Four new Sounder runs between Tacoma and Seattle are on the way thanks to an agreement between Sound Transit and the Burlington Northern railroad. The trains will start being phased in in 2012. This will bring the total number of trains to 13 round trips or 26 trains per day. The cost for this agreement with BNSF was $185 million. Not exactly cheap, but the contract gives Sound Transit the right to run on the tracks in perpetuity. More information available via Sound Transit.
Here's an excerpt from the press release:
The expanded service will add four peak direction, peak hour trains to the Seattle-to-Tacoma Sounder schedule, with flexibility to run reverse commute and midday service based on ridership demand.Mid-day service plus peak hour trains, not bad. By the time these trains come online Lakewood's portion of the Sounder should be operational. Looking forward, I do recall that Sound Transit did something really smart by purchasing the use of track all the way to Thurston County (previously covered Tacoma to Olympia: Coming Rail Infrastructure). You have to wonder if 13 potential round trip trains to Seattle from Olympia just might be enough to entice Thurston County to join Sound Transit (discussed before briefly on Exit133).