Hilltop Tacoma Link Expansion

Enhancing connectivity across the vibrant Hilltop neighborhood.

Sound Transit | Tacoma, Washington, USA | 2016 - 2023

Doubled the length of Tacoma Link with 6 new stations.

Expanding partnership with Sound Transit, City of Tacoma, and Federal Transit Administration

Projected ridership of 2,000 to 4,000 daily riders by 2026.


  • Sound Transit wanted to create an in-street running light rail extension within existing road lanes to expand operations and accommodate major medical facilities and other popular destinations in the city.
  • The client needed to create seamless integration with existing Tacoma Link alignment and stations, while considering on-street parking and bicycle facilities.
  • To accommodate the new light rail extension and five new light rail vehicles, Sound Transit also needed to expand the Operations and Maintenance Facility.


  • Served as the systems designer of record, providing final design for traction power substations, overhead contact system, rail signal system, and other critical components.
  • Developed a comprehensive electrical system design, including corrosion control and equipment grounding for all system elements.
  • Implemented innovative solutions such as a single-wire fixed tension overhead contact system and signaling for the mainline crossover and new rail yard.
  • Seamlessly integrated the signal systems with the City of Tacoma's existing traffic signal systems.
  • Provided design support during construction, ensuring the successful integration and testing of the systems.
  • Developed a new traction power SCADA system that integrated new and existing substations, offering Sound Transit the ability to control and monitor the entire Tacoma Link traction power system from the Operations and Maintenance Facility.


  • Extended Tacoma Link by 2.4 miles and added six stations, connecting the Theater District, Stadium District, and Hilltop neighborhood.
  • Expanded the operations and maintenance facility focusing on industrial design, yard signals, traction power substation (TPS), overhead catenary, and TPS SCADA communications design.
  • Provided engineering services for multiple light rail extensions, including the East Link, Lynnwood Link, Downtown Redmond Link, and Hilltop Tacoma Link as part of the $32 billion Sound Transit 2 initiative approved by voters in 2016.

Project numbers

2.4 miles of light rail extension.
6 new stations serving major destinations and medical facilities.
2,000 - 4,000 projected daily riders by 2026.
$250 million investment for the Hilltop Tacoma Link Extension project.

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