Sound Transit Testing Trains on Point Defiance Bypass

On July 15 and 16, Seattle’s Sound Transit will be testing tracks and signals with trains traveling at 50 miles per hour between Tacoma and DuPont. 

The tracks and signals have been undergoing testing at various speeds. Sound Transit owns the tracks and is managing the Point Defiance Bypass construction project for the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT). Sound Transit conducted most of the testing in January and February.

Starting this fall, the tracks at the Point Defiance Bypass that parallel I-5 will go into full-time use by Amtrak Cascades passenger trains and Amtrak long-distance trains. The trains will stop at the new Tacoma station at Freighthouse Square.

The Point Defiance Bypass is one of 20 passenger rail improvement projects overseen by WSDOT. The projects are paid for with nearly $800 million in federal funds. The 20 projects will add two additional daily Amtrak Cascades roundtrips between Seattle and Portland and improve on-time reliability. 

Sound Transit is notifying residents to be prepared for the test trains, which will come from either direction, at varying times of the day.