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Sumner station

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Sumner station east platform and bus bay.jpg
East platform and bus bays at Sumner station
Location810 Maple Street
Sumner, Washington
United States
Coordinates47°12′06″N 122°14′40″W / 47.20167°N 122.24444°W / 47.20167; -122.24444Coordinates: 47°12′06″N 122°14′40″W / 47.20167°N 122.24444°W / 47.20167; -122.24444
Owned bySound Transit
Platforms2 side platforms
ConnectionsSound Transit Express
Structure typeAt-grade
Parking302 parking spaces
Bicycle facilitiesBicycle lockers
Disabled accessYes
OpenedMarch 10, 2001
Preceding station  
  Following station
toward Lakewood
Line S (Sound Transit) icon.svg South Line
toward Seattle
Sumner is located in Washington (state)
Location in Washington
Sumner is located in the United States
Location in the United States

Sumner station is a train station in the city of Sumner, Washington, United States. It is served by the Sounder South Line, a commuter rail line operated by Sound Transit. The station is located to the southwest of downtown Sumner and includes two platforms, a bus station, and 302 parking spaces. Commuter train service to Sumner began in September 2000 at a temporary station, while the permanent facility opened on March 10, 2001. Parking at the station is expected to expand to over 600 stalls in 2021, after the completion of a new parking garage and pedestrian bridge.


Sumner station is located southwest of downtown Sumner along Narrow and Traffic streets between Maple and Academy streets. It consists of two side platforms along a dual-track segment of the Seattle Subdivision, owned by BNSF Railway.[1] The two platforms measure 600 feet (180 m) in length and are connected by an level crossing along Maple Street on the north side of the station.[2][3] The platforms have three canopies that resemble hop kilns, reflecting Sumner's agricultural history, and act as waiting rooms for passengers.[4][5] The east platform also has a clocktower, public restrooms, and several bus bays that serve Sound Transit Express buses.[1][6] The north end of each platform is home to "Shadow Caster", a piece of public art by Ellen Sollod that uses a trellis-like structure with inlaid patterns to cast shadows resembling hops vines onto the sidewalk.[7]

Sumner station has 302 parking spaces in two lots, two bicycle racks with ten spaces, and seven bicycle lockers with a capacity of 14 bicycles.[1] The main parking lots are located on Narrow Street south of the station and between Main and Maple streets on the west side of the tracks. An overflow lot at a former Red Apple grocery store is located three blocks east of the station on Academy Street, requiring a paid reservation during weekdays.[8][9] The park-and-ride serves residents of Sumner, Puyallup, Bonney Lake, and other nearby communities.[1]


Sumner mayor George Ryan built the city's first train station in 1883, shortly after the completion of the Puget Sound Shore Railroad, a branch of the Northern Pacific Railway between Tacoma and Seattle.[10] Sumner's train depot, located near the site of the current Sounder station, was replaced several times and demolished in 1976.[4][11]

Proposals for a modern commuter rail system between Seattle and Tacoma date back to the 1980s and included a potential stop in Sumner using either the Burlington Northern (later BNSF) or Union Pacific railroads.[12][13] The 1993 regional transit plan developed by the Regional Transit Authority (RTA; later Sound Transit) recommended a commuter rail station in Sumner, which carried over into the RTA's failed 1995 ballot measure.[14][15] During development of the 1995 plan, a joint Puyallup–Sumner station with a large park-and-ride facility was proposed and later rejected in favor of separate downtown stations.[16][17] The commuter rail system was approved by voters in 1996 and the project moved into engineering and design under Sound Transit.[18]

The passenger waiting shelter at Sumner station, shaped like a hop kiln

A block-long section of Narrow Street south of Maple Street, home to the city's maintenance shops, was proposed as the site for the commuter rail station in 1997.[19] The Narrow Street site was formally adopted as the preferred alternative in early 1998 and a contract to design the station was awarded to Tacoma-based architecture firm Merritt Pardini.[20][21] The station's depot, reflecting the area's historical hops industry, was originally slated to be scaled back due to rising project costs, but protests from Sumner residents prompted Sound Transit to fund its construction separately.[22][23] Design work on the station was completed in July 1999 and the $3.9 million construction contract was awarded to Lumpkin General Contractor in September.[6][24]

Construction of Sumner station began on October 5, 1999, with a ceremonial groundbreaking attended by local officials and community members.[25] The city's maintenance shops and recycling center were moved to new facilities to make way for the station's park and ride lots.[26][27] The platforms were graded in July 2000 and a temporary station opened for Sounder service on September 18, 2000.[26][28] Sumner station officially opened on March 10, 2001, coinciding with the introduction of Sound Transit Express routes to the city.[29][30]

