Amtrak train derailed on new, faster route that drew concern
A community along the new rail line where an Amtrak train derailed in a deadly crash had tried to stop the project on grounds higher-speed passenger trains would endanger pedestrians and motorists.
The city of Lakewood, several miles north of the crash site, went to court in 2013 to stop the Point Defiance Bypass project, which redirected passenger trains from a curvy route along Puget Sound.
Opponents said the route would expose car and pedestrian traffic to faster trains at more than a half-dozen street-level crossings in Lakewood. City officials asserted the state transportation department’s environmental review of the new route was inadequate.
In March 2014, a judge dismissed the lawsuit and the $181 million track upgrade moved forward. Until now, the route was used by freight trains.