Major schedule disruption for Link light rail riders

Jan 16, 2024, 11:06 AM | Updated: 11:11 am

Sound Transit security...

A security guard rides the escalator out of the Sound Transit Link Light Rail tunnel. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

Brace yourself– another Sound Transit disruption kicks off this month in order to do maintenance on the 1 Line.

Starting Jan. 13, maintenance will shift the schedule of the trains that run through Seattle. Sound Transit’s John Gallagher said that the maintenance is going to affect riders in two ways. The biggest impact: Weekends will not have train service at all from Capitol Hill Station to SODO Station.

More Link light rail news: Sound Transit restarts fare enforcement, fines for Link light rail

“So they’re going to be shuttle buses running between Capitol Hill and Stadium stations,” Gallagher said. “There will be stopping as the shuttle buses usually do at the Downtown Station. But there won’t be trains running through the stations at all.”

Trains will run between Northgate Station to the University of Washington (UW) Station as well as from Angle Lake to the Stadium.

“During the weekdays, it’s going to be a bit more complicated, and people need to adjust for that shift in transit,” Gallagher said.

During the weekdays, trains will run every 13 minutes between Northgate Station and UW Station as well as between Stadium Station and Angle Lake Station. Another train will run the full line like normal, but it will only be running every 26 minutes.

“One train will just stop; it’s basically a shovel train; it’ll run in a loop between Northgate and UW stations,” Gallagher said. “The same from the south, it’ll run in the loop from Angle Lake to the Stadium.

“You have to be looking for what train you want to be on. If you’re traveling through the Downtown Station and from UW, if you’re coming from the north, you need to make sure you’re on the right train, or otherwise, you’re going to have a hard time,” Gallagher continued.

Sound Transit is replacing 500 feet of tracks in the tunnel, and work is extensive, according to Gallagher.

More from Micki Gamez: Vashon Island struggling economically due to state ferry crisis

It also plans to replace bond boxes, which provide signal connections to the tracks. Gallagher said the boxes are from the 90s, and due to damages, the boxes sometimes cause signal failures and train delays. Replacing the bond boxes requires that no trains run through those sections until replacement is complete.

“By scheduling these projects during the time of year when our ridership is at its lowest, we’re hoping to limit the number of passengers we affect, avoid overcrowding, and complete this work before we welcome thousands more riders aboard when Lynnwood Link opens later in 2024,” Gallagher said in an update on the project.

The disruption is scheduled to continue until Feb. 4.

A full map of the disruption can be found here.

Follow Micki Gamez on Twitter or email her here

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