Parking demands at the station spurred the creation of a restricted parking zone on nearby streets, as the park and ride lot filled quickly in the mornings by 2006.[31][32] In its 2005 long-range plan, Sound Transit considered two proposals to alleviate demand at the station: construction of a parking garage at the current station, or construction of an auxiliary station on city-owned land to the north of downtown Sumner.[31][33] The parking garage was favored by the Sumner city council, but councilmembers disagreed on whether to site it adjacent to the station or elsewhere in Sumner or Bonney Lake.[34] The garage project and a provisional station in North Sumner (to be funded with an outside party) were included in the Roads and Transit ballot measure in 2007, which combined transit projects with road improvements.[35][36] The ballot measure was rejected by voters and a revised, transit-only plan known as Sound Transit 2 was passed the following year.[37][38] Sound Transit 2 dropped the provisional North Sumner station and allocated $40 million to the garage project.[39][40]

The 400-stall parking garage on the south side of the station was approved in 2014 alongside improvements to nearby sidewalks and a pedestrian overpass connecting the two platforms.[41] The garage's four-story height and its effects on Sumner's historic downtown generated concerns from the city council, who also requested 623 parking stalls (a net increase of 505 stalls) before endorsing the project in 2016.[42] The garage and pedestrian overpass were scheduled to begin construction in 2019 and open by 2021, at a cost of $52 million, but will be delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[43] The project is scheduled to begin construction in 2021 and be completed the following year.[44]


Sumner station is served by 13 daily round-trips on Sounder, which travel north to King Street Station in Downtown Seattle and south to Tacoma Dome Station or Lakewood station on weekdays.[43] Two Sound Transit Express bus routes also stop at the station: Route 578, with all-day connections to Puyallup station, Auburn station, Federal Way Transit Center, and Downtown Seattle; and Route 596, a peak-only shuttle to Bonney Lake's park and ride.[8][45] The station was served by local Pierce Transit service until Sumner withdrew from the district in 2012,[46] in part due to declining service.[47][48] Pierce County operates a separate dial-a-ride service between Sumner station, downtown Sumner, and Bonney Lake on weekdays.[49]


