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Seattle port: Deal for BNSF rail route to conclude by September

Seattle port: Deal for BNSF rail route to conclude by September

Port of Seattle officials are projecting that their proposed $107 million purchase of 42 miles of rail tracks running along the east side of the city could be complete by September.

   Port Chief Executive Tay Yoshitani told the port's governing commission last week the final details of the deal are still being worked out between port staff and the owner of the track route, Fort Worth, Texas-based BNSF Railway.

   Under terms of the deal, BNSF would retain freight passage rights on the northern portion of the trackage from Woodinville to Snohomish, but would likely sell that right to a third-party, short-line operator. The deal would give BNSF choice of the third party, conditional on port approval.

   The port commission has said it wants to preserve the rail route in one piece while still allowing the northern portion to remain open to freight service.

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