Central Link light rail will not operate between Westlake and SODO stations all day Saturday and Sunday, June 12-13, due to engineering work in the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel.

According to Bruce Gray at Sound Transit, Metro/Sound Transit are updating the fire/life/safety system software and running it through comprehensive testing as requested by Seattle Fire Department. SoundTransit is also raising the OCS wires by about a foot from Stadium to Royal Brougham. They were lowered during the WSDOT work on their new ramp.

Sound Transit will run a free bus shuttle between SODO Station and Westlake all weekend.

The shuttle will run every 5-7 minutes during normal Link hours.

Additionally, all King County Metro and ST Express buses that normally operate in the tunnel will also be rerouted to surface streets.

Link light rail will operate every 10 minutes between SeaTac/Airport and SODO stations on Saturday, June 12 from 5 a.m. to 1 a.m. and every 10 minutes on Sunday, June 13, from 6 a.m. to midnight.

36 Replies to “Rider Alert: DSTT Closure — June 12-13, 2010”

  1. I totally appreciate the efforts of ST, Metro, the Sounders FC, and the Mariners to coordinate their schedules so as to have maintenance done on low-ridership weekends.

    I’m wondering how much it will cost to move the bus bays to the outgoing ends of the tunnels, so that two can line up at once and not block the train.

    1. Buses and trains cannot share the same space in the tunnel according to an agreement with the FRA. Infact, when operating within the tunnel buses follow FRA guidelines and are considered trains on paper.

      1. Okay. Then remove the tunnel from the RFA. But get the buses to move to the front of the platform so that two can load/unload at once and not leave the train waiting in the tunnel just because a backbay bus was next in line.

      2. Z,

        I’m not sure what you are suggesting can and cannot be done in the tunnel.

        Can the front half of the platform be used for buses and the back half for trains? As you may have noticed the loading areas do overlap quite substantially right now.

      3. No. No bus and train can be in the same station or tube segment at the same time, thats why there is a light before entering each tube segment or station. Bus must wait for a train, or train must wait for a bus to clear the next tube or station before it gets the green (bus signal) or lunar (train signal)

      4. Thanks for the clarification.

        Given that, could we line up buses at three or four bays at a time?

        Or has Metro and ST looked at all the permutations and found that there are no engineering solutions to speeding up the trip through the tunnel?

      5. The technical term is temporal seperation. Although its pretty similar to block signalling in seattles case. Only one vehicle type can be in the block same time, per requirement from the Federal Requirement Administraton. Infact, buses operate under railroad rules in the tunnel and are considered trains on paper. This was part of the requirement to allow both buses and light rail to share the tunnel.

      6. That means we can’t have buses along one platform and a train along the other, right?

      7. That means we can’t have buses along one platform and a train along the other, right?

        If you’re talking about opposite platforms (different directions) in the same station, then wrong. Bus on soutbound platform + train on northbound platform = A-OK.

      8. How many buses can line up at each platform at a time?

        And what is the possibility of getting live-time announcement of loading bus numbers as they enter each station? “Bus now arriving. Bus one hundred six.”

      9. Link cars are 66 feet long, and a 4 car train will fit at the platform with not much extra room. Buses are 61 feet long, so you could get 4.3-4.6 in there (I’m not sure exactly how long the platforms are).

        There is a tracking system for buses; I don’t know how much it tracks them, but announcements would get pretty annoying. Especially during rush hour, and especially since they always hit specific bays, and especially since they have big bright destination signs stating the route number on all four sides.

      10. Link cars are actually 95 feet long.

        At rush hour it’s not uncommon to see 5 to 6 buses at the platform in the DSTT loading and unloading.

      11. Oops, I was looking at Tacoma Link. Makes more sense since I thought I remembered seeing more than 4 buses at a platform.

      12. What does the FRA have to do with light rail trains? I thought light rail (that doesn’t touch mainline railroads) falls under FTA jurisdiction.

      13. They had been getting involved in mass transportation rail operations at the time that the agreements were made for LINK in the tunnel. Not sure what their reason was, and if they have backed off that or not in recent times though. Although they were involved in the WMATA wreck a couple years ago in DC. This all happend as a precursor to putting LINK in the tunnel around 2001-3 IIRC. I remember this being mentioned by someone at ST during a tour in the DSTT before its conversion.

  2. Oooh, a new use for the glossary! “OCS” = Overhead Contact/Catenary System!

    Funny, we used to call it the Trolley wire.

  3. Props have to go out to ST on this one. This is the first time I heard of this from ST before STB. ST has been announcing this over the speakers at all light rail stations for the past few days.

  4. Wouldn’t it be cool to use this opportunity to let riders preview the RapidRide buses?

      1. Not a rumor. It’s true. They will be on some of the 174 trips. Other trips are still scheduled with 6800’s or 2300’s. And yes, there will be atleast one late-night trip on the weekends on the 180, which is on the end of a 174 run.

      2. The late night trip on the 180 is great news. Do you hear any rumors that a Link shadow route might be in the near future?

      3. The 180 trip has been there for a couple of shakeups. It just so happens that the particular operator that operates it runs a couple of 174s right before that 180 trip.

      4. Does this mean the 180 will be extended to Pac Hwy or Burien in the evenings? That would give Kent at least some connection to Link after 7:30pm (6:15 Sundays).

      5. The trip in question already exists and is the one that leaves Auburn Station at 3:03 and arrives at SeaTac at 3:44. The 180 schedule is not changing; just this one trip is scheduled to run on a RapidRide coach.

      6. I only say “rumor” because they say one thing, do another. The Pick Bulletins always say “Equipment is not guaranteed.” All of the Pick Sheets show 6000 on 174 runs.

      7. Yes, equipment is subject to change, but for the most part…..you usually get what you picked. But no, not all runs were 6000’s. Some where 6800’s and most trippers were 6800’s with a few 2300’s.

    1. I would love all the buses to be replaced by the Rapid Ride buses, but I doubt that’ll happen any time soon. Those buses aren’t cheap. I did see them all over LA a few weekends ago.

      1. Do you mean you saw our RapidRide buses all over LA? Because that would be weird. I’m guessing you mean you saw LA’s Metro Rapid buses around there.

      2. LA’s are NABI caoches, on the Orange line and most of the rest of their fleet. Everyone up here who has BRT equipment uses NewFlyer DE60As.

  5. I’m happy that they’re now calling it a bus shuttle instead of a “bus bridge.” It took me a while to figure out what that meant, and I’m a big transit nerd. Imagine what the casual transit rider thought.

    1. They’re replacing the South Park bridge with buses. Just keep throwing them in the water until they stack up to the height of the road bed.

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