Sound Transit apologizes after 4-hour Seattle tunnel shutdown

Jan 31, 2024, 3:32 AM

sound transit four-hour shutdown...

Westlake Station tunnel (Photo courtesy of Sound Transit via Flickr)

(Photo courtesy of Sound Transit via Flickr)

The Westlake Station through the downtown Seattle tunnel was forced to stop the 1 Train in its tracks for four hours Monday morning just before 7 a.m. due to an electrical issue with the emergency exhaust fan, according to Sound Transit spokesperson John Gallagher.

“These are fans that are in place for fire safety purposes in the event of a fire,” Gallagher said. “They have to be in operating condition at all times.”

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He told KIRO Newsradio the electrical system failed.

“When that happens under fire department protocol, the trains cannot operate in that station,” Gallagher added. “And that’s the reason why the station had to be closed.”

He said the train was up and running after the four-hour shutdown, but the system is well over 20 years old and needs to be replaced.

“We have this long-term plan to invest in upgrading and fixing things that need a lot of repair work,” Gallagher said. “We know for riders, it’s hard enough to have a planned service disruption. To have an unplanned disruption on top of that, it’s really tough. So we really apologize for what they went through yesterday.”

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The planned 1-Line service disruption began Jan. 13. Maintenance shifted the schedule of the trains that run through Seattle and the biggest impact: Weekend train service stops from Capitol Hill Station to SODO Station. There is a bus that will shuttle riders to and from.

Gallagher said Monday’s issue did not derail its plans to complete the work by Sunday.

You can read more of Micki Gamez’s stories here. Follow Micki on X, formerly known as Twitter, or email her here.

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Sound Transit apologizes after 4-hour Seattle tunnel shutdown