Tacoma Municipal Belt Line Railway is renamed Tacoma Rail on June 12, 1998.

  • By David Wilma
  • Posted 1/30/2003
  • HistoryLink.org Essay 5148

On June 12, 1998, the Tacoma Municipal Belt Line Railway becomes Tacoma Rail, a division of Tacoma Public Utilities. The renaming applies to the electrical and water utilities as well and drops the governmental association that the names had historically featured. The Water Department becomes Tacoma Water. City Light becomes Tacoma Power. The City's proposed telecommunications network becomes Click!

The renaming started a year before when Tacoma Public Utilities decided to polish its image with the public as other utilities had done. Puget Sound Power & Light Co. traded in the name it had used since the 1920s for Puget Sound Energy. Utilities Director Mark Crisson stated, "With all the change that's been happening in the industry over the past year, we've been thinking about changing how we appear to customers and the public."


Kim Eckart, "'City' Will Get Out Of The Utilities Business," The News Tribune, June 12, 1998, p. B-1; Al Gibbs, "Tacoma City Light May Polish Its Image By Abandoning Its Name," Ibid., April 9, 1997, p. A-8.

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