For the past week, NPI has been offering followers on our social networking channels a treat: clips of Sound Transit Link light rail trains making test runs between three different forthcoming stations in Bellevue. These test runs are part of a system trial that Sound Transit began last month to prepare for the inauguration of revenue service on its second light rail line in 2023.
Today, we are delighted to bring our “Trainspotting with NPI” series to the Cascadia Advocate for the enjoyment of more of our supporters and readers.
Each clip in our Trainspotting series is less than two minutes long, and shows Kinkisharyo-made Sound Transit LRVs rolling along portions of the new East Link/Line 2 alignment using overhead power.
Sound Transit has been doing its testing exclusively at night thus far, so we’ve only seen the trains operating in low light. Fortunately, we were in a position to record a lot of high-quality footage while we were out in the field!
Let’s get to the clips. Note that none of these videos have any sound.
I: Leaving the Spring District
This clip shows a test train leaving the Spring District/120th Station in the Bel-Red neighborhood. This station uses a trench configuration, with the tracks and station platform located below street level.
II: Heading West Between Wilburton and Downtown
This clip shows a test train going west on the elevated tracks between Wilburton and Bellevue Downtown, preparing to cross over Interstate 405.
III: Entering Bellevue Downtown
This clip shows a test train entering the Bellevue Downtown Station, which is located adjacent to Bellevue City Hall. Bellevue Downtown marks the transition in the alignment from elevated to underground. The station itself is at the surface.
IV: Heading East Between Downtown and Wilburton
This clip is similar to Part II, except it shows a train going east on the elevated tracks between Wilburton and Bellevue Downtown instead of west.
V: Entering Wilburton
This clip shows a test train entering Wilburton Station, which is located near Overlake Medical Center, Whole Foods, and numerous car dealerships.
VI: Closeup View (Westbound)
This clip is similar to Part II, except it was made using a higher focal length to provide a close-up view of the train as it rounds the bend.
VII: Closeup View (Eastbound)
This clip is similar to Part IV, except it was made using a higher focal length to provide a close-up view of the train as it rounds the bend.
Sound Transit’s East Link / Line 2 is slated to open in mid-2023, adding service to ten new stations located in Seattle, Mercer Island, Bellevue, and Redmond.