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Home<Pacific Northwest<Sounder Commuter Rail<Tukwila

Tukwila opened as a temporary station on March 12, 2001. The station opened as a temporary station to allow nearby cities to develop development plans and perform nearby intersection reconfigurations. A new permanent modern station was dedicated on February 18, 2015 turning the temporary station into a regional transit hub. All four Amtrak Cascades trips started to stop at the station on June 1, 2001 as signs announcing this beginning date of service still appeared on both platforms in 2011. In terms of ridership the stop serves both residents in the surrounding community as well as employees of Boeing going to and from work.

The current station has three tracks and two side platforms, an additional track was added as part of the stations permanent construction on the location of the former temporary Track 2 side platform, there are no train boarding provisions for the new middle track. The new platforms each have 5 canopied areas with glass windscreens covering 3 benches. Between these areas the platform is open with unique lampposts that have normal grey bases like the rest of the station. The tops of the lampposts looking like their telescoping almost out to the platform edge are yellow. The station also has a display monitor with the Amtrak logo beneath it, part of an Amtrak initiative to provide audio and visual announcements at stations, it didn't seem to be on when I visited in March 2018.

The two station platforms are connected only by a sidewalk (that's higher than the street below) on the narrow underpass of 21 Street. East Platform 2, still has no drop-off access belows, although it's along a fire road and parking lot behind a locked gate. 4 staircases at regular intervals lead off this embankment to the sidewalk along this fire lane. There are also two ramps, one taking nearly the full length of the platform to reach 21 Street, and another more direct ramp that leads down to it from the middle of the platform.

The Platform 1 side is where the regional transit hub is. This platform also has 5 staircases off the platform. There are two ramps that run parallel to each other going down in a southerly direction, crossing the staircases. The ramps assume everyone going up to the platform from the parking lot and bus loop and not trying to get there from platform 2. Beneath this platform is the station's bus loop closest to 21 Street, that includes a small modern building for bus driver layovers and dispatches. The bus loop has one long stopping area, with multiple bus bays. Connecting bus routes including King County Metro's Rapid F Line that provides easy connections >Tukwila International Blvd Station on the Link Light Rail. South of the Bus loop is the station's expanded 390-space parking lot that stretches south of the platform. This parking lot has access from both 21 Street and a street (that Google labels as Tukwila Station Access Road) that leads south of the station to Stander Blvd that also has an underpass beneath the tracks.

As of 2011, the temporary station had two long low-level wooden side platforms for the two-track line that have a tactile warning strip and the required ADA mini-high platforms. Platform fences as well as the fence between the tracks to prevent unauthorized crossings are all of the industrial chain-linked verity. For shelter each platform has two wooden enclosed shacks with a couple of benches inside of them. Platform signs are even temporary looking consisting of an inverse of the standard Sounder sign, dark blue on white. Access to each platform is via a long wooden ramp upward from the underpass of 21 Street plus a more direct staircase. On the Seattle-bound side of the tracks is a parking lot (208 spaces) and another wooden enclosure housing the only two TVMs for the station (There are ORCA card readers along each staircase in and out of the station). There is also an additional staircase up to this platform from the parking lot.
Photos 1-48 taken on 11 October, 2011, 49: 11 April, 2014; 50-83: 8 March, 2018

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Southbound BiLevel #302 leaves
Fields are beyond the station as a Southbound Sounder Train leaves
One of the unique temporary looking platform signs
Looking across to a wooden waiting enclosure with a bench inside on the Seattle-bound platform
Sign for the four daily Amtrak Cascade trips that stop
Sign for the beginning of Amtrak Cascade service that began on June 1, 2001
Sounder map and timetable
Sign for the beginning of Amtrak Cascade Service south to Portland
The top of the ADA ramp with a chain link fence instead of a railing on the incline
A single BN caboose approaches the station
A BN Caboose goes through the southbound side of the station
GP39-2R BN #2925 pushes a caboose through
GP39-2R BN #2925 keeps going through the station
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Home<Pacific Northwest<Sounder Commuter Rail<Tukwila
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Last Updated: 11 December, 2011
All photos are by Jeremiah Cox
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