In 87 days, Link will have been open for some eight hours, and almost all of us will have packed onto a Link train. I don’t know if I’ll be able to find something for every day between now and then, but here’s some trivia you might not know:

87 years ago, in 1922, the State Supreme Court ruled it illegal to use anything but farebox revenue to pay off streetcar debts. That was the beginning of the end of the streetcar era in Seattle – there was nothing the city could do to save them, largely because they didn’t have the political power to raise fares at that point.

Today, you can go to the Seattle Room at the Central Library and find the city budget for 1922 (and many other years). Streetcar operations and maintenance were in the ‘office of self-sustaining departments’. Someday they will be again.

13 Replies to “87 Days”

  1. Do you know what the opening time will be? I’m trying to figure out exactly how early I want to get downtown…

      1. It’ll be nice to not have to drive into the grid to go to the stadiums anymore. I’ll just park in Tukwila and take link…what a concept. (Go Sounders!)

    1. Probably at every station, like at the Phoenix light rail opening. I’m guessing the biggest stuff eg first train will be at Westlake.

  2. As an operator of the light rail trains, i.e. driver for King County Metro and rail card holder, be careful when riding to Westlake NB and expecting to stay on board for a round trip. ALL passengers will leave the train NB at Westlake Station before the train travels into the Pine Street stub tunnel. A security guard will clear the train before we proceed. Then the passengers will all have to cross over to the SB track to reboard. Could be a very crowded platform.

    Other hints: Since the only P&R is at Tukwilla, you may consider parking at one of the long term airport parking lots near the station and pay the $10 a day and walk across the street to ride. Maybe even the pay lots might drop you off if you ask nicely.

    Parking restriction signs have already been installed near Rainier Beach Station, but the restrictions are for M-F only. Saturday and Sunday have no time limits.

    Remember that the operators door must be closed during operation. A tinted window is in the operator’s door, but a curtain can be pulled down. That is your only way to look out the front of the cab.

    Opening date seems to be a done deal, and unless something realy bad happens during mock service the date should be do-able.

    1. That’s great advice. :)

      Personally, I recommend not driving to get there at all. Buy an orca, take the bus, and transfer to the train! :)

      1. I have heard that mock service is to begin May 23rd, but everything I hear changes. Sunday end to end tests are scheduled, and last Friday night 2 test trains did operate end to end from Pine St. stub tunnel to Tukwila. Also let me say this…operating through the Beacon Hill tunnel at 45 mph is like the best “E” ticket ride at Disneyland! That will be the highlight of any trip on the line.

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