Parked train snarls traffic at Port of Tacoma

A stopped train more than 6,000 feet long snarled traffic for much of Thursday morning when it blocked rail crossings on two main roads at the Port of Tacoma.

The train, which hauled containers of consumer goods, caused the congestion when port officials ordered it pulled out of the terminal, port spokeswoman Tara Mattina said.

Port officials ordered the move to make storage space for other cargo even though the Union Pacific crew in charge of driving the train had to be summoned from Seattle.

As a result, it jammed up East 11th Street and Milwaukee Way from about 9 a.m. until 12:15 p.m.

“It’s just a really complex system, so if one piece of it gets delayed, the whole thing gets delayed,” Mattina said.

The traffic tie-up was intensified because of construction on Port of Tacoma Road, which is being rebuilt with concrete. That work is scheduled to be done in December.

Union Pacific spokesman Francisco J. Castillo Jr. said the train was bound for Chicago. Because of congestion on Interstate 5, the Seattle-based crew took two hours to arrive in Tacoma, he said.

Derrick Nunnally: 253-597-8693