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Cracked rail line on Link means delays and service disruptions this weekend

SEATTLE -- Cracks discovered in the northbound rail line between the Tukwila International Blvd. station and Rainier Beach station will cause disruptions for riders this weekend.

Sound Transit official said they noticed the cracks on September 19th. Since then, they have been working to come up with a plan to fix the issue.

“This is not what you would call normal wear and tear, it was new information for us,” said Kimberly Reason public information officer with Sound Transit.

Reason says they have no idea what caused the cracks on the 1,200 ft stretch of rail between the Tukwila and Rainier Beach stations.

“It’s too early to know what caused these irregularities, what they mean, what condition caused them, we just have no idea right now,” said Kimberly Reason

Link trains have slowed to about 10mph around the area impacted by the cracks.

Reason says they are safe to use at that speed, but they want to fix the problem as soon as possible.

That is why this weekend there will be disruptions in service.

For many riders, that means they’ll have to make a change of plans.

“I’m going to have to Uber to work, spend about $20 to Uber to work. It’s not bad because it’s a one-time thing, but still, I’ll have to find another way to work,” said TJ Campbell.

Campbell says he uses the Link just about every day. He says he noticed the train slowing down around the bend over I-5 before the Rainier Beach Station over the last week.

He says it’s scary to know the train has been riding on cracked rails for the last few weeks and hopes they find out what is causing the problem soon.

“They’re going to Bellevue and south more, hopefully, they find out and fix it before they build on,” said Campbell.

Starting at 9 p.m. Friday until the end of Service Friday, Link will be operating on a single track between the two stations.

From 9 a.m. Sunday until the end of service Sunday Link will also be operating on a single rail track.

On Saturday, the Link service between the Tukwila and Rainier Beach stations will not operate at all.

Officials with Sound Transit say to expect delays.

A free shuttle (Route 97) will take riders from Rainier Beach Station to Tukwila.

Reason says there will also be Link employees at the stations letting commuters know of the service disruptions.