Continuing onward with the ST gripes and such, I thought I’d give the people a comforting update.
Most of the rail is completed for Airport Link except along the roadway and at the final station. This is planned to be completed by this Summer. Wire installation of the entire route will be completed by the Summer of 2008. Beacon Hill Station building will start construction later this Summer with the structure being completed by the end of the year.
Sound Transit has put in an order for 20 additional LRV’s for University Link. This will be the third order and will be delivered in 2013. Sound Transit currently has 21 LRV’s on the property, leaving 14 of the initial order remaining which are all in Everett now for assembly.
Link operators are running 16 hour shifts, starting between 6am and going until at least midnight to get people accustomed to day and night operations. Metro staff will start training in February 2009.
Starting later this week or two, Metro and Sound Transit will begin bus and Light-Rail testing in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel. This will consist of 1 LRV and 6 buses. Next week will be 2 LRV’s and 12 buses. They will simulate a broken down bus, broken down LRV, emergency drills, etc, which will all be repeated in Feb-Mar for Metro operators.
Sound Transit is aiming for a JUNE 2009 opening though it may very well be July 2009. Either way, it will be a Summer launch.
The original concept was always at-grade and not elevated along MLK Way. It was the option that made the most sense and was least impact on the community.
Signaling along MLK Way will be timed with the train and traffic. At any given time, the E-W traffic will be delayed no more than 35 seconds, a typical light on MLK Way. Currently the grade crossing is timed for 23 seconds at Lander and Holgate Street. I timed both of these crossings today. This model is NOT the same as the South Lake Union Streetcar, the Streetcar does NOT have signal priority on any of it’s travel. It waits for it’s own light which is why it suffers being so slow. Central Link will have signal priority throughout the entire line and will travel at 40mph through the entire corridor. From Henderson Street Station, Link will travel at speeds up to 50mph and it’s maximum speed of 55mph on the elevated sections. Link also runs in a dedicated right-of-way and while it is paved over to Henderson, that does not mean vehicles will be on the tracks. Provisioning was left to allow a low yield fence along the right-of-way if pedestrian and vehicle incidents were to be expected.
Total travel time from Sea-Tac Airport to Westlake Mall is slated to be 39 minutes initially and as adjustments are made, will be down to as fast as 34 minutes.
Sound Transit is planning on operating 3 to 4 car trains during the baseball and football seasons, normal runs will be 1 and 2 car trains.
Sound Transit will be closing Pine Street next year to start boring on University Link. Two of the tunnel boring machines will start at Montlake to Capitol Hill, the third will start at Capitol Hill to the Pine Street Stub Tunnel. Sound Transit has most of the properly bought and will begin demolition early next year for construction staging.
Sound Transit will be installing CCTV cameras at all stations and Seattle Police along with security will be on-board trains. Fare inspectors will be present on-board Link at random times. Police will also start riding on buses at select times on the more vandalized bus routes, like the 554, 574, and 594. ST will also start ramping up inspections on Sounder Commuter Rail.
Sound Transit will have Mukilteo Station open in June 2008 with the Northbound platform starting after BNSF Railway finishes up construction for Boeing. Platform construction is scheduled to start in 2009 and open in June 2009.
I’m sure I left some stuff out but let’s just say that more goodness is going to be coming out much, much, sooner….