BNSF oil train

An oil train makes its way toward Anacortes in 2014.

MOUNT VERNON — A BNSF Railway train stopped on its tracks through Mount Vernon for about two hours Thursday morning, snarling traffic across several major roads and causing backups on Interstate 5.

BNSF spokesman Gus Melonas said the southbound train was empty and traveling from Canada when it was stopped due to a mechanical issue.

The company sent a team to inspect the train and the issue was addressed. The train was moving again by about 9:45 a.m.

Mount Vernon police Lt. Greg Booth said the southbound train’s engine was stalled just south of Fir Street, leaving Fir Street, Riverside Drive, East College Way and Hoag Road blocked.

Police and State Patrol were told the brakes of the train locked up, leaving it stalled in northwest Mount Vernon.

“Basically the whole north end of town is blocked going east to west and west to east,” Booth said early Thursday morning.

The Mount Vernon School District announced about 8:30 a.m. that the blocked intersections delayed school buses.

Trooper Heather Axtman said the blocked Mount Vernon intersections impacted traffic on I-5, with northbound and southbound backups centering around East College Way.

As of about 8:30 a.m., the northbound East College Way exit off I-5 was backed up with vehicles pulling onto the shoulder.

Booth said by about 9 a.m., the nearby Kincaid Street exit was also getting backed up as drivers tried to reroute into the city.

Axtman said there was also a minor collision on I-5 in the midst of the backup and a vehicle stalled in the area.

— Reporter Kimberly Cauvel: 360-416-2199,, Twitter: @Kimberly_SVH,

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