Northgate light rail station is open for business

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Northgate station photo by Steven H. Robinson

After all the ceremonies and ribbon cutting on Friday and Saturday, the Northgate light rail station is open for business.

Shoreline Mayor Will Hall said, "The new light rail stations give everyone in Shoreline a better option to get to Seattle or the airport without dealing with the mess on I-5. 
"People voted to build light rail and we've worked hard for years to make it happen. I really look forward to 2024 when we can get on a station right here in Shoreline instead of taking a bus to Northgate."

The 4.3-mile extension added three new stations to the system, at Northgate, Roosevelt and U District, with trips of just 13 minutes from Northgate to downtown Seattle. The two Shoreline stations will open in 2024.

On the platform at Northgate. Photo by Steven H. Robinson

The opening heralds the start of an unprecedented period of transit expansion in the region. In just three years, the Link light rail network will nearly triple in reach, from 22 miles to 62 miles, with service to Tacoma’s Hilltop in 2022, East King County in 2023 and Lynnwood, Federal Way and Downtown Redmond in 2024.

Shoreline councilmembers (l-r) Keith McGlashan, Susan Chang, Keith Scully, Chris Roberts and County Councilmember Rod Dembowski were at the pre-opening ceremonies. Photo by Steven H. Robinson

Voters approved the Northgate Link extension in 2008 as part of the Sound Transit 2 ballot measure. Construction on the project began in 2012 following six years of planning. 

County Councilmember Rod Dembowski was still in planning mode. 
“The opening of these new stations is a game-changer for North King County mobility and gives a glimpse of the significant benefits Shoreline and Lake Forest Park residents will see in just a few years with more stations coming online. 

"We will work to ensure Metro bus service makes it as easy as possible to connect with light rail, and get riders where they want to go.”

The John Lewis pedestrian bridge opened on Saturday, connecting North Seattle College and westside residents to Northgate and the transit station. Students will be able to take the train to college. People will be able to take the train to medical appointments on Meridian. Photo by Carl Dinse. 

Twin boring machines began tunneling in 2014, completing the 3.5-mile twin tunnels in 2016. Guideway construction was completed in 2018 and rail installation in 2019. 

Train vs freeway jams. Photo by Carl Dinse

Construction of all three stations was substantially complete at the beginning of 2021, and since August, trains ran simulated service, during which all Link trains continued without riders from University of Washington Station to Northgate. Now they are carrying passengers.


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