SEATTLE’s Sound Transit officially opened the initial 10.6km central section of light rail Line 2 on April 27. The first phase of the East Link Extension project adds eight new stations from South Bellevue to Redmond Technology on the east bank of Lake Washington.

The line includes a 500m tunnel between East Main and Bellevue Downtown stations. Services are operating at 10-minute intervals for 16 hours a day, seven days per week.

A two-station, 5.5km extension of the line from Redmond Technology to Downtown Redmond is on course to open in spring 2025, taking the total length of the line to 16.1km.

Work is also underway on the 6.4km western section of the line from International District/Chinatown in the city centre via Judkins Park and Mercer Island to South Bellevue. This is also expected to open in 2025.

Siemens Mobility has supplied Sound Transit with 152 S700 two-section LRVs under a contract signed in 2016.

Voters approved the East Link extension in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. The project broke ground in 2016, and the Downtown Bellevue Tunnel was completed in 2020.

A 13.7km extension of Line 1 from Northgate to Lynnwood with four stations is also due to open on August 30. The future Line 2 service will operate from Lynwood to Redmond.

“This is a historic occasion for our region and the hundreds of thousands of people on the Eastside who will be able to use Link light rail to quickly and safely get to school, work, games, concerts, and more, without the hassles of traffic and parking,” says King County executive and Sound Transit board chair, Mr Dow Constantine.

For detailed data on light rail projects from around the world, subscribe to IRJ Pro.