Trainspotting with NPI: Follow an LRV as it heads into Redmond Technology at sunset :: NPI’s Cascadia Advocate

Trainspotting with NPI: Follow an LRV as it heads into Redmond Technology at sunset :: NPI’s Cascadia Advocate

Hap­py Feb­ru­ary! In this lat­est edi­tion of our Trainspot­ting with NPI series, we’ve got more neat footage to share with you of Line 2 light rail trains rolling through the East­side in advance of the grand pub­lic open­ing of the Red­mond-to-Belle­vue seg­ment that is slat­ed for some­time this spring.

We have only a few more weeks to go until it’ll be pos­si­ble to ride the rails between two of East King Coun­ty’s biggest cities. It’s excit­ing to see this huge mile­stone get­ting clos­er — we are thrilled that NPI’s home­town will soon be served by reli­able high-capac­i­ty tran­sit run­ning in its own ded­i­cat­ed right of way!

Past “Trainspot­ting” install­ments required our staff to be in the right place at the right time in order to see and cap­ture the trains. But now, with Sound Tran­sit sim­u­lat­ing reg­u­lar pas­sen­ger ser­vice, trains can be pre­dictably sight­ed up and down the line by any observ­er or rail­fan. That’s pret­ty cool — and for our team, it makes plan­ning aer­i­al obser­va­tion with a fly­ing cam­era much easier.

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

I: Following a train into Redmond Technology Station

In this clip, you can get a bird’s eye view of a train rolling east­bound into Red­mond Tech­nol­o­gy Sta­tion from Over­lake Vil­lage. You’ll see the train cross under NE 36th Street and Microsoft­’s new cam­pus pedes­tri­an bridge.

II: Two trains at Redmond Technology Station

Now for a pho­to. Here you can see two LRVs parked at their tem­po­rary east­ern ter­mi­nus. Before long, trains will roll fur­ther east, into down­town Redmond.

Two trains at Redmond Technology Station

Two Line 2 trains at Red­mond Tech­nol­o­gy Cen­ter Sta­tion dur­ing sim­u­lat­ed pre-rev­enue ser­vice (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

III: Line 2 trains passing each other

In this clip, you can see two Line 2 trains pass­ing each oth­er, with one head­ed west (to Over­lake Vil­lage) and one head­ed east (to Red­mond Technology).

IV: Another view of trains at RTS

This pho­to shows the trains at rest at Red­mond Tech­nol­o­gy from anoth­er angle. You can see how the park­ing garage was built above the bus bays locat­ed right next to the train tracks. What used to be a park and ride in the heart of Microsoft­’s cam­pus is now poised to become a major mul­ti­modal hub.

Trains at Redmond Technology Station, a multimodal hub

Red­mond Tech­nol­o­gy Sta­tion was built to be a mul­ti­modal hub, with a garage for cars above bus bays for Metro, Sound Tran­sit, and Con­nec­tor coach­es. The sta­tion will also be approach­able from mul­ti­ple direc­tions on foot thanks to the con­struc­tion of side­walks and a new bridge over State Route 520. Cov­eed bike stor­age will be avail­able for bicy­clists. (Pho­to: Andrew Villeneuve/NPI)

The phase of test­ing we’re in now — sim­u­lat­ed ser­vice — is the final test­ing phase. Once reg­u­la­tors are sat­is­fied that Sound Tran­sit is ready to wel­come rid­ers, the agency will receive per­mis­sion to bring the fol­low­ing sta­tions online:

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

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.

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