SEATTLE—Sound Transit's new "Link" lightrail trains are just weeks away from carrying passengers through Seattle and down to Tukwila. But after Monday's Metro train accident in Washington D.C. - representatives want to reassure Seattle passengers their system is safe.
The new "Link" system will utilize the latest computer technology including a system called "Automated Train Protection". Sound Transit representative Bruce Gray said "if one car gets too close to another train it can essentially shut down that car." The trains are also controlled by an operator on-board who can stop the car in an emergency. The trains and tracks are being watched on cameras at a monitoring center, offering another layer of protection.
Sound Transit has been testing the system for months and the trains are regular fixtures along the rail lines in Rainier Valley and the downtown Seattle Bus Tunnel. One bus passenger tells Q13 Fox News she watched how a train reacted after a bus stalled on the rail line. "The train wasn't allowed to move past a certain point until that bus moved, so there wasn't an issue" Angela Murray said. Murray said it made her feel safer about the new link system.
Although they don't have any concerns about Seattle's system, Sound Transit says they will keep an eye on developments in Washington, D.C. "Our system guys are interested in what's happened there" Gray says. If there are any lessons to learn from that tragedy, Sound Transit will make sure the same problem doesn't occur here.
The trains will start carrying passengers on July 18th, rides will be free for the first two days. Staring July 20th, passengers will have to pay.