Last week, vandals dealt Link riders, already idling thanks to Connect2020 service reductions, a further blow by vandalizing the Beacon Hill tunnel. From Monday through
Thursday Wednesday, trains had to single track between Mt. Baker and Sodo, where they could split into Northbound and Southbound platforms before going right back to single-tracking all the way to Pioneer Square. Needless to say, this piled on yet more delays.
On Monday morning, a person entered a tunnel cross-passage, opened a standpipe valve, flooded critical electrical components and disabled the emergency ventilation fan.Sound Transit
Fire codes disallow use of the northbound tunnel under these conditions. We are fortunate that this part of the system has lots of crossover tracks to minimize the stretch where trains in both directions must share track.
The cross-passage has to remain unlocked in case of an emergency forcing evacuation of one of the tunnels. However, ST’s John Gallagher says ST is ” looking at ways to make sure that the risk of vandalism is minimized” in the future.
SPD is investigating the incident. I have an email out to them.