There have been delays on the Link light rail system after 7:00 pm every night for the last week. This photo shows the rail grinding machine that is the reason for the delays. The machine is smoothing the rails to reduce the train noise at certain locations, such as near Mount Baker Station near South McClellan. The delays will continue until December 30; in the meantime, if you need to travel on Link after 7:00 pm, be aware that you may need to wait on a different platform than your usual one, and the wait may be longer.
Evening Link riders should be prepared for delays until the end of the month. Sound Transit tells us that starting Monday, December 7 and lasting until December 30, Central Link light rail will operate only every 15–20 minutes between 7:00 pm and 1:00 am due to track maintenance.
This maintenance will also temporarily close some platforms on one side of the track. If your normal boarding location is closed, you will need to board both northbound and southbound Link trains at the opposite platform, as was done at Beacon Hill Station during the derailment a couple of weeks ago.
As Jason mentioned earlier, there was a derailment of a Link light rail train on the elevated section near the maintenance yard this afternoon. Sound Transit has been able to keep Link service running, though with notable delays, by using only the northbound track through Beacon Hill and Mount Baker stations. Trains are supposed to be running every 20 minutes for the rest of the day.
Reports from riders so far indicate that you should allow more than 20 minutes for the delay, though this may improve as the rush hour traffic dies down. Jesse Odam reports that his usual 15 minute Link trip from the International District to Beacon Hill just after 5:00 pm expanded to nearly an hour, including being passed by a jam-packed train, and then a half-hour wait at Stadium Station.
Sound Transit warns that Link service will be temporarily suspended later, during the removal of the disabled train, because both northbound and southbound tracks will be blocked. During that time there will be a shuttle bus (Route 97), which will operate between the Stadium and Mount Baker light rail stations. We aren’t sure yet when this will happen, but Sound Transit says they’ll update this rider alert page when they are ready to remove the disabled train.