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Amtrak resumes Coast Starlight service from Seattle to Los Angeles

Tunnel collapse forces cancellation of Coast Starlight's central Oregon route

The Coast Starlight, shown arriving at Tacoma Dome Station in May 2017, is not currently running all the way to Los Angeles. A tunnel collapse has forced Amtrak to cancel the route through the Oregon Cascades. Service is expected to resume June 25.
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The Coast Starlight, shown arriving at Tacoma Dome Station in May 2017, is not currently running all the way to Los Angeles. A tunnel collapse has forced Amtrak to cancel the route through the Oregon Cascades. Service is expected to resume June 25.

The Coast Starlight is on track again.

After a two-week hiatus, passenger rail service resumed Wednesday morning from Seattle to Los Angeles, Amtrak spokeswoman Vernae Graham said.

Amtrak took the West Coast’s only long-distance passenger train out of service between Seattle and Sacramento, California, on April 25 after a freight train derailed and damaged a crucial bridge near Mount Shasta, California.

The Starlight pulled into Amtrak’s Tacoma station on Puyallup Avenue at 10:15 a.m. as scheduled, the smell of breakfast wafting from the dining car.

Several passengers boarded, including Rhonda Jenkins of Tacoma.

She was on her way to Oakland to host her grandmother’s 100th birthday party. She tried to get a ticket for a train Monday but an Amtrak customer service representative told her the train wasn’t running.

“She didn’t give me a reason why,” said Jenkins, who was taking the train to save money.

Her grandmother has been looking for Jenkins since Tuesday — the trip takes two days.

“She’s a little disappointed,” Jenkins said. “It made me feel bad.”

A new Tacoma Amtrak station is being constructed at Freighthouse Square on East D Street. This year, the Starlight and the Cascades regional trains will discontinue their runs along Tacoma’s waterfront and instead use a route parallel to Interstate 5.

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor

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