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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.
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