As the picture at right shows, Sound Transit recently erected new signs to indicate where 4-car (and 3-car) trains should stop. That reminded me of a question that had always bugged me: why do 2-car trains stop in the middle of the platform at all stations, when several stations (Stadium, Sodo, Rainier Beach) have only one exit, at one end of the platform?
The extra 90ft isn’t a huge problem, but it does mean a bit more running and some missed walk signals, perhaps more if you’re not the type to run.
As it turns out, there’s a reasonable explanation for it. Bruce Gray of Sound Transit: “Essentially, we agreed to stop the trains in the center of the platforms at all stations after consulting with the special needs community – keep it consistent across all the stations to help remove guesswork of where to board.”
That early design decision drove the placement of the tactile strips and various train control sensors, so it’s not an easily reversible policy.