A bonus operator's view photo
What does Line 2 look like from an operator's perspective? The photo above, and the others in this post, will give you an idea. This snapshot was taken at Overlake Village Station. Note the oncoming train in the corner of the image. (Photo: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Dur­ing yes­ter­day’s East Link / 2 Line pre­view ride, Sound Tran­sit secu­ri­ty staff were kind enough to open the door to the oper­a­tor’s cab and allow pho­tog­ra­phers such as myself and The Seat­tle Times’ Ken Lam­bert to take pho­tos over the oper­a­tor’s head and shoul­ders. Nor­mal­ly, get­ting these sorts of snaps is darn near impos­si­ble due to agency safe­ty and oper­at­ing reg­u­la­tions — but the pre­view ride was a spe­cial occa­sion, and no reg­u­lar pas­sen­gers were on board, so we were treat­ed to sights that usu­al­ly only Amal­ga­mat­ed Tran­sit Union mem­bers and Sound Tran­sit per­son­nel get to see. 

With East Link open­ing tomor­row, it’s the per­fect time to share my favorite pho­tos from this van­tage point dur­ing the pre­view ride so you can see some of what we saw dur­ing our 2 Line pre­view expe­ri­ence. I’ve select­ed one pic­ture for each sta­tion. Enjoy!

South Bellevue Station

This is the 2 Line’s south­ern ter­mi­nus — for now. (When Link’s cross-lake seg­ment opens, it will cease to be a ter­mi­nus.) It has a large park­ing garage and has many bus con­nec­tions. It is locat­ed near the con­flu­ence of I‑90 and I‑405 on Belle­vue Way.

An oper­a­tor’s view of South Belle­vue Sta­tion, locat­ed adja­cent to Belle­vue Way near the I‑405 and I‑90 junc­tion (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

East Main Station

This sta­tion is locat­ed near sev­er­al hotels just south of the finan­cial and com­mer­cial core of down­town Belle­vue, includ­ing the Red Lion and the Hilton.

An oper­a­tor’s view of East Main Sta­tion, locat­ed near Main Street and 112th Avenue (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Bellevue Downtown

This sta­tion is locat­ed next to Belle­vue City Hall and across from the Mey­den­bauer Cen­ter. The Belle­vue Tran­sit Cen­ter — which should per­haps be renamed the Belle­vue Bus Hub now that light rail is part of the tran­sit mix — is diag­o­nal­ly oppo­site from its plaza. 

Operator view of Bellevue Downtown Station
An oper­a­tor’s view of Belle­vue Down­town Sta­tion, locat­ed near NE 6th Street and 112th Avenue NE (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Wilburton

This sta­tion is locat­ed near Lake Belle­vue. It is adja­cent to NE 8th Street and employs what used to be rail­road right-of-way. It is the sta­tion near­est to Over­lake Hos­pi­tal and Kaiser Per­ma­nen­te’s main cam­pus in Bellevue. 

An oper­a­tor’s view of Wilbur­ton Sta­tion, locat­ed at NE 8th Street and 118th Avenue NE (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Spring District

This sta­tion is locat­ed in between 120th Avenue NE and 124th Avenue NE in the boom­ing Spring Dis­trict neigh­bor­hood. Sound Tran­sit’s Oper­a­tions & Main­te­nance Facil­i­ty East — the train yard where 2 Line trains are stored when not in ser­vice — is nearby. 

An oper­a­tor’s view of Spring Dis­trict Sta­tion, locat­ed in between 120th Avenue NE and 124th Avenue NE at Spring Boule­vard (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Bel-Red

This sta­tion is locat­ed in between 130th Avenue NE and 132nd Avenue NE in the Bel-Red cor­ri­dor. The 2 Line makes its only at-grade street cross­ings before and after this sta­tion. All of those cross­ings have gates and flash­ing lights to min­i­mize the pos­si­bil­i­ty of a collision.

Operator view of Bel-Red Station
An oper­a­tor’s view of Bel-Red Sta­tion, locat­ed in between 130th Avenue NE and 132nd Avenue NE at Spring Boule­vard (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Overlake Village

This sta­tion is locat­ed near 148th Avenue NE, along­side State Route 520, in the Over­lake neigh­bor­hood, an area that is rapid­ly being trans­formed with the con­struc­tion of new mixed-use build­ings con­tain­ing apart­ments and retail establishments. 

Operator view of Overlake Village Station
An oper­a­tor’s view of Over­lake Vil­lage Sta­tion, locat­ed at 152nd Avenue NE where it is clos­est to State Route 520 (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Redmond Technology

This sta­tion replaced the Over­lake Park & Ride in the heart of the area that hous­es the Microsoft cam­pus. It will serve as the east­ern ter­mi­nus of East Link / 2 Line until the Down­town Red­mond Sta­tion becomes the ter­mi­nus some­time in 2025. 

An oper­a­tor’s view of Red­mond Tech­nol­o­gy Sta­tion, locat­ed at NE 40th Street and 156th Avenue NE (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

Join us tomorrow for the grand opening!

The wait is just about over… tomor­row, East Link / 2 Line opens to rid­ers! If you’d like to join us for the fes­tiv­i­ties, they kick off at 10 AM at Belle­vue Down­town Sta­tion. There will be activ­i­ties at every sta­tion for much of the day, so even if you skip the rib­bon cut­ting, there will be plen­ty to do. Come on down and have a good time! Park­ing near Belle­vue Down­town Sta­tion will be lim­it­ed — there will be street clo­sures, too — so con­sid­er tak­ing Metro or ST Express to reach the rib­bon-cut­ting from either South Belle­vue Sta­tion or Red­mond Tech­nol­o­gy Sta­tion. The garages are open! You’ll lat­er be able to use light rail for your return journey. 

About the author

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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