Sound Transit Plans New Tacoma Trestle for Passenger Trains

On Thursday Sound Transit will host an open house to discuss the replacement of the Tacoma Trestle east of Freighthouse Square.

The 100-year-old, single-track, wooden train trestle runs nearly two-thirds of a mile east of Freighthouse Square. The old trestle will be replaced with a modern, double-track trestle to improve capacity and reliability for the Sounder passenger trains.

The track will also carry Amtrak trains once the Point Defiance bypass switch has been made, and the new WSDOT station constructed at Freighthouse Square. Recent funding is allowing Sound Transit to bump up the expected completion date for this project from 2023 to 2017, which, coincidentally, is also the year WSDOT expects to have the Amtrak re-routed.

After the kerfuffle over inital design plans for a new Amtrak station at Freighthouse Square, the City made a request that WSDOT work with Sound Transit to explore the possibility of incorporating an extended platform into the trestle project. The request comes out of conversations around moving the planned Amtrak station from the west end of Freighthouse Square to the east end. Such a move would likely impact street traffic unless it could be incorporated at the raised level of the trestle project. The agencies are looking into the question.

At Thursday's meeting, Sound Transit staff will share why a trestle is needed, along with conceptual elements of the trestle project. They will also take public comment on the look of the new trestle.

Do you want to help the folks at Exit133 pay our bills and keep up with of all things Tacoma? Do you want to see even more coverage? Exit133 has always been free to read and comment, and it will stay that way. However, over the years, readers have contributed to the bank account to help us keep up our coverage of goings-on around town. Contribute and this message disappears!

Support Exit133



They should really put this on a berm.

(Just kidding)

February 11, 2014 at 1:17 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0

Kevin M

Here’s the part I do not get…  Why is a double-track trestle needed?  The bridge over Pacific Avenue only has one set of tracks so the purpose of having a double track trestle defeats itself with the diminished capacity only a few hundred yards away.  If Sound Transit says that the Pacific Avenue bridge would need to be expanded,  I am going to be furious that it was not already designed with that expectation in its long-term future.

February 11, 2014 at 4:10 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


There are two tracks just west of Freighthouse Square.  One set, owned by Sound Transit, crosses Pacific Avenue the other, owned by the City of Tacoma, turns south towards Fredrickson.  There are two sets of tracks again by the time you get to Portland Ave.  I imagine they want double track to allow freight to pass while the Sounder, or Amtrak is stopped for boarding.  Even if current freight volumes don’t require double tracks, you would want to plan for the future.  Considering the last Trestle lasted 100 years the next may be around for a while.

February 11, 2014 at 7:12 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


The D-M street stretch can have double track when the time comes.

February 11, 2014 at 11:18 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


Now it makes sense!  I did not realize that freight trains still operated on those tracks owned by Tacoma Rail.  I was under the impression that all freight trains in Tacoma were routed through the holding yard where the current Amtrak station is.    Thanks for clearing that up.

February 12, 2014 at 9:52 am / Reply / Quote and reply

0 | 0


At one time their web page said: “The project will accommodate three additional Sounder south line round trips by 2017”
The Sound Transit web page now says: “2018 Completed project, fully operational”

I contacted Sound Transit and they told me that most likely, just one of those three trains will serve South Tacoma and Lakewood. So to get to South Tacoma or the Lakewood Station after that train you’ll have to take a bus from the Tacoma Dome Station.
NO THANKS!!, I won’t wait at the Tacoma Dome Station for a bus for even 1 min with all the thugs and gang bangers! Thanks a lot Sound Transit!

There’s no way I’m voting to expand Sound Transit till they start serving the people of South Tacoma and Lakewood properly!!

December 28, 2015 at 8:05 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

1 | 1

Post A New Comment

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

Potentially Related Articles