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A Link light rail train pulls into the Bellevue Downtown Station under its own power during recent overnight testing.
Media Caption
Live wire train testing in downtown Bellevue.

East Link train testing moves into live wire stages

Trains running power from wires above

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Now that it's 2022, we can get excited about East Link opening next year!

When this Link extension opens in 2023, passengers will be able to ride almost 40 miles of fast, reliable light rail, from the Eastside to downtown Seattle and Northgate, and to Sea-Tac Airport and Angle Lake.

Civil construction is winding down along the 14-mile alignment, and systems testing is in full swing.

For several nights last week, light rail vehicles traveled at operating speeds between the Bellevue Downtown, Wilburton and 120th Street stations to conduct testing to ensure the new line will be ready for passengers.

Check out a video of the work being done:

Testing activities over the weekend focused on the systems that provide power to the vehicles. Crews checked to make sure the trains had correct contact with the tracks and overhead catenary wires.

This follows a previous phase of testing that checked train clearance.

A Link train pulls into the Downtown Bellevue station at night.
Looking east from above the Bellevue Downtown Station platform.

Live wire testing will continue at the Redmond Technology Station later this month, and across the alignment throughout the coming months.

East Link will extend light rail 14 miles with 10 stations from Seattle's International District to Judkins Park, across I-90 to Mercer Island and South Bellevue, and through downtown Bellevue and the Bel-Red area to Redmond Technology Station.

A person in a white hard hat and orange jacket kneels down to test something on a Link train. at the entrance
Making sure everything is ready for passengers next year!

Want to join our amazing Systems Engineering team? We're hiring! 

And check out these and other high-resolution photos of the testing progress.

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