Ready for Northgate Link to be open? Get an advance look inside the new Line 1 stations

It’s been a whole five years since Sound Tran­sit last expand­ed our high capac­i­ty tran­sit spine with a new Link light rail exten­sion, but as of next Sat­ur­day, the wait  will final­ly be com­ing to an end when North­gate Link opens to the public.

The 4.3 mile exten­sion, which has been under con­struc­tion since 2012, will add three new sta­tions to the sys­tem for­mer­ly known as Cen­tral Link and now being dubbed Line 1: U Dis­trict, Roo­sevelt, and the name­sake North­gate Station.

If you’d like to take a peek inside the new sta­tions ahead of next Sat­ur­day’s open­ing, we’ve put togeth­er three pho­to gal­leries show­cas­ing each one.

Enjoy, and if you’re curi­ous about tim­ing, know that North­gate Link will be open for your enjoy­ment begin­ning pri­or to dawn’s first light on Sat­ur­day, Octo­ber 2nd. Sound Tran­sit has opt­ed against any kind of spe­cial sched­ule for next week­end because that could be need­less­ly dis­rup­tive to rid­ers. So if you want to be on the very first train in rev­enue ser­vice, you’ll need to get up real­ly, real­ly early!

U District

U Dis­trict, short for Uni­ver­si­ty Dis­trict, is the south­ern­most of the new sta­tions. It is locat­ed on Brook­lyn Avenue between NE 43rd and NE 45th Streets, across the road from the UW Tow­er and steps away from the shops on The Ave.

Are your taste buds as eclec­tic as your wardrobe? Then you, my friend, have come to the right place. Here you’ll find a pletho­ra of indie eater­ies, cof­fee shops, pubs and bars — where you can hang out with UW stu­dents and relive your col­lege days, minus the all-nighters and cold piz­za. What’s more, if you’re in the mar­ket for super fresh pro­duce and all things organ­ic, check out the U Dis­trict Farm­ers Mar­ket every Saturday.

– Sound Transit

The sta­tion has two head hous­es that are sep­a­rat­ed by a small tract of land that will soon be repur­posed for tran­sit-ori­ent­ed devel­op­ment by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton. Here’s some pho­tos from inside (and out­side!) the station:

Exte­ri­or of the U Dis­trict Sta­tion’s south head­house, show­ing the sta­tion name from the cor­ner of Brook­lyn and 43rd (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
The tick­et­ing lev­el at U Dis­trict Sta­tion, with vend­ing machines and ORCA card read­ers (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
View going up one of the U Dis­trict Sta­tion’s “tran­sit grade” esca­la­tors, which leads to the south entrance (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
Anoth­er view of the U Dis­trict Sta­tion mez­za­nine, show­ing the ceil­ing and wall art­work, which makes the sta­tion feel bright and wel­com­ing (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
Wide-angle view of the U Dis­trict sta­tion plat­form. South­bound trains will take rid­ers to Uni­ver­si­ty of Wash­ing­ton / Husky Sta­di­um and points south; north­bound trains will take rid­ers to Roo­sevelt and North­gate (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
These stairs con­nect the plat­form to the mez­za­nine lev­el. It is pos­si­ble to go from the sta­tion entrance all the way to the plat­form with­out hav­ing to set foot on an esca­la­tor. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
The U Dis­trict Sta­tion uti­lizes heavy duty, “tran­sit grade” esca­la­tors that are expect­ed to work reli­ably; rid­ers also have the option of using a wide stair­way with ample room for pass­ing (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
A view of the mez­za­nine lev­el after descend­ing the esca­la­tor from the sta­tion entrance (Pho­to: Andrew VIlleneuve/NPI)


Roo­sevelt, the mid­dle of the new sta­tions, is locat­ed at NE 65th Street and 12th Avenue NE, not far from Raven­na Park. Roo­sevelt High School is near­by, as are many small busi­ness­es, from Rain City Burg­ers to Sun­light Cafe and Teddy’s.

Named after Ted­dy Roo­sevelt, this urban-sub­ur­ban neigh­bor­hood was ranked as the 10th hottest in the nation. Here, you’ll dis­cov­er a diverse mix of delight­ful lit­tle restau­rants, cozy cof­fee hous­es and friend­ly bars where every­body knows your name if you have it embroi­dered on your shirt. You’ll also find near­by Green Lake and sev­er­al yoga stu­dios where you can Namaste the day away.

