Tacoma Link vehicles to arrive over Labor Day weekend

While people are enjoying the Labor Day weekend, the first light rail trains in Washington state in over 60 years will be arriving by ship at the Port of Tacoma.
The light rail vehicles will be offloaded from the Star Indiana, at Terminal 7 of the Port, beginning at 8 a.m., on Tuesday, Sept. 3.
The vehicles are an integral part of the 1.6-mile Tacoma Link light rail system currently under construction that will provide free transportation between downtown and the Tacoma Dome.
“It’s certainly one of the most exciting things to happen for us,” said Lee Somerstein, Sound Transit media relations. “Everybody is just overjoyed.”
The last time such a rail streetcar was in Tacoma was in 1938, Somerstein explained.
“This is the first tangible sign they are on their way,” he added.
The three Tacoma Link trains are currently working their way up the West Coast of the United States after a truck ride from the Skoda factory in the Czech Republic to the Port of Antwerp, Belgium and passing through the Panama Canal.
Other items are being offloaded at various stops along the West Coast as the ship makes its way to Tacoma, said Mike Wasem, communications manager for the Port of Tacoma.
The vehicles are painted in basic Sound Transit colors, but are without the logo and trademark wave pattern.
The ship’s crane will individually lift the vehicles from the ship’s hold, and lower them onto oversized flatbed trucks for the final leg of their journey to the Sound Transit Maintenance and Operations Base near Tacoma Dome Station.
From there, the cars will be thoroughly tested over a period of several months, with Tacoma Link light rail service scheduled to begin in September 2003.