Sound Transit takes delivery of Tacoma Link Light Rail trains
Calling it one of the most exciting days in their agency's brief history, Sound Transit officials watched and cheered today as three light rail trains were offloaded from a ship at the Port of Tacoma. The three trains will go into service when Sound Transit's one-point-six mile Tacoma Link light rail line opens next September, strengthening Tacoma's connection to the entire regional transit system.
"Tacoma Link shows that Sound Transit knows how to build a light rail system," said Sound Transit Board Vice Chair Dave Earling. "It also shows that Pierce County is at the leading edge of the Sound Transit pipeline; this is the first part of our transit district to receive all three services: Link light rail, Sounder commuter rail and Regional Express bus."
"The delivery of these Tacoma Link trains has tremendous economic significance for our city," added Tacoma City Councilman (and Sound Transit Boardmember) Kevin Phelps. "As we develop additional connections to the transportation network we strengthen Tacoma's role as a regional employment, cultural and education center."
The three 66 foot long, double articulated trains were manufactured by Skoda in the Czech Republic (see fact sheet below for more detail). In July, the trains were trucked from the factory to the Port of Antwerp, Belgium and loaded on board the Star Indiana. After a southward Atlantic Ocean leg, the ship passed through the Panama Canal and began its way north, making seven ports-of-call along the west coast of the United States before docking at the Port of Tacoma over the Labor Day weekend.
The trains will go through an extensive testing period at the Sound Transit Maintenance Base near Tacoma Dome Station before system-wide testing begins next year.
# # #
Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.