– Sound Transit

Here’s some pho­tos from inside (and out­side!) the station:

Exte­ri­or close­up view of the south head­house at Roo­sevelt Sta­tion as of about five months before the sta­tion’s sched­uled open­ing (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
The exte­ri­or of the Roo­sevelt Sta­tion’s north head­house, with adja­cent tran­sit-ori­ent­ed devel­op­ment (TOD) behind it. The TOD project is known as Cedar Cross­ing and is being built by Bell­wether Hous­ing and Mer­cy Hous­ing North­west. El Cen­tro de la Raza will pro­vide a child­care cen­ter at the new com­mu­ni­ty. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
The mez­za­nine lev­el of the Roo­sevelt Sta­tion, show­ing the stairs and esca­la­tors and over­head sig­nage (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
Media, Sound Tran­sit staff, and elect­ed lead­ers ride the heavy-duty, “tran­sit grade” esca­la­tors at the Roo­sevelt Sta­tion (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
Sta­tion art out­side the Roo­sevelt Sta­tion. This sculp­ture is called “Build­ing Blocks,” and it was cre­at­ed by Rober­to Behar and Rosario Mar­quardt. The sculp­ture is “a 49-foot-tall, 21-foot-wide, and 2–1/2 ‑foot deep stepped pyra­mid paint­ed in bold tones of gold, yel­low, green, blue and red,” Sound Tran­sit says in its guide to the sta­tion art. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
View of the tracks from the Roo­sevelt plat­form. Roo­sevelt is an under­ground sta­tion with tun­nels lead­ing to the North­gate and U Dis­trict Sta­tions. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
View of a set of stairs going down to the Roo­sevelt Sta­tion plat­form, designed for reg­u­lar, non­emer­gency use by rid­ers (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
One of the entrance foy­ers at the new Roo­sevelt Sta­tion, fea­tur­ing the local­ly famous Stan­dard mar­que, while it was still in the final stages of con­struc­tion (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)


North­gate is the north­ern­most of the new sta­tions. It is locat­ed at 1st Avenue NE and NE 103rd Street. On one side of the sta­tion is Inter­state 5; on the oth­er side is North­gate Mall and the Seat­tle Krak­en’s new prac­tice facility.

What was once known as one of the coun­try’s first open-air malls, it will soon be home to the Seat­tle Krak­en. So, along with three NHL reg­u­la­tion skat­ing rinks, a train­ing cen­ter, and Krak­en HQ, you’ll find one of the busiest tran­sit cen­ters in the state con­nect­ed to the Link light rail sta­tion. Need­less to say, if you need a ride any­where, and I mean any­where, this is the place to be.

– Sound Transit

Here’s some pho­tos from inside (and out­side!) the station:

Anoth­er view of the North­gate Sta­tion mez­za­nine, tak­en from one of the esca­la­tors lead­ing to and from the plat­form (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
Wide-angle view of the North­gate Sta­tion plat­form, with trains on either side of the plat­form. The train on the left is a Kink­isharyo con­sist and the one on the right is a Siemens con­sist. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
View of the North­gate Sta­tion plat­form show­ing the plat­form to mez­za­nine esca­la­tors and a train con­sist to the right (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
The mez­za­nine lev­el of the North­gate Sta­tion, which sits between the plaza lev­el and the plat­form, and is con­nect­ed to both by mul­ti­ple sets of stairs, esca­la­tors, and ele­va­tors (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
View of the exte­ri­or of the North­gate Sta­tion. Unlike Roo­sevelt and U Dis­trict, North­gate is an aer­i­al sta­tion, built over the streets between the North­gate Mall and Inter­state 5 (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more
The stairs and esca­la­tors lead­ing to and from the North­gate plaza lev­el to the mez­za­nine (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
Anoth­er view of the North­gate Sta­tion plat­form, show­ing the stairs lead­ing down to the mez­za­nine lev­el (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)
Look­ing south from the new North­gate Sta­tion plat­form, which for sev­er­al years will be the new north­bound ter­mi­nus of Sound Tran­sit’s Line 1, orig­i­nal­ly known as Cen­tral Link (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)more

If these pho­to gal­leries whet­ted your appetite for more, you can get some “Street View” style glimpses of the under­ground U Dis­trict and Roo­sevelt sta­tions at this web­site that Sound Tran­sit built to pro­mote the new exten­sion.

We will be cov­er­ing next week­end’s open­ing fes­tiv­i­ties here on The Cas­ca­dia Advo­cate, so check back as Octo­ber gets going for our impres­sions and thoughts on the inau­gu­ra­tion of ser­vice to our newest light rail stations!

Andrew Villeneuve

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