Sound Transit: New phase of testing has begun on Lynnwood Link light rail extension

Sound Transit employees greet an approaching test train operator during a station tour in Lynnwood in March 2024. (Photo courtesy Sound Transit)

Sound Transit said this week that testing on the Lynnwood extension of the 1 Line is entering a new phase. The work includes training for operators and maintenance staff, and continued testing to ensure stations, tracks, utilities and vehicles work together as expected in preparation for the start of service Aug. 30. Light rail vehicles will run frequently between the Northgate and Lynnwood City Center stations, the agency said.

In addition to trains on the tracks, people can expect to see maintenance vehicles, testing equipment, and personnel involved in the testing process, and hear sounds typical in an operating light rail system including station announcements, wheels on the tracks and warning signals.

Sound Transit also said it is working to finish building the new 8.5-mile extension to Lynnwood. Earlier this year, nearby residents may have noticed new activity on the tracks and at stations that have been part of Systems Integration Testing. Those activities have included:

Rail grinding: Rail grinding is a routine preventative maintenance activity that prolongs the lifespan of light rail tracks. Crews grind away the top layer of material from the rail. The work generally occurs when rail is installed and then repeated every 2-3 years. Nearby residents and businesses may have heard increased noise and seen localized sparks as a result of this work.

Dead car tows: Dead car tows involve crews towing a single light rail car along the tracks at walking speed to test clearances around the trains when they begin running. Nearby residents and businesses may have seen light rail vehicles on the tracks moving slowly along as crews verify clearances.

Rider information and alert systems testing: Crews need to test systems like fire alarms, track intrusion detection, rider information, and more before the system opens. Nearby residents and businesses should expect to hear these systems being tested prior to the light rail line opening for service.

Sign up for alerts to stay up-to-date on construction. Additionally, residents who will be living near an active light rail station can find out more information on what to expect for operational noise here. Learn more about the Lynnwood Link Extension here.

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