Pacific Northwest Transit Adventures

Seattle has a Crowded Subway – the new University Link and Angle Lake Extensions

This is Part 3 of my 2018 Pacific Northwest Up-to-Date Trip

I take King County transit Rapid Ride Bus Route F, the relatively short ride to Tukwila International Blvd(15 Photos). There I head up the escalators to the Angle Lake-bound platform. I notice new Got Wheels? take the elevators disks painted on the ground, and signs that there’s a discount on ubers from the station (probably trying to help solve the station’s full park & ride lot).


Getting on the next Angle Lake-bound train, I notice the new system maps have the link line as Red, part of the new color branding when the link finally needs two branches when the line to Bellevue opens in 2023.

I stop at Sea-Tac Airport and enter new trackage heading south to Angle Lake(37 photos), which is an elevated guideway extension, designed to serve a large over 1,000 space parking garage. While I’m at Angle Lake I notice Sound Transit has changed the format of their signs removing the teal line, so their now all one color. I’ve changed the format of the signs for the new stations.


I get my photo essay, and get on another Link train heading northbound. At Sea-Tack I get a photo of the now Angle Lake-bound, not for terminating trains platform, and see the Alaska Airlines Disneyland plane parked at the terminal.

I continue north on the Central link alignment I’ve photographed back in 2011, at Columbia City–(1 Photo), I get a decent photo out the window of a platform sign that has been changed.

We continue through the Beacon Hill Tunnel, and as we go through it I notice that I loose cell phone service, this tunnel hasn’t been wired yet. We continue to follow the busway towards the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel where the Link train gets more and more crowded. After we stop at Westlake and I enter the new “University Link” trackage and tunnel I feel like I’m on the New York City Subway. I notice that the Downtown Transit and University Link tunnels have all been rigged for cell phone coverage.

At Capitol Hill(8 Photos) I notice nice large LCD screens showing next departure signs, make it clear that my two car train is running a few minutes late and bunching so it’s crowded with another northbound train to the University of Washington 2 minutes away so I decide to get off.


I take a much less crowded train to the University of Washington(41 Photos). I arrive and see a crowd of people (some with bicycles) from the crowded train I got off of at Capitol Hill still waiting for the elevators up to the surface at the 95 foot deep station. I get some photos of the platform and then head up to the surface to get photos of the station house before heading back down on the set of escalators that lead down to the surface in the opposite direction.


After spending 15 minutes there I get on the next train to depart, noticing a PSA sign that I quite like that seats are for butts, not bags.

As we leave two fare inspectors working as a team come on. My ORCA card with my overpriced day pass (which I’ve been diligently tapping on and off with at my 2 stops), passes the test. One person, the first person one fare inspector talks to isn’t so luckily and I find it interesting how the 2nd fare inspector has time to get everyone in my car (which has most seats taken) in the time it takes for the first fare inspector to write the fare jumper a summons. I get off with the fare inspectors (but not the person who has cooperated and gotten a summons) and a surprising to me number of other people at Capitol Hill(35 Photos). I get off and start my photo essay of this extremely urban 3 entrance subway station.


As I approach the final entrance I see the last stop on the First Hill Line of the Seattle Streetcar. This streetcar line is new and one I would like to ride at some point. I just miss a streetcar, and still want to finish the last entrances to Capitol Hill so I don’t get on.

I head back down to the Link platform and get on another link train at 5:49pm, with a little over an hour before my train up to Vancouver that leaves at 7:00pm.

I take this train to Pioneer Square(3 Photos), not the closest stop to King Street Station, but I want to pick up some dinner for my journey to continue north into Canada.


I start walking south and stop at a hole in the wall for a gyro plate. I approach King Street Station(14 Photos) at 6:15, a little early and wait for a First Hill Streetcar to pass me, that I think is the same streetcar, now completing its trip that I watched leave the Capitol Hill Station while I did my photo essay!

I then enter King Street Station to wait for Amtrak Cascades Train #518 that will take me into Canada.