KFnet in T-Town

Jul. 18, 2012 at 7:04am

Sounder Construction Update - Paint, Track, Lights, and Road

The new blue of the Pacific train overpass. Though it's a very dark shade of the color it will soon...

...be lit by banks of LED lights. Should be a cool effect but I think a local artist should petition SoundTransit to pain something on those blank surfaces. A lovely "You'll Like Tacoma" to welcome folks through this new gateway perhaps?

South Tacoma Way is again open heading to/from Pacific. It's only one lane in each direction but makes for a much easier transit between downtown and the Nalley Valley. Note also the temporary light at 27th and Pacific (in front of Cheers) has now been removed.

Track now runs over Pacific and again up into the Nalley Valley. Nice to again see rail where the old Prairie Line use to run.

comments [24]  |  posted under construction, rail, sounder, tacoma, train, transit


by cisserosmiley on 7/18/2012 @ 7:42am
This looks amazing, putting rail back in here is a fun look back and a great planning decision for the future.

by Chris.Tacoma on 7/18/2012 @ 8:18am
Great post Kevin! You'll like Tacoma would be a great addition to the blankness of the overpass.

What I can't wait for is when Amtrak moves their train station to Freight house square and Tacoma Link is extended. It will be possible for more Tacomans to access PDX entirely by rail.

by KevinFreitas on 7/18/2012 @ 11:06am
We also need some serious mural action on all those new cement walls in and around this intersection before they get completely tagged up.

by Non Sequitur on 7/18/2012 @ 11:22am
Funny, I was just mentioning to the Missus yesterday that the overpass looked less bad than the renderings indicated.

by Jesse on 7/18/2012 @ 4:19pm
"A lovely "You'll Like Tacoma" to welcome folks through this new gateway perhaps?" -- Kevin


by Nick K. on 7/22/2012 @ 11:38pm
Testing (signaling and qualification) starts between Freighouse Sq. and Lakewood tomorrow morning (Monday) at 7:00, and will commence throughout the week. You will probably be seeing equipment running back and forth.

by KevinFreitas on 7/23/2012 @ 6:49am
Wow! That's great to know, thanks @Nick!

by fredo on 7/23/2012 @ 6:53am

I don't ride public transportation much. What are the termination points of this system? What is the schedule and how much are the fares?

by Cheechmo on 7/23/2012 @ 10:24am
This extension will bring the Seattle-Tacoma route down to Lakewood. There is also an Everett-Seattle route. Fare is 4.75 if taking the full trip from Tacoma to Seattle and slightly less if your trip ends at one of the stops before Seattle.

by JesseHillFan on 7/23/2012 @ 10:48pm
While riding on the Pierce Transit Bus (I usually actively travel by bicycle and now only take the bus perhaps every couple of months) I saw a locomotive vehicle testing the tracks on the line bySouth Tacoma Way and Pine and also saw some workers by South Lawrence street and 35th Street in Nalley's Valley.Quite interesting Nick,Kevin and Cheechmo thanks for the heads up.That fare looks quite low too so perhaps I'll take a ride on the train up to Seattle sometime in the future.

by Cheechmo on 7/24/2012 @ 12:29am
I much prefer taking the train over the bus when I make a trip up to Seattle. Riding in a train just feels more relaxing and nostalgic, in a way. What would be really nice is if we had trains running back and forth all the time, instead of only during typical business commute hours. Hell, it would be even better if we had a local light rail/street car system that was worth a damn, but now I'm getting off-topic and we have other threads for that discussion anyway.

by fredo on 7/24/2012 @ 7:03am
Cheech. local light rail/street cars are possible. But not in conjuction with prevailing wage rate construction. They are too expensive, IMO.

