Sound Transit takes ownership of Tacoma to Lakewood rail line

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Sound Transit moved a step closer to extending its popular Sounder Commuter Rail service to Lakewood today with the signing of closing documents to purchase a key section of the Lakeview Subdivision. This is the second of three purchase and sales agreements between Sound Transit and the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway Company regarding the right-of-way from Tacoma south to the county line.



"This finalizes an important part of the deal we made with BNSF in December, 2003," said Sound Transit Board Chair/Pierce County Executive John Ladenburg. "It is a major step toward bringing one of our most popular services to commuters in Lakewood - another opportunity for Sound Transit to connect people with communities, school, work and shopping."


The 2003 agreement provided for the sale of the Lakeview Subdivision in three sections. Under the first agreement, Sound Transit acquired key BNSF properties including potential station sites. Today's agreement gives Sound Transit ownership of the six-point-five miles from Tacoma Dome Station to Lakewood. The purchase price was $13.4 million.


Closing on the final phase of the agreement, extending Sound Transit's ownership of the right-of-way to Nisqually and the Thurston County Line, will be signed in September 2005. Under the agreement, BNSF retains a freight easement so it can continue to serve its customers along the right-of-way.


The target for beginning Sounder service to Lakewood is 2007.


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Sound Transit plans, builds and operates regional transit systems and services to improve mobility for Central Puget Sound.