Sunday Sounder commuter rail celebrations feature "The Ride into History", Auburn rail station ribbon cutting and Union Station open house

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On the eve of the historic inaugural run of Sounder commuter rail, Sound Transit will host a series of events celebrating Puget Sound's first regular rush hour rail transit in more than 60 years.

The festivities begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Sept. 17 with the Riverside High School Band of Auburn welcoming people to the open house and official ribbon cutting ceremony of the Auburn commuter rail station featuring speaker U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Kent). The ceremony ends at 10:50 a.m., when the Sounder train breaks through a barrier as it arrives at Auburn.

At 11 a.m., more than 500 invited officials, community leaders and winners of public drawings will board "The Ride into History" train, arriving at the King Street station platform at 11:30 a.m.

Sound Transit superhero Zap Gridlock and Chinese lion dancers will greet the passengers and lead them to Union Station, where a special ceremony welcoming "The Ride into History" train begins at 11:50 a.m. featuring U.S. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA). The Bellevue a cappella group Main Attraction will entertain at the Union Station open house until 1:40 p.m., when "The Ride into History" passengers will return to the King Street Station platform and depart for Auburn at 1:50 p.m.

On Monday, Sept. 18, Sounder's two weekday, rush hour 55-minute trips begin with the first train leaving Tacoma for Seattle at 6:20 a.m. and the second train departing at 6:50 a.m. The trains return to Tacoma from Seattle at 5:25 p.m. and 5:45 p.m. Sounder will also stop in Sumner and Auburn, with service to Kent beginning in November, Puyallup in February and Tukwila next September. Sounder service is planned to expand in 2001/2002 south to Lakewood and north to Everett.

The two-level Sounder passenger cars feature comfortable seats, restrooms, cupholders, water fountains, work tables, protected outlets for laptop computers and storage areas for bicycles, wheelchairs and strollers. Sounder commuter rail is one part of Sound Move, the voter-approved plan to bring Link light rail and ST Express bus service to King, Pierce and Snohomish counties. For more information on Sounder service please call Sound Transit at 1-800-201-4900 or check the Sounder Web site at

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