The Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has announced the start of construction on track and signal improvements at King Street Station in Seattle.

The work, under the $50.4m King Street Station Track Improvements project, will include the extension of tracks, installation of additional turnouts, as well as a new platform and canopy.

In addition, old hand-thrown switches will be replaced by a modern, computerised system, to further improve train movement at the station.

The redevelopment will make it easier for trains to enter and exit the station, which will help to reduce delays and make train travel across Washington and the entire Amtrak Cascades corridor more convenient.

Amtrak Cascades trains are operated from Eugene, Oregon, to Vancouver, British Columbia, and are jointly administered by WSDOT and the Oregon Department of Transportation.

"WSDOT noted the work will not significantly disrupt the Amtrak Cascades, Sound Transit or Amtrak long-distance schedules."

According to WSDOT, King Street Station will remain open throughout the construction phase, which is scheduled to be completed early next year.

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It is reported the works will not affect any services as all trains will continue running on regular schedules.

WSDOT noted the work will not significantly disrupt the Amtrak Cascades, Sound Transit or Amtrak long-distance schedules.

The King Street Station Track Improvements project is part of the $800m federally funded Cascades High-Speed Rail Capital Programme that includes 20 projects across the state.

The King Street tracks project is the final of 20 projects to start construction. It is noted that ten of the projects are complete and all will be done by mid-2017.

Following completing, the redevelopment will allow WSDOT to add two more daily Amtrak Cascades roundtrips between Seattle and Portland, reduce travel times between the two cities by ten minutes, as well as increase on-time reliability to 88%.