New renderings of stations along the Tacoma Link extension have been released. Sound Transit plans to construct a 2.4-mile, $175 million extension of the line from the Theater District to the Hilltop neighborhood via the Stadium District. Six new stations will be built and the existing Theater District stop will be relocated one block north. Frequency on the line will improve modestly to every ten minutes and make travel times between districts shorter than most bus trips. The full length of the extension will be double-tracked with trains running at-grade in the center of city streets. In total, the line will be four miles long zigzagging its way across central Tacoma and terminating at Tacoma Dome Station.

Proposed Tacoma Link extension and stations. (Sound Transit)
Proposed Tacoma Link extension and stations. (Sound Transit)

To support the expansion, Sound Transit will expand the operations and maintenance facility near the Tacoma Dome, add four power traction substations, and deploy five new trainsets to the three-vehicle fleet. Each new station will be designed as a 60-foot or 100-foot long platform with common amenities, including:

  • Crosswalks, tactile warning strips, and railing;
  • Shelters with canopies, windscreens, and identifying station signs;
  • Waste receptacles and benches;
  • ORCA readers and ticket vending machines; and
  • Lighting and information kiosks.

100-foot platform stations are planned to be located at 6th Ave and S 11th Street along Martin Luther King, Jr Way. The remainder of the stations will all have 60-foot platforms.

60-Foot Stations

The following rendering and site plan show what a typical 60-foot station would look like:

Rendering of a typical 60-foot station. (Sound Transit)
Rendering of a typical 60-foot station. (Sound Transit)
Site plan of a typical 60-foot station. (Sound Transit)
Site plan of a typical 60-foot station. (Sound Transit)

100-Foot Stations

The following rendering and site plan show what a typical 100-foot station would look like:

Rendering of a typical 100-foot station. (Sound Transit)
Rendering of a typical 100-foot station. (Sound Transit)
Site plan of a typical 100-foot station. (Sound Transit)
Site plan of a typical 100-foot station. (Sound Transit)

Canopy Options

Sound Transit is toying with two different options for canopy designs at stations. While there are similarities between the two options, Option A would have butterfly canopies with vertically ribbed windscreens and tall glass panel. Option B would be a simpler design with a flat canopy with zigzagged beams and wavy windscreens. To add some visual interest, at least one tall pole would extend from the canopy structure.

Rendering of the Option A design. (Sound Transit)
Rendering of the Option A design. (Sound Transit)
Rendering of the Option B design. (Sound Transit)
Rendering of the Option B design. (Sound Transit)
Full station profile for the extension. (Sound Transit)
Full station profile for the extension. (Sound Transit)

Traction Power Substations

Sound Transit has identified four different locations along the extension for traction power substations. These facilities will be relatively small, but highly visible from adjacent streets. The agency wants to create visually interesting facilities by screening them softly from view. A variety of options are on the table, including: ornamental metalwork, landscaping, art panels, and decorative concrete.

The proposed locations for traction power substations. (Sound Transit)
The proposed locations for traction power substations. (Sound Transit)
Possible screening treatments for the traction power substations. (Sound Transit)
Possible screening treatments for the traction power substations. (Sound Transit)
Rendering of a traction power substation at S 5th St between Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and L Street. (Sound Transit)
Rendering of a traction power substation at S 5th St between Martin Luther King, Jr. Way and L Street. (Sound Transit)

Next Steps

Final design will continue through next year with 90% design expected this summer. At that point, more should be known about finer station details and selected artwork to be incorporated into the extension. Construction on the line is expected to begin sometime next year with the extension opening to passenger service in 2022–a year after the Northgate extension and a year before the Lynnwood and Redmond extensions. In the meantime, the public is encouraged to weigh in on designs and station names through an online survey.

Related Articles

Initial Design Concepts for Tacoma Link Expansion

Tacoma Link Extension Receives Final Approval

2 COMMENTS

  1. Who is going to ride this thing on that rediculous U shape? The end to end travel time can’t be competitive if you are trying to get downtown.

    my impression is that overall light rail hasn’t been successful in most places, and that Seattle is kind of the exception because we have grade separation, direct routes etc.

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