Following yesterday’s train derailment, Interstate 5 southbound is expected to remain closed for the rest of the day.

Crews are currently working on moving the Amtrak rail cars to a secure site on JBLM. Once all the cars are on site, NTSB will be able to further investigate. Further information for media, please call NTSB at (202) 314-6100.

Please note that this will have additional traffic impacts.

Four of the five cars will be moved northbound to Center Drive. Motorists are advised to expect a short-term closure of Center Drive and I-5 ramps to North Fort Lewis. The fifth car will be moved southbound to Nisqually and join the other cars at Center Drive.

Later this afternoon, crews will attempt to move the locomotive which weighs more than 270K pounds and will take at least two tractors. In order to make these moves, troopers and local law enforcement will need to shut down both lanes of traffic on DuPont-Steilacoom Road.

Other than this temporary closure, all local streets will remain open. Troopers will also remain on scene to assist with any traffic control

Once the cars are moved, WSDOT will begin to assess the road condition.

There are still significant delays on alternative routes, so if you can stay and work from home…please do so.

If you’re heading northbound of I-5, be aware that travel times are also slow and you’ll need to plan a little extra time into your commute.

What We Know So Far

  • The train derailed just before 0800 on Monday, December 18, 2017
  • 3 confirmed fatalities at crash site
  • 72 individuals were evaluated and transported
  • 86 total people were on the train, according to Amtrak
  • The train consisted of 12 cars and 2 locomotives. One locomotive remained on the tracks and all other cars were derailed
  • 5 motor vehicles on freeway and 2 semi-trucks hit by train below


  • Washington State Department of Transportation: Lead communicator regarding traffic
  • Washington State Patrol: Assisting in traffic control
  • NTSB: The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation and is working to determine what caused this incident

What You Can Do

Family Reunification
If you’re looking for family or anyone you know who may be involved in this incident, please call the Reunification number at (800) 523-9101

Alternate Routes Southbound

Use State Route 16 to State Route 3. From there, use US 101 to get back to I-5 near Tumwater

Mounts Road entrance to Ft. Lewis is closed and not reopen for morning traffic. Military personnel that use that entrance will have to use DuPont or Main Gate.

For the latest detour information, please follow @WSDOT, @WSDOT_Tacoma, and @WAStatePatrol on Twitter.