Link light-rail trains had stopped running midday between Othello Station and SeaTac due to a power-supply outage; a separate problem held up two Sounder commuter trains but the signal failure was fixed before the evening commute.
Sound Transit has reopened the south segment of its light-rail corridor for the afternoon commute, following a six-hour power outage to its train motors.
Trains will be delayed south of Seattle for a while, as full service restarts, the agency said in a 4:35 p.m. rider alert.
The outage prevented trains from traveling the corridor from Othello Station to SeaTac/Airport Station and Angle Lake Station — forcing hundreds of airport travelers and park-and-ride customers to detour throughout midday.
And the agency just dodged a near-debacle on its longer-distance Sounder commuter trains, where a signal failure threatened to ruin evening service for 8,000 suburban customers on both north and south lines.
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But the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which owns the tracks, managed to fix that so service can resume, Sound Transit reported in a 3:27 p.m. rider alert. Only two of the nine south-line evening trains to Lakewood, Pierce County, were delayed, and all four north trains to Everett are on time.
Further details weren’t immediately available about the cause of the light-rail outage — the week’s third power failure following brief stoppages Sunday afternoon.
Tuesday’s first alert went out at 10:30 a.m. and by midday, five stations were closed. The problem appears to be within Sound Transit’s own equipment, which includes electrical substations and the overhead catenary wires from which light-rail vehicles draw their power.
Riders were diverted to temporary shuttle bus Route 97 from Othello Station to Tukwila International Boulevard Station, where the RapidRide A Line provides normal, frequent service to the airport station along the boulevard.
Trains operated as usual all day from the University of Washington through downtown to Columbia City.
On Sunday, the Angle Lake Station was closed from 4:27 to 4:33 p.m., and again from 5:05 to 5:35 p.m. due to electrical glitches, rider alerts said.
Back on January 20, an unrelated adhesive failure caused a train’s power poles to become tangled in the overhead wire, leading to a five-hour outage.
Though the Tuesday incident occurred midday, the trains have been carrying substantial numbers of visitors all summer, going with their baggage to and from the airport.
Link carried nearly 77,000 riders per weekday in June, an 18.5 percent increase from a year earlier. So blockages on the regional light-rail spine matter more than ever.