Stampede Pass Railfan Guide - BNSF's Comeback Route: Dave Cooley's new guide details BNSF Railway's Stampede Pass line, one of three routes tackling the Cascade Range to access Western Washington industries and ports. Built by the Northern Pacific in 1887, it was the final link that connected St. Paul with Puget Sound, establishing NP as the first northern transcontinental railroad. Today, this route is in daily use by the BNSF and provides a vital link to the steadily growing traffic between North America and Asia. The Stampede Subdivision currently extends between Ellensburg and Auburn. It is paired with the Yakima Valley Subdivision in moving trains between Puget Sound and the classification yard at Pasco. Ellensburg is a crew change terminal and sits on the eastern edge of the Cascade foothills. From here, grades are generally about one half percent uphill to Easton, but change abruptly to a ruling grade of 2.2% to Martin, at the east portal of Stampede Tunnel. The steep grades continue downhill to Lester and are roughly 1% from Lester to just outside Auburn. Soft cover, 46 pages.