Trainspotting with NPI: Watch pre-revenue service light rail trains glide through Bellevue

Last week, Sound Tran­sit revealed that ser­vice between eight sta­tions mak­ing up the major­i­ty of the East Link / Line 2 exten­sion would open to the pub­lic on April 27th. To cel­e­brate that announce­ment, we’ve got anoth­er install­ment of Trainspot­ting with NPI for you. Our last install­ment showed trains in action in the City of Red­mond. This install­ment, on the oth­er hand, has a Bellevue-theme.

With a pop­u­la­tion of 151,854, Belle­vue (French for beau­ti­ful view) is King Coun­ty’s sec­ond-largest city. It is locat­ed almost direct­ly across Lake Wash­ing­ton from Seat­tle’s down­town core and adjoin­ing neigh­bor­hoods. PACCAR, T‑Mobile, and Valve call Belle­vue home, and major tech­nol­o­gy com­pa­nies like Microsoft and Ama­zon also have a pres­ence there. Sound Tran­sit cur­rent­ly serves Belle­vue only with ST Express bus ser­vice, but that will change when Line 2 opens!

Let’s get to the pic­tures and clips. Note that none of the videos have any sound.

I: Follow a train as it rolls into Wilburton Station

In this clip, you can get a bird’s eye view of a train rolling east­bound into Wilbur­ton from Belle­vue Down­town on ele­vat­ed tracks. You’ll see the train cross over sev­er­al pri­vate park­ing lots and 116th Avenue.

II: A train at Wilburton Station

Now for a pho­to. Here you can see a train mak­ing a sim­u­lat­ed stop at Wilbur­ton Sta­tion. This is the sta­tion clos­est to Over­lake and KP’s main Belle­vue campus.

A light rail train paus­es at Belle­vue’s Wilbur­ton Sta­tion dur­ing pre-rev­enue test­ing for East Link / Line 2 ser­vice (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

III: A train leaves South Bellevue Station and heads into the trench paralleling Bellevue Way and 112th Avenue SE

In this clip, you can see a train leav­ing the South Belle­vue Sta­tion and head­ing towards down­town Belle­vue through a trench adja­cent to the Mer­cer Slough. The his­toric Win­ters House is vis­i­ble on the east side of the trench.

IV: A train at South Bellevue Station

South Belle­vue is one of just a few 2 Line Sta­tions with a big park­ing garage. It is locat­ed near the con­flu­ence of Inter­state 90 and Inter­state 405.

An East Link / 2 Line train at the South Belle­vue Sta­tion, which will be the west­ern ter­mi­nus of the 2 Line until the Mer­cer Island and Jud­kins Park Sta­tions open (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

On April 27th, the fol­low­ing Red­mond to Belle­vue sta­tions will open to riders:

  • Red­mond Technology
  • Over­lake Village
  • Bel-Red
  • Spring Dis­trict
  • Wilbur­ton
  • Belle­vue Downtown
  • East Main
  • South Belle­vue

The lat­ter six are the Belle­vue stations.

The Belle­vue to Seat­tle seg­ment (which includes Mer­cer Island) will not open this year, because con­trac­tors need more time to fix defec­tive con­struc­tion on the Homer M. Hadley Memo­r­i­al Bridge. Even­tu­al­ly, though, the Mer­cer Island and Jud­kins Park Sta­tions will open too, and Link will start car­ry­ing pas­sen­gers across Lake Wash­ing­ton. Sound Tran­sit has an oper­a­tions and main­te­nance facil­i­ty (train yard) in Belle­vue, so it can pro­vide ser­vice on the rest of the line in the meantime.

Andrew Villeneuve

Andrew Villeneuve is the founder and executive director of the Northwest Progressive Institute, as well as the founder of NPI's sibling, the Northwest Progressive Foundation. He has worked to advance progressive causes for over two decades as a strategist, speaker, author, and organizer. Andrew is also a cybersecurity expert, a veteran facilitator, a delegate to the Washington State Democratic Central Committee, and a member of the Climate Reality Leadership Corps.

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