I Rode Link Too – And It Was Amazing

I don’t know who did this video, but it’s a time-lapse of our ride. We started at Othello station and went nearly to Tukwila:

We didn’t go full speed – but through a couple of the corners we were at least close. The ride was amazingly smooth – maybe just because it was new, but Yellow Line on the MAX wasn’t this smooth when it was new. The AC was on most of the time, but a couple of times it clicked off – and the line was silent.

Everyone was there, but what was most amazing to me was finally getting to see Jim Ellis in person. He’s been waiting so long to see this… he was probably the only person on the ride who’d actually ridden an old Seattle streetcar. He wasn’t really there to talk to the media, though, he was there to ride. At 87, I don’t blame him at all. It was fantastic that he finally got to see what he wanted when he tried to do this in 1968.

Patty Murray seemed really excited – all the electeds really seemed to be enjoying themselves. I think this was everyone’s first time on a moving Link train, so the reactions were pretty much universally like kids in a candy store.

The view was wonderful. The windows on the train are big – it’s more open and light than I had expected from being on it in the operations base previously. And it’s great even packed full of people – there’s plenty of space to move around, plenty of space to stand and sit. I hope we have interesting buskers. :)

Sound Transit is doing a great job with this. I can’t wait until there’s an end-to-end at full speed – it seemed fast even at 35, and I saw some 55mph speed limit signs on the elevated section we were on. It’s going to be really nice to take this to the airport – the doors are big, people can empty and board in a matter of seconds, rather than the many minutes it takes for dozens of tourists to fumble for change on the 194.

I can’t wait to ride it again, and see how all the new passengers react!




Comments

  1. Oran says

    Thanks whoever posted that video. It was almost like being there.

    I noticed in the video 3 other trains running. Every time I went down to MLK, I never see any trains. Did the event coincide with the commencement of regular testing on MLK or I was unlucky and always missed it all along?

    • Pete says

      The other train(s) that you see in the video is actually the same 4-car train seen twice. And it’s not moving. It’s the train that’s currently being stored on the siding track (inbetween the northbound and southbound tracks) immediatly south of the Henderson Street station.

      • Ben Schiendelman says

        Two of them are that four car train, one of them is the extra that passed over I-5 with us, right?

  2. alexjonlin says

    Wow that’s really awesome. And maybe although they probably won’t have a public Link event before July, they could have a transit nerd event…?

  3. Gordon Werner says

    Why were they using police cars to stop traffic? is the signal system / traffic light system not yet functional/integrated?

    • Ben Schiendelman says

      Nobody’s used to it. I believe it was active, but this is not exactly the time to tempt fate.

  4. uh huh says

    Oran, there were indeed other trains visible. Two vehicles were parked on a tail track just south of the Rainier Beach station. Then the test train passed another, northbound, test train in the vicinty of I-5. ST has four vehicle in the Valley right now, and all are in the process of “burn-in”.

    Gordon, the signal system is fully integrated so that the trains will only stop at stations. For this ride, the police escort between Othello and Beach was a precaution since the signals are being tested along with the trains.

  5. says

    I shot this with a little digital camera, propped on the dash. I had a big tv camera too, working for KOMO-TV.

    Glad people like the video, I’m looking forward to riding it again!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Jim Ellis (pictured) lead the charter-writing effort, so its no surprise it included a mass transit plan. Ellis has now faught for transit in our region for more than fifty five years. More on Ellis here, here and here. I rode Link with him last year, and his vision for our region is finally becoming a reality: the 1952 Charter failed by a 2-1 margin, but since then nearly every other provision in the charter has passed. In 1958, a county wastewater treatment agency was created. In 1968, the county adopted a council and executive system, and the positions were made non-partisan last year. In 1973, Metro Transit was created to provide county buses. King County Parks were created in 1974. In 1994 Sound Transit was created to provide regional mass (and rapid) transit, and light rail opens in 52 days. If we had only listened to Ellis earlier we might be a lot better off today. [...]

Sign in or create an account to save your credentials and make commenting faster.



You may want to read our comment policy.