 and through 4,059 ft. Winton Tunnel 14 (MP 1684.0), out onto a ledge, and through 788 ft. Swede Tunnel 13.5 (MP 1682.2), then out onto a ledge high above the river to the west, east across a valley filled with conifer forest, past a dirt road grade crossing, bridging a stream below on a deck girder bridge, then southeast through 2,601 ft. Chumstick Tunnel 13 (MP 1680.1), to an embankment with a bridge over a road, a dirt track grade crossing, and a road alongside to the north, and then south, with the speed limit now 79-50.

The line passes through Chumstick, past a bridge over a road, Intermediate Signals, three dirt track grade crossings, a dirt road grade crossing, a grade crossing, a dirt track alongside to the west, in the conifer forest, a road alongside to the west, and a bridge over an angled road, to the 7,905 ft. west/south side siding at Leavenworth (MP 1672.2), on a ledge above the valley, and turns southeast, within the siding, along a ledge on the east wall of the river valley with the older alignment alongside the river below (visible as a dirt road), with a bridge over a dirt track, a dirt track to the southwest, and a rickety road bridge overhead, all within the siding, and past a dirt track grade crossing, and apple orchards to the southwest.

At Peshastin (MP1669.2), where the speed limit drops to 40-35, the old and new alignments come together on the east bank of the river and pass a road alongside to the southwest, a bridge over that road, the river alongside to the southwest, a detector at MP1668.2, a grade crossing with a road that becomes a road alongside to the southwest, with orchards to the southwest, the river to the southwest, orchards to the southwest, the river alongside to the southwest at a weir, a grade crossing, and a street alongside to the southwest, cross the river on a deck girder bridge to Dryden (MP 1668.1), past extra track to a packing plant to the southwest, and a grade crossing.

The line crosses the river on a deck girder bridge and passes a bridge over a divided highway, with the river alongside to the south, then crosses the river again on a through truss bridge, past an angled dirt road grade crossing, an apple orchard to the southwest, a wooded cliff to the southwest, an apple orchard to the southwest, and a dirt road grade crossing, and turns east-southeast past an apple orchard to the south, a slide fence below rocky cliffs to the south, a road bridge overhead, a detector at MP 1661.6, where the speed limit is now 40 mph, a road alongside to the south, and the 8,049 ft. south side siding at Cashmere (MP 1661.2), with a grade crossing, extra track to the south, a grade crossing, a spur to the south, a grade crossing, an angled grade crossing, extra track to the south at a packing plant, an angled grade crossing, bluffs to the south, and a dirt track grade crossing, all within the siding.

The line continues down the west side of the river and narrow valley, with the speed limit now 50-45, past a big turn to the south, a dirt track grade crossing, an angled grade crossing, a grade crossing, extra track to a packing plant to the south, Intermediate Signals at Monitor, an apple orchard to the west, below the bluffs, a road on a ledge up on the bluffs to the west, and a detector at MP 1654.7, to Olds Junction (MP 1652.9), where a branch running north alongside the Columbia River goes off across the side river northeastward, the main line becomes 2MT, ABS, and comes alongside the Columbia River heading south-southeast, with a speed limit of 35 mph, past a slide fence below the bluffs to the west, a road bridge overhead, an angled grade crossing, a street to the west, an angled grade crossing, a grade crossing, extra track to the west, signals, a bridge over a street, a spur to the west, two extra tracks to the west, a footbridge overhead, an extra track to the west, and a grade crossing, into Wenatchee (MP 1650.2), where there is a passenger station, with a platform with umbrella sheds to the west.

The freight yard is just south of the station at Appleyard, aptly named, because this is the heart of Washington State apple country, famous around the world.

Wenatchee to Spokane

The route is divided into the following BNSF subdivisions:

·        Columbia River subdivision from Wenatchee to Latah Junction (Spokane)
(mileposts from Duluth?)

At Wenatchee (MP 1650.2), where there is a passenger station, with a platform with umbrella sheds to the west, the freight yard is just south of the station at Appleyard (MP 1646.7), aptly named, because this is the heart of Washington State apple country, famous around the world, with three tracks and buildings in a BNSF locomotive facility to the west, extra track to the west, and a spur to a facility on the west side, a grade crossing, bluffs to the west, and two more grade crossings. The single track ABS line, with speed limit 45 mph for passenger trains and 50 mph for freights, turns east-southeast, following the Columbia River, which is on the east side, in the middle of Appleyard yard. CTC begins at the east end of the yard, where the speed limit rises to 65-50.