I've tried to get folks interested in a volunteer built system which would be the pride of Tacoma...the nation, really. So far only a few folks have shown an interest in helping. Apparently people would prefer to complain about the paucity of rail then actually roll up their sleeves and get busy.

by KevinFreitas on 7/24/2012 @ 7:42am
@Cheechmo It's well worth the ride. I've taken it a few times and really enjoyed it. Were I a Tacoma to downtown Seattle commuter I'd absolutely take it. It's a great option for getting to sporting events too since it drops you off right by the stadiums.

by CaptainBritton on 7/24/2012 @ 8:09am
It still doesn't run to the UofW, nor does it run in time to get me to work in Seattle...I'd have to leave before my shift ends to take it home...There is a lot missing in the commuter's life. Mostly good jobs here in T-town.

by Nick K. on 7/24/2012 @ 8:28am
So I now hear the first train is held until Monday morning, Aug 6. A special Sounder will depart Seattle en-route to Lakewood. There should be some media coverage. 

by thriceallamerican on 7/24/2012 @ 9:22am
Regarding CaptainBritton's comments, yeah, it's frustrating that the train schedule seems to be shifted so damn early in the morning/evening. I'm in the tech industry, where it's not uncommon for people to come into the office at 10 or 10:30 and then stay into the evening. I'm fine shifting my (thankfully flexible) schedule a bit earlier to be able to take Sounder, but I wonder if more tech-industry-friendly schedules would make Tacoma more inviting as a home for programmer types who work in Seattle. More programmers living here could help build critical mass for increased startup culture right here, maybe?

by fredo on 7/24/2012 @ 9:28am

If smart type folks live in Tacoma and would prefer to work in Tacoma rather than Seattle...then why don't they start companies which are located in Tacoma? Is there some high tech puppetmaster that compells them to work in a different city? Commuting is so last century.

by thriceallamerican on 7/24/2012 @ 9:42am
Being in the tech industry does not necessarily mean entrepreneurial. I'm good at my job, can exercise leadership skills when needed, and enjoy working in a startup environment, but at the end of the day I'm most effective and happiest as a worker bee. Only some percentage of techies are going to have the right set of skills and drive to start a company, so we're looking at a game of numbers here. I'll gladly consider working for them.

But anyway, we're off topic, aside from the fact that I'd love for Sound Transit to add later morning and evening trains next time they are able to afford and negotiate and expanded schedule.

by fredo on 7/24/2012 @ 10:10am
  I enjoyed your comment thrice. Hope it's still OK to comment on the topic of commuting since Sounder construction is a development which both encourages and facilitates job commuters.

Well if people spend 3 hours per day commuting so they can work in Seattle and live in Tacoma that means they are spending about 1000 hours per year commuting or 30,000 hours of their life (based on a 30 year career). Even if one is happier being a worker bee is it really worth almost four full years of your life?

by thriceallamerican on 7/24/2012 @ 10:16am
Yup, that's a lot of time commuting, no need to tell me about it...and that's a damn good question whether or not it's worth the time. One can spend the commute time doing work, or something else pleasurable (reading/napping/etc.) that isn't possible while driving, but you're right, that's 2-3 hours a day that one can only do what is possible while riding the train, away from home and family. I like my job, and work from home pretty much as often as possible, but sometimes you've just gotta be face-to-face with your coworkers. Maybe someday I'll just move to Seattle, but I'm attached to and invested in life in Tacoma.

by fredo on 7/24/2012 @ 10:19am

good points. my wife commutes to auburn everyday so we understand the tradeoffs too.

by Cheechmo on 7/24/2012 @ 11:05am
I've seen the conversation about your volunteer-built streetcar system. It's just been a lot of talk and no action. Maybe more people would be willing to help if there was a formal proposal? We can't just start throwing down tracks wherever we want. Where do we get the skilled engineers, foremen, and materials to do it? How do we go about securing permits and dealing with right-of-way issues and getting the city's stamp of approval? It seems like a daunting task. Hypothetically, if all the prerequisite issues were taken care of and all it came down to was some manual labor manpower, I would be there.

by cisserosmiley on 7/24/2012 @ 11:12am
"trophy train" yay, Tacoma has a train!!!

by JesseHillFan on 7/24/2012 @ 4:02pm
For those wanting to get the ball rolling on a possible streetcar system this looks like an opportunity to do so.At least it's an angle in which one would have more power to possibly start an implementation of such a plan.There are however other duties.But it's a start.


Although I have another home on the web I thought it might be nice to lead by example a bit and put this blog system up to the test myself.

So far, so good... Funny how I build web tools for other people that are far better than the one's I have setup over on KFnet.


Hey Clear Channel, Clean Up Your Crap!

Advantage: Tacoma

Quick Bites

Recent Posts