Sound Transit Central Link

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Link Light Rail Map 2019

Sound Transit Central Link is the light rail system in the Seattle area, owned by Sound Transit. Operations for the system are currently under contract to King County Metro. Central Link refers to the light rail system built in Seattle and its surrounding suburbs. A separate system, called the T Line, also uses Link branding, but is a separate streetcar line with different voltage and train types.

Route Details

Central Link currently has two lines, the 1 Line, which runs from Northgate Station at the north end, via University of Washington, Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, Beacon Hill, Rainier Valley, and Sea-Tac Airport to Angle Lake Station at the southern end, 2 Line, which runs from South Bellevue Station at the west end, via Downtown Bellevue and Spring District to Redmond Technology Station, the two lines are not currently connected.

Maintenance Bases

Trains are maintained at Operations and Maintenance Facilities (OMFs), with OMF Central being near the SODO Station and OMF East near Spring District Station.

Stations

History

In November 1996, voters in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties approved increases in sales taxes and vehicle excise taxes to pay for a US$3.9 billion transit package that included $1.7 billion for a light rail system, including Central Link and Tacoma Link. The originally approved 21-mile Central Link line started at Sea-Tac Airport, traveling north to downtown Seattle, and finally terminating at the University of Washington.

In 2001, the planned line was shortened to 14 miles, planned to run only between downtown Seattle and SeaTac Airport. The section from downtown to the University of Washington would still eventually be built but would open at a later date.

The initial section from Westlake Station to Tukwila International Blvd opened on July 18th, 2009. Because the SeaTac/Airport station was not yet finished, a shuttle bus operated by Pierce Transit took passengers from Tukwila International Blvd Station to Sea-Tac Airport. On December 19th, 2009, the extension to the SeaTac/Airport station opened, ending the shuttle bus service.

The ballot measure Sound Transit 2 passed in 2008 which approved extensions to Northgate by 2021, Bellevue by 2023 and Lynnwood by 2024. It also approved the extension to Angle Lake which would open in 2016.

The ballot measure Sound Transit 3 passed in 2016. It approved extensions to Federal Way, downtown Redmond, Issaquah, South Kirkland, Ballard, West Seattle, Everett, and Tacoma. These extensions are planned to open between 2024 and 2040.


  • November 1996 - Voters approve 21-mile light rail system.
  • 2001 - light rail line shortened to 14 due to cost.
  • 2008 - Sound Transit 2 approved.
  • July 18, 2009 - Service starts from Westlake Station to Tukwila International Boulevard Station.
  • December 19, 2009 - Service starts from Tukwila International Boulevard Station to SeaTac / Airport Station.
  • March 19, 2016 - University link extension opened for service. Added Capitol Hill Station and University of Washington Station.
  • September 24, 2016 - Angle Lake Station opened for service.
  • November 2016 - Sound Transit 3 approved.
  • March 23, 2019 - End of joint bus/light rail operations in the Downtown Transit Tunnel.
  • September 21, 2019 - Existing line between University of Washington Station to Angle Lake Station renamed Red Line.
  • October 2, 2021 - Northgate extension opened, adding U District, Roosevelt and Northgate stations.
  • October 2, 2021 - Red Line between Northgate and Angle Lake Station renamed 1 Line.
  • April 27, 2024 - South Bellevue/Redmond Technology (2 Line Starter Line)

Future

ST3 Extension

Central Link light rail currently has extensions to Bellevue, Redmond, Lynnwood, Everett, Kirkland, Issaquah, Ballard, West Seattle, Federal Way, and Tacoma underway.

  • August 30, 2024 - Lynnwood
  • 2025 - International District/Chinatown to South Bellevue
  • 2025 - Downtown Redmond
  • 2026 - Federal Way, OMF South
  • 2032 - West Seattle
  • 2035 - Tacoma
  • 2039 - Ballard
  • 2037-2041 - Everett, OMF North
  • 2041 - South Kirkland, Issaquah

Future Lines

  • 2 Line: Mariner - Ash Way - Lynnwood - Northgate - U District - Seattle - Bellevue - Redmond
  • 3 Line: Everett - Lynnwood - Seattle - West Seattle
  • 4 Line: South Kirkland - Bellevue - Eastgate - Issaquah

Vehicles

Central Link Fleet

Fleet
number(s)
Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Motors Notes
101-135 Sound Transit 119-a.jpg 2006-2008 Kinkisharyo LRV Mitsui 1500V DC
136-162 Sound Transit 162-a.jpg 2011 Kinkisharyo LRV Mitsui 1500V DC
201-352 Link S70.jpg 2019-2024 Siemens S700
  • Cannot operate with the first generation of light rail cars.
  • 152 Cars [1]
  • First car (202) delivered June 2019

Future Central Link Fleet

Fleet
number(s)
Thumbnail Year Manufacturer Model Motors Notes
353-362 Link S70.jpg Siemens S700
  • Cannot operate with the first generation of light rail cars.

References

v·d·e
Sound Transit Logo.gif
Fleet
ST Express 9092-9121 9122-9123 9124-9126 9201-9222 9301-9312 9553-9565 9566-9583 9584-9586 9587-9596 9624-9636 9637-9647 9648-9651 9652-9659 9660-9690 9713-9719 9720-9722 9723-9739 9800-9813 9814-9817 9818-9822 41501-41517 41601-41605 51401-51403 61401-61407 91501-91505 91701-91732 91901-91913
Retired ST Express 801-827 5019-5021,5194-5210 9000-9069 9070-9089 9090-9091 9200 9400-9419 9500-9524 9525-9536 9537-9552 9600-9621 9622-9623 9700-9712
Sounder 101-104 112-118 201-214 201-230 231-240 301-307 321-329 401-410 901-906 907-911 921-923
Tacoma Link 1001-1003 2001-2005
Central Link 101-135 136-162 201-352
Non-service fleet
Routes
Sound Transit Express Logo.png

510 512 513 522 532 535 541 542 544 545 550 554 555 556 560 566 567 574 577 578 580 586 590 592 594 595 596

Future:

515

Former:

505 506 508 511 530 531 540 546 564 565 570 582 585 591 593 599

Stride BRT Future:

S1 Line S2 Line S3 Line

Sound Transit Link Logo.png Central Link Tacoma Link

Line 1 (Sound Transit) icon-a.png1 Line Sound Transit Link 2 Line Logo-a.png2 Line Line T (Sound Transit) icon-a.pngT Line

Future:

3 Line (2030) 4 Line (2041)

Sound Transit Sounder Logo.png Sound Transit N Line icon-a.pngN Line Sound Transit S line icon-a.pngS Line
Puget Sound Region Agencies
Seattle
Seattle
Puget Sound
Lynnwood
Everett
Tacoma
Olympia
Seattle
Port Angeles
Bremerton
Bremerton
Aberdeen/Hoquiam
Shelton
Oak Harbor/Coupeville
Port Townsend
Mount Vernon/Burlington
Bellingham