Construction to begin on new Tacoma Amtrak Cascades station

OLYMPIA – Washington’s passenger rail improvements are moving full steam ahead with a new station just around the corner. Construction on the new Tacoma Amtrak Cascades Station starts June 6, following a contract award to low-bidder Garco Construction, Inc. of Spokane, in May.

The $10.3 million station is a key component of the Washington State Department of Transportation’s Cascades High-Speed Rail Program, a federally funded program designed to improve passenger rail throughout the Amtrak Cascades corridor in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia.

“This is a major milestone in our work to enhance the passenger rail experience in the Pacific Northwest,” said Ron Pate, director of WSDOT’s Rail, Freight, and Ports Division. “We’re excited to see this station being built and look forward to the benefits it will bring our Amtrak Cascades passengers. By creating an even more vibrant multimodal hub in the Dome District, we know this station will be an asset to Tacoma and its vision for the future.”

The station, located in Tacoma’s historic Freighthouse Square, was designed in consultation with a citizens advisory committee and city officials. It features large glass windows, wooden columns and ceiling, terrazzo flooring and sliding and vertical lift doors to create an indoor/outdoor public space. The station will serve WSDOT’s Amtrak Cascades trains and Amtrak’s Coast Starlight long-distance service. It is adjacent to Sound Transit’s Sounder and Link service and is across the street from Pierce Transit’s Tacoma Dome bus station, further expanding this multimodal hub for residents and travelers. The new station will open in fall 2017.

The new station is part of WSDOT’s Point Defiance Bypass project, which will reroute passenger train traffic through DuPont, Lakewood and Tacoma, creating a faster and more reliable travel route. Point Defiance Bypass is one of 20 projects in WSDOT’s overall high-speed rail program. When complete in 2017, the projects will add two more daily round trips between Seattle and Portland, for a total of six; reduce travel time between the two cities by 10 minutes and improve overall on-time reliability from 80 to 88 percent.

– Washington State DOT