TRMW's Mountain Division

Tacoma Rail created the railroad’s new Mountain Division in November 1998 to provide freight rail service along the 132 miles of track connecting Tacoma with Frederickson in South Pierce County, Morton and Chehalis (map). The City of Tacoma owns the line and has contracted with Tacoma Rail to operate it. Tacoma Rail operates the Mountain Division separately from its Tidelands Division, and has developed customized service agreements for freight customers.

It's called "Mountain" Division because the rail grade from Freighthouse Square up the gulch past Brown & Haley’s candy factory and South through the McKinley District is considered mountain grade. The 3.3 percent grade means the rail gains three and a third feet in altitude for every 100 feet in distance.

Current customers include Boeing, Hardie Building Products, Belco Forest Products, Medallion Foods and FarWest Construction. The Mountain Division provides storage services for the Union Pacific Railroad and Coast Engine & Equipment Leasing Company. Coast Engine and American Orient Express use switching services to leased maintenance facilities at Western Junction. The 92-acre Western Junction facility is at milepost 42 between Rainier and Maytown.

The power inventory available to the Mountain Division includes two 3,000-horsepower locomotives — especially suited to the 3.3 percent grades — and nine other locomotives from 1,200 horsepower to 2,000 horsepower. Tacoma Rail operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can create service schedules to meet customer requirements.

Recent rehabilitation projects include right-of-way repair and trestle replacement along Lake Kapowsin and between Mineral and Morton. The Mountain Division now has service to the Morton area. The Mountain Division interconnects and interchanges with the two transcontinental railroads, the Union Pacific Railroad and the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway, in Tacoma at the north end of the line and at Centralia/Chehalis in the south. The Mountain Division also is connected for interchange with the Puget Sound and Pacific Railroad that serves west to Elma, Bangor, Bremerton, Shelton, Aberdeen and Hoquiam.

The Mountain Division's strategy focuses on attracting and retaining customers by providing "right car, right place, right time" service. Custom packages, including construction assistance, are available. Call 253-502-8897 to learn more about how the Mountain Division can help your business.

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A service of the City of Tacoma.