Ride the rails at Tacoma Rail open house Saturday

Tacoma Rail is opening its doors to allow the public to ride a train, check out the equipment and celebrate Tacoma’s railroad and maritime heritage during an open house between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sat., Aug. 25. The event, part of the larger Maritime Fest, aims to educate the public about the railroad’s freight switching service that supports the Port of Tacoma.

“Our eco-friendly locomotives will pull the passenger train through the newly invigorated Port of Tacoma,” said Dale King, Tacoma Rail superintendent. “Anyone who wants to see the impact of the Grand Alliance, which significantly increased container volumes in port, should come down.”

Tacoma Rail open house visitors will have an opportunity to participate in free train rides around the Tacoma’s tide flats, walk through a locomotive, see the new eco-friendly locomotives that reduce air emissions by 40 percent, get an eclusive peek at rarely seen rail maintenance equipment, rail yards and other rail operations, and view model train displays. There will also be games, clowns, food, and giveaways. Tacoma Rail staff will answer questions and share stories about Tacoma Rail operations.

Directions to the open house are as follows: From I-5 exit at Port of Tacoma Road, go north on Port of Tacoma Road to State Route 509, turn left toward State Route 509 South but keep along the railroad track to parking; From downtown Tacoma, take State Route 509 North to the Port of Tacoma Road exit, turn left onto port of Tacoma Road, turn left again toward State Route 509 South but keep along the railroad track to parking; and from Northeast Tacoma, take State Route 509, Marine View Drive south to the Port of Tacoma Road exit, proceed straight across Port of Tacoma Road toward State Route 509 South but keep along the railroad track to parking. Free shuttles buses will run every 45 minutes during the day between the Maritime Festival at Thea’s Park to Tacoma Rail, with the last bus returning to Thea’s Park after the final train ride.

More information is online here or by calling (253) 502-8818.

(PHOTO COURTESY TACOMA RAIL)