Light-rail service in downtown Seattle reopened at 4:20 p.m., but will take a while to reach normal capacity and frequency.
Light-rail train service restarted again at 4:20 p.m. Friday in Sodo — following a five-hour delay to remove a damaged train and fix overhead power lines.
Sound Transit warns that trains will take a while to reach normal frequency of every six minutes in the commute, and they’re under orders to slow when entering downtown.
After the 11 a.m. incident, workers found that a pantograph, which extends from the train roof to the power wire, was twisted, and the wire “crinkled” near Stadium Station, said spokeswoman Kimberly Reason.
“It was so mangled, for the first time in the [7½-year] operation of Link, they had to manually saw it off,” she said, referring to the pantograph.
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Earlier, the stall closed service from Westlake to Stadium stations, forcing riders to find a bus to cross downtown. In the afternoon, passengers in both directions were being told to get off and take a special Route 97 shuttle bus between Sodo and Stadium stations.
Operating crews needed several hours to cut off the power, saw away the damaged areas, tow the train to the maintenance base, and then perform repairs and inspections on the wire, Reason said.
Friday’s interruption follows a rail stoppage Jan. 8 lasting several hours, blamed on a broken insulator in the outdoor power supply lines.
Interruptions like these illustrate that campaign promises by King County Executive Dow Constantine and other politicians of “highly reliable” train service don’t assure 100 percent performance. Light-rail service operated 89.7 percent on-time, missing its 90 percent goal, and trains completed 98.5 percent of scheduled trips, the latest performance report says.
Voters last fall approved a $54 billion, 25-year program to expand regional train lines, which mostly converge at downtown Seattle. By 2035, there will be a second downtown tunnel for more trains, which CEO Peter Rogoff has said will make the network more resilient.
Transit agencies have issued alerts that service would be slowed Friday and Saturday, because of demonstrations related to Friday’s swearing-in of President Trump.
Extra buses and railcars will be added Saturday for the Womxn’s March on Seattle, which begins at 10 a.m. at Judkins Park and is expected to draw as many as 50,000 people. Bus routes 4, 7, 14, 48, 550 and 554 go near the park.