Station Focus | Rainier Beach (ST, KCM) [CC]
Articles, Blog

Station Focus | Rainier Beach (ST, KCM) [CC]

September 16, 2019


Hey guys, welcome back to the channel! Today,
we are in a new country and a new city, to show you guys around a new transit system.
Seattle is a beautiful west coast city, and Link light rail, its light rail system that
serves as a north-south rapid transit connector is very elegant as well. As the first video in our Seattle outing series,
we’ll be taking a look at Rainier Beach station, the fourth station northbound on
the Central Link, and in the very near future you’ll be seeing a few more station videos
and a couple of different system videos as well. Enjoy the video! [music] Located in the Rainier Beach neighbourhood
of Seattle, Rainier Beach is situated right in the middle between downtown Seattle and
Seattle-Tacoma Airport, and it is one of the at-grade stations on the route. Coming into the station on a northbound train
heading towards University of Washington station, we arrive at its long central platform, which
is located in the median of Martin Luther King Jr. Way, between the two directions of
traffic. The platform is long enough to host trains
that are 4 cars long with a total length of about 110 metres, or 350 feet, but the light
rail trains run on the route are rarely actually 4 cars long, with the ones we saw on the day
of filming all being 3 cars long. [music] There is a canopied section halfway through
the platform, with the two ends bare but still decorated with long metal poles. The design
of this station really looks quite like a ship with a bunch of masts. The amenities on the platform include benches,
bins, information and maps, lots and lots of signs, as well as these unique lean bars
that are placed at each side of hedges that are found throughout the exposed part of the
platform. Since the trains on the line are light rail
cars that are literally linked together, there are gaps between cars that could be dangerous
since passengers could end up slipping into the gaps, so they’ve added these train gap
indicators made out of yellow bars that’ll counteract that. And at numerous locations on the platform,
you’ll find the first of six art installations present here at the station as part of the
“STart” program that allocates a part of construction funds to art projects to be
used in the stations. This is Eugene Parnell’s Increment, which consists of four bronze columns
with markings that represent systems of measurement used around the world, as well as height comparisons
with various animals. Heading down to the southern end of the platform,
you’ll find an operator’s building for the station that houses utilities like washrooms
for train operators, as well as some very nice stained glass art on the window facing
the platform. And on the other side of the building, in
between the tracks, there is a 240 metre, or 800-foot long track that can be used to
store two 4-car trains for emergencies and headway management. [music] Alright, time to head towards the entrance
of the station, which is over at the north end, where South Henderson Street crosses
Martin Luther King Jr. Way. The station entrance is small but well equipped
with everything you’ll need for a ride on the Link. Here, you can find some maps and
information about the station and its surroundings, two ticket machines where you can buy single
tickets for the Link or a reloadable Orca card for the different transit systems in
the area, as well as card readers for said Orca cards. This definitely looks different from, say,
a Toronto subway station with its fare gates, as the Link uses a proof-of-payment system
instead, similar to a TTC streetcar. And since the fare ranges from $2.25 to $3.25 for adults
depending on the distance travelled, ORCA card users will need to tap off when exiting
a station. Here is where you’ll find another couple
of art installations for the station. At the head of the station is Dragonfly, an
aluminum sculpture of a winged creature created by Darlene Nguyen-Ely. Inspired by the station’s
architectural elements, the sculpture is meant to conjure imagery of flight and wind, and
it certainly is the centrepiece of the station, let alone this whole area. Each Central Link station has its own pictogram,
which is a small graphic that represents something about the station or its locale in order to
really distinguish the stations and give them character. For Rainier Beach, the pictogram
created by Christian French depicts a heron, which is inspired by the theme of flight in
the Dragonfly sculpture. It is also embedded with fixed points that represent surrounding
destinations that include Rainier Beach High School, Seattle Public Library’s nearby
branch, Beer Sheva Park, and Pritchard Island Beach. Alright, time to check out the surroundings
of the station. The northeast corner of the intersection is a small plaza with some trees
and some nice seating, and it is considered a part of the station with a nicely decorated
station sign, 20 bicycle lockers, and a bus stop. Here is where you’ll find another art installation
of the station. This metal sculpture that resembles sliced pears wrapped in metal wire
is Buster Simpson’s Parable, and it is an allegorical commentary on the changing urban
landscape of Seattle and the Rainier Valley. The King County Metro buses that serve the
bus station here include the Route 9 Express towards Seattle, Route 106 parallel to and
extending beyond the Link and Route 107 traveling northwest to Georgetown and Beacon Hill. This neighbourhood is quiet and mostly residential,
and much of the buildings here look quite aged, so the beautiful station in the middle
of the road and the sleek trains that whizz through is quite a sight to behold, and the
2000 daily riders is respectable as well for this area. Without a park and ride facility attached
to the station as most of the other stations on the line do not, passengers are encouraged
to use other modes of transit to get to their destinations. One of such is definitely by
bike, with lots of signs that point you to bike paths nearby and all the bike lockers. Another way to travel that last mile is by
using VIA, a ride-hailing service operating at a few of the Link stations that is subsidized
by the system. And finally, enjoy a few shots of the Link
train as we close out this video. [music] Alright, guys, we hope you’ve enjoyed this
video on Rainier Beach, and be sure to stay tuned for more Seattle videos coming in the
future. Like, subscribe, and comment down below to tell us what you think about Rainier
Beach and Seattle’s Link light rail service. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and consider
supporting our Patreon. Thanks for watching guys, and we’ll see you in the next one. [music]

9 Comments

  • Reply B l a c k P a n d a September 9, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    Washington state is so nice.. TY for uploading this

  • Reply Austin England September 9, 2019 at 3:14 pm

    Yussss welcome to Seattle! I'm learning lots already!

  • Reply Uchenna Okorie September 9, 2019 at 7:08 pm

    I definitely agree the Seattle LRT is similar to the Eglinton Crosstown in terms of grade seperation. Buffalo's would be up there too

  • Reply Ameliรฉ Zh September 10, 2019 at 3:27 am

    Dang guys.. super fast upload

  • Reply Glenn Brockett September 10, 2019 at 3:37 am

    I work at the link rail system and came across your video through Facebook.
    I always find it interesting to see familiar places through a visitors perspective.

  • Reply guinessbeer September 10, 2019 at 12:32 pm

    Seattle has a great system! This section of the line is the only flaw. Itโ€™s soo bad it wasnโ€™t fully grade-separated. Looks like all future projects for Link will be though!

  • Reply T D September 10, 2019 at 2:17 pm

    You guys have so much good footage. You could make a chill music to study/focus video with transit footage in the background ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Reply Stephen N September 11, 2019 at 1:56 pm

    When I rode the Link years ago, I never got off at Rainier Beach. I like the design and this review!
    Q: what editing software do you use

  • Reply Lee Haber September 15, 2019 at 4:35 am

    There is nothing around this station. No wonder there's no ridership. Hopefully, more development will be built near it soon.

  • Leave a Reply