The awesome photo on the right by Oran shows where Link crosses over the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) tracks that Sounder and Amtrak run on. At that spot was planned a transfer station between northbound Sounder riders to Link on their way to Sea-Tac, the Boeing Access Road station. Apparently, BNSF needs the space for freight operations there, and there wasn’t a spot for a passenger platform. Without a Sounder Transfer, ridership wouldn’t have been been high enough to make the station worth the cost of construction and so it was deferred.
A while back the Port of Seattle and King County were coming close to an agreement in which the Port would have bought the BNSF Eastside rail line, and traded it to the County with some cash for Boeing Field. There has been talk of operating commercial flights out of Boeing Field. Although the County-Port deal has been shelved, if commercial flights ever make their way to Boeing Field, we’d probably see a BAR station. This is speculation, but Sound Transit is probably keeping its powder dry for just such a possibility.
Even without another airport or basketball arena, the site has allure for arm-chair transit planners. Not only does it provide access to a fairly large employer and the Museum of Flight, but it also provides an access point for Tukwila Metro buses in a stretch where those are scarce. Furthermore, with a higher level of investment, and a change of heart by BNSF, you could construct a tri-modal terminal where express buses, LINK, and commuter rail all converge to allow easy transfers between them, and possibly eliminate the need for buses to head into Downtown Seattle. And it would put a Link station within walking distance of my favorite diner in our region, and a man can dream, right?
If you live in South County, would you transfer from Sounder at a Boeing Access Road station on your way to Seatac? If you live in South Seattle, Renton or Tukwila how miserable would you be if jetliner takeoffs and landings at Boeing Field increased four or five fold?