Link near S 133rd Street
Link near S 133rd Street

I managed to head out and get some photos of Link doing some testing today and uploaded it to my Smugmug account.

Link normally does testing starting on the mornings and goes until 8pm. As of late, the trains have been running between Tukwila Station and Rainier Beach Station. They are doing full speed testing and operator training. It does appear that the operators are now on their own. I don’t know if or when they will start testing between Rainier Beach Station and Mt. Baker Station but I would be safe to assume that this happens on certain days as all of the fencing was open which is normally closed and secured.

Today’s setup was One 3 car train, One single car train, and Two 2 car trains. The 8 LRV’s have been at Tukwila Station for the past couple of months.

Operator testing was also going on between the O&M and Stadium Station with single car trains. I’m not sure if this group goes into the tunnel after it is closed to buses. If you can’t make it to the South end of the line, definitely check out the North end of the line and you’ll see the LRV’s in action.

As for updates ;

The second roof truss has been installed at Sea-Tac Airport Station. They have been very aggressive with the construction on the station. OCS poles have been installed between Tukwila Station and Sea-Tac Airport Station. Wiring is all that is left between the 2 stations.

According to Adam, the great blue wall is down around Beacon Hill Station. I didn’t get a chance to confirm but I will check it out tomorrow before the snow hits.

The final bit of wiring on the initial segment is the Beacon Hill Tunnel. The Northbound wiring is almost completed but the Southbound hasn’t been started yet. Judging from my last update to now, its taken a little over 2 months to get the work done which is very surprising considering the Portland MAX Green Line has virtually all been completed already.

I am looking forward to seeing all of the answers to the incredible questions you all have asked!

12 Replies to “ST Link Testing and Updates”

  1. I just drove past the blue wall on Beacon Hill, because I too heard it was coming down. Umm. Unless I’m missing something – it is definitely still there.

    Thursday, I saw two single Link trains passing each other at the Columbia City station.

  2. Have they been able to test the train running the complete line from westlake to tukwila continuously?

  3. corrections to the update: Operators with their rail card (an in-house lrv drivers licence) are operating the trains on their own. Three classes have been trained and have their rail cards. Operator training continues. Evening shift reports at 2pm and operates until about 8:45pm on the MLK test track – Tukwila to Rainier Beach station and return via the Henderson Street pocket track M-F. We couple up a 4 car train at Henderson about then so all 8 cars can be parked in Tukwila without having to throw the switches into hand at S.154th St. Most afternoons Kinkisharyo techs do tests of the braking systems, which is when you might see trains operating side by side since trains are required to remain on either the northbound or southbound track and operate only to I-5. At speed running and testing of the signals on MLK between S. Henderson St. and S. Waldon St. during daylight hours will be begining soon. Thursdays is the day we move cars from Tukwila and the OMF (Operations and Maintainace Facility) and have been moving cars through the Beacon Hill Tunnel under power for the last two weeks but can only use the southbound track at present. As of now, the only time we can operate in the DSTT is during training, when the operators operate for two nights after the tunnel closes at 7pm, along with joint tests with buses and trains on weekends.

    1. Doug,

      Thank you for the correction and the times. I was milling around today and noticed that the barriers for Link into the DSTT was removed with a KC Sheriff guarding the entrance. I only saw a LRV move around the yard then parked.

      I got chased away from Seattle once the snow started to come down hard and sticking everywhere, especially at Southcenter Hill. I’ll have to make sure I check out Link on Thursday. I’ve been wanting to some pictures of a live train coming out of the tunnel for a while now.

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