Testing of the East Link light rail has continued in Bellevue and Redmond. Initial testing started in November of 2021 to evaluate the trains, controls, safety and signaling systems. This was done at low speeds and with vehicles pulling single-car trains. Now, trains have started running between the South Bellevue and Redmond Technology stations, with more tests to be expected in upcoming months. After some pushback, the opening date for the rail has not yet been confirmed, but a new timeline is in progress.
In between the South Bellevue and Redmond Technology stations are stops at the Wilburton and Bel-Red stations. This path has multiple at-grade track crossing and pedestrian crossing spots. Pedestrians near the Bel-Red station should be cautious of oncoming trains and follow these precautions:
- Only cross at designated crossings, following the warning signals and signs in place.
- Look both ways when approaching the crossing, and always stop for the trains.
- Trains are typically three feet wider than their tracks, so keep a safe distance from them.
- Never walk between rails or cross in non-designated areas.
- Avoid distractions like loud music, texting and talking on the phone so you can be aware of train horns.
For drivers, there are also important safety measures to follow:
- Slow down and look both ways at a railroad crossing, making sure the vehicle can proceed entirely across the tracks.
- If a train is approaching, stop at least 15 feet away from the tracks.
- Do not drive around lowered gates.
- If your car stalls or stops on the crossing, get all passengers out immediately and far away from the tracks. Call the phone number posted at the crossing or 911 to report the stalled vehicle.
Always expect there to be trains running, day or night.