Tacoma gets first public look at Sound Transit Light Rail

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Citizens of Tacoma got their first real look Monday at the Sound Transit light rail trains that will go into service next September. Amidst fanfare, streamers and music, the 66-foot long, double-articulated Tacoma Link train was formally rolled out at Sound Transit's Tacoma Maintenance Base.

"Light Rail has arrived in the Pacific Northwest," said Sound Transit Board Chair Ron Sims. ‘The Tacoma Link light rail trains are the backbone of a brand new train service and are symbolic of the transportation system that is being built in Central Puget Sound."

Sims also pointed out that when Tacoma Link goes into service next September, Pierce County will be the first of Sound Transit's five sub-areas to receive all three of the agency's services: light rail, Sounder commuter rail and ST Express regional bus service.

The one-point-six mile Tacoma Link system will connect downtown Tacoma with Tacoma Dome Station, providing a key piece of the Sound Transit regional network of integrated transit services.

"The Tacoma light rail trains will be a new option for getting around downtown Tacoma," said Pierce County Executive/Sound Transit Vice Chairman John Ladenburg. "The trains will connect the busy Tacoma Dome Station to businesses, theaters and museums in downtown."

Following the roll out ceremony, the public was invited to tour the Sound Transit Maintenance base and walk through the new trains.

The three Tacoma Link trains were delivered through the Port of Tacoma on September 3. They will go through extensive testing beginning in late November. Over the next several months the staff and crew will receive training in the operation and maintenance of the system.

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