Montana Backroads billboards in Pioneer Square station
Montana Tourism ads in the tunnel, photo by Oran

The first mass transit service in Seattle began in 1858, with the birth of the mosquito fleet of foot ferries. This steam-powered ferry had service from Alki Point – then known as New York Alki – to present day Pioneer Square – then known as Duwamps. Must have been a short trip, Harbor Island wouldn’t exist for another 51 years. Link is opening 151 years later, in less than two months. Amazing, right?

1958 was also the first year that the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, aka Metro, was on the ballot. At the time it would not have included Seattle, and suburban voters rejected mass transit, but approved waste water treatment. Metro transit was finally created in 1973.

Videos of link testing below the fold.


Here’s one by Eric, taken with his phone, so it’s a little shaky. I can’t take videos that well with my camera; Eric is good at this. Look how close to the platform the trains are. Great job, Sound Transit! No gap to mind here.

Another Eric Video. This is going to be the day-to-day activity in the tunnel for the next seven years or so:

Here’s one by the Seattle Times.

Metro has a video here.

28 Replies to “58 days, plus Videos of Link Testing”

  1. My videos are up! See them on my YouTube channel.

    Videos include:
    • DSTT joint-operations technical briefing (part 1 of 2) on the platform with Michael Avery from Metro
    • DSTT joint-operations technical briefing (part 2 of 2) in the staging area with Keith Sherry from ST
    • the first train of the day in Pioneer Square station as captured from a bus
    • Trains entering and departing IDS
    • Train in Westlake Station (same one Eric captured but shakier) + a guy running across the roadway

  2. Seeing the train right after the buses is a really powerful visual of how much bigger they are. A lot of bus commuters are going to be looking at it and saying, “Why am I not riding that? I need to move.”

    1. Nobody has purchased that ad space since, and it wouldn’t make any sense to spend the labor costs of pulling them down until someone else buys the ads.

      1. Surely the seattletransitblog.com Marketing Department is in negotiations with the appropriate authorities to get a multi-year exclusive contract in place for this station’s ad space! No?

  3. I am sure I missed this in some posts long ago, but how are the trains powered inside the tunnel? I don’t seem to notice any overhead wires. Are the tracks electrified in the tunnel or something?

    1. There are overhead wires. You can kind of make them out in both videos. In fact, you can see them in the first frame of the first video

    2. Funny question the press asked yesterday: What happens when the power in the tunnel goes out?
      ST’s answer: the trains stop.

      So no backup power but ST’s explanation of their contingency plan seems to imply that disabled trains are easier to remove from the tunnel than stuck buses.

      1. It’s not like Downtown Seattle loses power all that often (though it does happen)

      2. Another thing I learned today was that Link is on the emergency power grid and has priority in receiving power like hospitals.

  4. Ahh, thanks Dan. I guess I wasn’t looking hard enough. This also tells me I should get there soon and see for myself.

  5. Wouldn’t that top photo look great with a newstand in it? How about a coffee cart?

    1. There used to be a coffee cart at the Convention Place Station on the mezzanine. It never came back after the closure. I stopped there pretty often on my way to the bus.

      1. Expect we will have to wait for some economic recovery before we get many applications for coffee carts and such.

      2. I used to get my breakfast there every day (bagel+cream cheese, coffee and banana) back in, oooh, 2002?

    2. Coffee carts, like TVMs, take up too much room on the platform. Mezzanine would be cool though.

  6. I love the “Wait, what… wait… what? What?” reaction the people on the platform had.

  7. Re your “1958 was also the first year that the Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, aka Metro, was on the ballot. At the time it would not have included Seattle, and suburban voters rejected mass transit, but approved waste water treatment.”

    On the contrary, City of Seattle was indeed part of the original Metro; Metro was city and suburbs, and omitted rural King County (a larger area than it is today, of course)

  8. I sure hope that using the three-lane space in one of the DSTT stations, a staged photo could be taken with the MEHVA Breda Duo-Bus, a KCM New Flyer DE60LF and a LINK LRT, before the LRT’s get smashed up from daily service.

    I’d like to photoshop a Waterfront Streetcar W2 into the picture afterwards.

    1. Sounds like an interesting idea.

      So far as I know, the Breda still has its old stripes, they didn’t repaint it into the Metro Mango scheme.

      Would somebody at Metro or otherwise like to explain why the Bredas had the grey strip at the bottom?

      Brian Bradford
      Olympia, WA

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