The line passes a building alongside to the west, a grade crossing, a spur to a packing shed on the west side, and the 5,000 ft. siding at Malaga (MP 1643.3), turns north, where a spur continues ahead at Alcoa Spur (MP 1641.3) to an Alco facility on the west bank, and crosses the river on a multi-span through truss bridge to Rock Island (MP 1640.1), where the speed limit becomes 60-50 and the line turns east-southeast along the east bank of the Columbia River and line then curves slowly around to the south, passing a detector at MP 1638.1, and Voltage (MP 1537.6), as it runs downstream past Rock Island Dam, continuing south past the 8,154 ft. siding at Columbia River (MP 1635.0), where a GN branch line once climbed the bluffs to the east, a detector at MP 1633.6, and  Vulcan, where river and line turns east, leaving the Columbia at Trinidad (MP 1626.6), where there is a 7,856 ft. siding, the speed limit drops to 50-45, and the line turns northeast as the river turns south again.

 Then, it ascends on the north wall of a side valley, past a detector at MP 1624.2, through a clockwise horseshoe curve to the south wall of the side valley, heading southwest past a detector at MP 1622.2, turning southeast through 953 ft. tunnel 11.1 (MP 1621.4) and past Crater, to reach the escarpment above the Columbia River valley, and turning east to the 10,398 ft. siding at Quincy (MP 1615.5), where the speed limit is 60 mph before rising to 79 mph for passenger trains, and remaining 60 mph for freights, immediately east of there. The line heads across the Palouse, open upland agricultural country, thick with grain fields and grain elevators beside the tracks, passing Winchester (MP 1608.9), a detector at MP 1607.9), the 10,350 ft, siding at Naylor (MP 1603.8), where the line turns north-northeast, and an Amtrak stop (wooden depot on the north side) at Ephrata (MP 1599.3), where the speed limit is 65-60.

The line turns northeast, past Air Base (MP 1597.1), where an industrial track heads south, and Soap Lake, and turns east to the 10,794 ft. siding at Adrian (MP 1588.6), where the speed limit is 55-50 and the line turns northeast, passing above the former route of a Northern Pacific branch serving the agricultural area, and then east, as the speed limit rises to 70-60, to Stratford (MP 1584.8), a detector at MP 1580.2, where the line jogs southeast and then east again, the 8,794 ft. siding at Wilson Creek (MP 1577.0), where the speed limit is 55-50 before returning to 70-60, another jog southeast and then east again, Marlin (MP 1570.4), where the line turns southeast, the 9,552 ft. siding at Gibson (MP 1565.6), Irby (MP 1562.1), a turn to the northeast at Seward and then southeast again to a detector at MP 1555.8, where the speed limit is 50-45, and a turn east to the 9,232 ft. siding at Odessa (MP 1553.2), where the speed limit has risen to 65-60.

The line continues generally eastward, but curving gently back and forth, passing through Nemo (MP 1584.0), a detector at MP 1543.2, where the speed limit is 79-60 again, and Lamona (MP 1542.9), where CTC ends and Double Track (DT) ABS begins, and the speed limit falls to 60-50, The line then turns northeast, past Downs (MP 1538.2), Mohler (MP 1534.4), and crossovers at Harrington (MP 1527.7), where the speed limit is briefly 50-45 and then 50 mph, turning east-southeast to Bluestem (MP 1520.2), where single track CTC resumes and the speed limit rises to 55-50 past a detector at MP1519.3, and Canby (MP 1514.5), where the line turns east. There is a 7,532 ft. siding at Enwall (MP 1510.8), where the speed limit is 65-60 before rising to 79-60 as the line turns northeast through Waukon (MP 1500.1).

There is a 6,930 ft. siding at Espanola (MP 1499.3), the line crosses above the former NP branch serving this area, now operated by Palouse River and Coulee City Railroad, there is a detector at MP 1495.9, where the speed limit drops to 65-60, Fairchild (MP 1495.2), where lines to Fairchild AFB once ran on the southeast side of the line, and a 7,442 ft. siding at Lyons (MP 1489.8), where the speed limit drops to 40-35. The line now starts to drop into the Spokane River valley, turning east and then southeast where an old line through Highland once headed north, east-northeast, southeast parallel to, but above, that old GN alignment, south where the old alignment once turned east across the river at Fort Wright Junction, and southeast to Latah Junction, where the line from Wenatchee and Seattle, on the one hand, and the southbound line to Pasco and Portland, on the other, come together and turn east-northeast on the spectacular Latah Creek Bridge, built as part of a line relocation project when Spokane held its World’s Fair in 1974 (that also replaced the former GN alignment described above). On the east side of the creek, the line continues past Sunset Junction (MP 1480.8/1.1), where there are crossovers, the northbound line trails in from the south,  the line becomes  Double Track (DT), ABS, Occupancy Control System (OCS), and turns east on the elevated line into Spokane (MP 0.0), where there are crossovers and the passenger station is on the north side of the track with the depot at street level below the elevated platforms.

The major BNSF yard in the Spokane area is at Yardley,  3.4 miles east of Spokane.