Tacoma Dome Station

Tacoma Dome Station
Amtrak, commuter rail, and light rail station
A building with two segments, one colored blue and another colored beige, facing a street with streetcar tracks embedded on one side. A crosswalk and glass shelter adorn the street.
The Sounder and Amtrak concourse at Tacoma Dome Station, along with the Link platform, viewed from the parking garage
Location424 E 25th Street
Tacoma, Washington, US
Coordinates47°14′23″N 122°25′40″W / 47°14′23″N 122°25′40″W / 47.23972; -122.42778
Preceding station 
 Following station
toward Lakewood
South Line
toward Seattle
Tacoma LinkTerminus
 Future service 
Central LinkTerminus
 Suspended services 
BSicon LOGO Amtrak2.svg Amtrak
toward Los Angeles
Coast Starlight
Amtrak Cascades

Tacoma Dome Station is a train station and transit hub in Tacoma, Washington, United States. It is served by Sounder commuter rail and Tacoma Link light rail, as well as local and intercity buses. Located near the Tacoma Dome south of Downtown Tacoma, the station consists of two train platforms used by Sounder that will eventually be shared with Amtrak trains, a platform for Tacoma Link, a bus terminal, and two parking garages. The Sounder station is integrated into Freighthouse Square, a former Milwaukee Road depot that was converted into a shopping mall, and is on the east side of the Amtrak station.

The Tacoma Dome Station complex was constructed and opened in phases from 1997 to 2017. The parking garage and bus terminal were opened in 1997. Sounder service began in September 2000, followed by Tacoma Link in August 2003, and a permanent platform for Sounder was opened in September 2003. Amtrak service briefly began on December 18, 2017, after the opening of the Point Defiance Bypass, replacing a nearby station. However, after a derailment that day, Amtrak indefinitely rerouted trains back to the old station. By 2030, an extension of the Link light rail system will connect Tacoma Dome Station to Federal Way, Seattle–Tacoma International Airport, and Downtown Seattle.

Sounder station

Plans for a commuter rail line between Seattle and the Tacoma Dome area date back to the late 1980s, using existing tracks owned by the BNSF Railway.[1] In early 1995, the Regional Transit Authority (RTA; later Sound Transit) ran experimental commuter rail service to Tacoma from Seattle during weekday peak periods and on weekends for Seattle SuperSonics games at the Tacoma Dome.[2] The RTA's regional transit plan was approved by voters in 1996 and included a permanent commuter rail service between Tacoma and Seattle, with funding for a new station in the Tacoma Dome area.[3] Pierce Transit approved construction of a $36.7 million,[4] 1,200-stall park and ride garage near the Tacoma Dome in 1994, in anticipation of future commuter rail service.[5] Construction on the garage began in July 1996,[6] and the transit center complex opened on October 25, 1997, replacing a smaller park and ride lot.[7]

Sounder commuter rail service at Tacoma Dome Station began on September 18, 2000, using a temporary platform near Puyallup Avenue two blocks north of the parking garage.[8][9] A second parking garage, holding 1,200 stalls, was opened the following month to accommodate Sounder commuters.[10] In November, Sound Transit reached an agreement with the City of Tacoma to build the permanent Sounder platform at Freighthouse Square, using 1.3 miles (2.1 km) of Tacoma Rail tracks.[11][12] A finalized agreement was approved by Sound Transit and the City of Tacoma in April 2002, with two tracks and a grade separated crossing of Portland Avenue near the Port of Tacoma.[13] Construction of the $17.3 million station began with a groundbreaking ceremony on December 11, 2002.[14]

The concourse and 740-foot-long (230 m) platform were completed on September 15, 2003, with service beginning that morning,[15] and dedicated by elected officials on September 26.[16] The new platform was closed in January 2004, after concerns about soil instability on the new approach tracks had become apparent after a minor derailment.[17][18] Trains reverted to using the temporary platform until August, when a $1.5 million stabilization project was completed.[19] Tacoma Dome Station is also the terminus of Tacoma Link, a short streetcar line that travels to Downtown Tacoma. The Tacoma Dome platform for Tacoma Link opened on August 22, 2003,[20] after two years of construction.[21] The station also served as the terminus of the Spirit of Washington Dinner Train, which ran south from Freighthouse Square toward Lake Kapowsin near Mount Rainier. The excursion train service began in August 2007 after relocating from the Eastside Rail Corridor, but closed in October due to poor ridership.[22]

From 2000 to 2012, Tacoma Dome Station served as the southern terminus of the Sounder South Line. Sound Transit began construction on an extension to Lakewood in 2009,[23] after years of delays due to cost increases and a lack of dedicated funding.[24][25] 1.2 miles (1.9 km) of new tracks were built between Tacoma Dome Station and the existing Lakewood Subdivision, including an overpass over Pacific Avenue, as part of the extension.[26][27] Sounder trains began serving South Tacoma and Lakewood stations on October 8, 2012, with some trips terminating at either Lakewood or Tacoma Dome.[28]