  1. ^ a b c d "Sounder Stations Access Study" (PDF). Sound Transit. September 2012. pp. 29–31, 34–35. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  2. ^ "Sumner Station Access Improvements Visual Impact Assessment" (PDF). Sound Transit. March 2016. p. 70. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  3. ^ "Sumner Station Access Improvements Project Cultural Resources Technical Report" (PDF). Sound Transit. March 2016. p. 32. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Train Station Design Reflects Sumner's History, Tradition" (PDF). Sumner Community Connection. City of Sumner. October 1998. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  5. ^ Pardini, Lee; McReynolds, Dan (January 16, 2000). "Sumner's rail station a community project". Puget Sound Business Journal. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  6. ^ a b "Sound Transit Motion No. M99-58" (PDF). Sound Transit. September 2, 1999. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  7. ^ "Guide to art: Sounder commuter rail" (PDF). Sound Transit. 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Ride the Wave Transit Guide: Route Maps & Schedules" (PDF). Sound Transit. March 2018. p. 30. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  9. ^ Needles, Allison (June 19, 2017). "Looking for parking in Sumner? Reserved commuter lot to open at former Red Apple Market". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  10. ^ Rogerson, Paul J.; Palmer, Carmen M. (2013). Sumner. Images of America. Charleston, South Carolina: Arcadia Publishing. p. 73. ISBN 9781467130639. OCLC 842209504.
  11. ^ Sumner Station Access Improvement Project: Cultural Resources Technical Report (PDF) (Report). Sound Transit. March 2016. pp. 15, 18, 32. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  12. ^ Tizon, Alex (November 18, 1988). "Local taxes proposed for rail route". The Seattle Times. p. C1.
  13. ^ Wilson, Geordie (January 18, 1994). "Commuter-rail plan builds up steam". The Seattle Times. p. B3.
  14. ^ "Alternatives" (PDF). Regional Transit System Plan: Final Environmental Impact Statement (Report). Regional Transit Project. March 1993. p. 34. OCLC 27723634. Retrieved April 29, 2018 – via Sound Transit.
  15. ^ "The Regional Transit System Proposal: Pierce County" (PDF). Central Puget Sound Regional Transit Authority. February 1995. pp. 7–8. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  16. ^ Albert, Anthony K. (January 19, 1994). "Rail proposal gets valley backing; Sumner, Puyallup ponder stations". The News Tribune. p. B6.
  17. ^ Kremer, Lisa (August 21, 1994). "Downtowns may ride rails to revitalization". The News Tribune. p. B2.
  18. ^ Schaefer, David (November 7, 1996). "Transit plan can trace surprise success to suburbs". The Seattle Times. p. B1. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  19. ^ "RTA designing Sumner Rail Station". Sumner Community Connection. City of Sumner. October 1997. Archived from the original on November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  20. ^ "Regional Transit Authority Motion No. 98-19" (PDF). Sound Transit. March 12, 1998. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  21. ^ "Sound Transit Motion No. M98-81" (PDF). Sound Transit. November 5, 1998. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  22. ^ Tucker, Rob (February 9, 1999). "Depots unlikely now at Sumner, Puyallup". The News Tribune. p. A1.
  23. ^ Tucker, Rob (May 5, 1999). "Sound Transit to fund depots". The News Tribune. p. A1.
  24. ^ Schneiter, Mary (May 19, 1999). "Companies sought to bid on new rail stations". The News Tribune. p. EA1.
  25. ^ "Ground Breaking Ceremony For Train Station Oct. 5" (PDF). Sumner Community Connection. City of Sumner. October 1999. p. 7. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Train Depot Work on Fast Track" (PDF). Sumner Community Connection. City of Sumner. July 2000. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  27. ^ "New Location for Recycling Center" (PDF). Sumner Community Connection. City of Sumner. April 2000. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  28. ^ "Sounder Train Rolls In To Sumner" (PDF). Sumner Community Connection. City of Sumner. October 2000. p. 1. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  29. ^ Kawada, Eijiro (March 11, 2001). "Hundreds gather to celebrate opening of Sounder train station". The News Tribune. p. B2.
  30. ^ "New Transit Service Comes to Sumner with the Opening of the Sounder Station" (PDF). Sumner Community Connection. City of Sumner. April 2001. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 25, 2011. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  31. ^ a b Tucker, Rob (December 4, 2005). "New train station in Sumner?". The News Tribune. p. B1. Archived from the original on December 7, 2005. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  32. ^ Tucker, Rob (October 5, 2006). "Commuter culture grows on rails". The News Tribune. p. A1.
  33. ^ "Future Possibilities—South" (PDF). Sound Transit. December 2, 2005. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  34. ^ Tucker, Rob (March 6, 2006). "Sumner considers 400-space garage". The News Tribune. p. B1.
  35. ^ "Projects: South Corridor". Regional Transportation Investment District. June 28, 2007. Archived from the original on August 8, 2007. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  36. ^ "Sound Transit 2: Making Connections" (PDF). Sound Transit. May 2007. p. 11. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  37. ^ Garber, Andrew (November 7, 2007). "Huge roads-transit plan gets trounced". The Seattle Times. p. A1. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  38. ^ Lange, Larry (November 5, 2008). "Sound Transit's package is passing; I-985 falling short". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. p. A14. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  39. ^ "Sound Transit Resolution No. R2008-10" (PDF). Sound Transit. July 24, 2008. p. 11. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  40. ^ "Sounder: Parking Garage and Pedestrian Bridge at Sumner Station" (PDF). Sound Transit. April 24, 2008. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  41. ^ Plog, Kari (September 2, 2014). "Sound Transit votes to build parking garages at Puyallup, Sumner stations". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  42. ^ Lynn, Adam (May 15, 2016). "Sumner Sounder station garage nearing final approval". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  43. ^ a b Needles, Allison (December 6, 2017). "Design pieces drop into place for new Sumner Sounder Train Station parking garage". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  44. ^ "Sumner Station Improvements". Sound Transit. Retrieved February 2, 2021.
  45. ^ Beckley, Brian (April 30, 2012). "Route 596 between Bonney Lake and Sumner made official". Bonney Lake-Sumner Courier-Herald. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  46. ^ "Summer 2012 Report to the Community" (PDF). Pierce Transit. June 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 15, 2012. Retrieved April 29, 2018.
  47. ^ "Mass transit dispute still simmers in Sumner". The News Tribune. May 31, 2012.
  48. ^ "Lack of service compels Sumner to opt out of Pierce Transit". The News Tribune. January 24, 2012.
  49. ^ Plog, Kari (February 25, 2015). "East Pierce shuttle riders can go Beyond the Borders of traditional service". The News Tribune. Retrieved April 29, 2018.

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