Lincoln construction

intersection time lapseMore or less in the same location.
Top left: September 2011; Top right: October 2011
Bottom left: January 2013; Bottom right: June 2013

As I’d said back in September 2011 when construction for the Orange Line was about to begin on Lincoln Street, I wanted to get progress pics because it just hadn’t really occurred to me with other MAX extensions. But that hasn’t happened with any real regularity or with pictures taken in the same locations to show progress (such as the above picture, which I think is the only location I’ve gotten 4 times). So without much organization beyond when the photos were taken, here’s everything. All pictures can be clicked on for a larger size.

Fall 2011


Sep 2011

I’m not going to repost all of the oldest pictures from 2011 here since I’ve already gotten them in previous posts, but September 2011 showed Lincoln before construction began, when people in nearby apartments protested the clearcutting of all the trees in this block.

before after 02

By early October 2011, all the trees in the median were cut down, as were most of the trees lining the street (eventually they would all be cut).

February 2012

Feb 2012a

Several months after the previous set, now all the stumps are gone and the median is being removed.

October 2012

Headed out there briefly, but saw limited pedestrian access and a lot of workers doing things, so I didn’t stick around.

January 2013

It took me several months to get back over there again. I think the first rails started going in around November 2012. I also don’t know when these buildings at the eastern end of the street were demolished, I didn’t see any of that happening. Not sure what specifically those businesses had been, where they relocated, or if they just closed up without moving elsewhere.

lincoln5Pic from Sep 2011, notice the building in the back

Google Maps Street ViewGoogle Street Maps view, same location

Jan 2013q

By January those buildings were demolished, the land cleared out, and rail was already laid down through here for the harbor structure.

Nothing yet shown about the vegetated track (linked picture is European I think, not TriMet)… that part is going to be limited to the platform area. I’m curious and somewhat pessimistic how that’s going to play out. Vegetation on rails makes for an extremely poor stopping surface since leaves are as bad as ice when it comes to traction, so with the vegetation for runoff between the rails plus TriMet saying they intend to replace the London Plane trees that had grown here, it sounds like there’s going to be a lot of leaf buildup in this area. I DID like seeing t-rail being used on Lincoln (see picture gallery below, the cross-section of the rails are T-shaped), embedded similar to the alignment on Interstate. Although leaf buildup on t-rail is still slippery, it’s better than girder rail where the debris can fill in the channel in the rails which can be extremely dangerous – not only is that slippery but that can cause a derailment or a loss of shunt where the leaves insulate the rail and the train won’t be detected in that circuit.

girderrailsludgeRecently scraped girder rail – all of that leaf debris gets compacted into the rail

The rest of the January pictures:

April 2013

Apr 2013Okay, this isn’t technically from Lincoln Street, but this picture was taken underneath the Harbor Structure that connects from Lincoln.

June 2013

And the pictures from June, which show more of the rail installed than there had been in January.

Jun 2013e

Impact on other MAX lines

I know a lot of people have asked how the Orange Line will connect with existing lines. The new alignment starts at the southern end of the transit mall at the Jackson turnaround, currently used by the connected Yellow and Green lines – for those not familiar, Yellow Line trains become Green at PSU, and vice versa. The current word (though not yet set in stone) is that Green will then run by itself and Yellow and Orange will be run together. There are also talks of changing the Blue and Red lines, with Blue running west from Cleveland Ave in Gresham only as far as Beaverton TC (though with rush hour service to Hatfield Gov Center in Hillsboro), and running the Red Line from the airport to Hatfield, a change that might happen sooner than the scheduled 2015 opening of the Orange Line.

12 responses to “Lincoln construction

  1. I think the blue and red line switch is going to have a dandy effect on wait times along the old alignment.

  2. I haven’t sent a ton of questions your way lately, so I feel as if I’m falling behind. :) I’ll just list them out, be easier that way.

    -Do you have pictures of Jackson st. post construction?
    -How about whatever add-ons they were doing at Ruby a few months back?
    -What purpose would be served by having blue lines run only to BTC? What do you and other operators of that possible change?
    -How will the orange lines turn around? Is there enough in the “turn-around” up by Union Station for a train to sit while an operator is on break? Would they just use the east stub?

    • Jackson is still in progress. TriMet recently posted a photoset of construction that shows some pics from overhead and inside the construction zone. I haven’t taken anything of Ruby.

      I think the change in Red & Blue was driven by businesses on the West Side such as Intel, who want a direct train to the airport without having to transfer. And that makes sense. I think if that ends up going through it’ll take people a while to adjust to it. But the current setup does have some flaws – like it’s great that some Red Lines at night are extended past BTC to Merlo, Elmo, or Willow Creek because the passenger capacity is there, but a lot of passengers are frustrated with having to get off a train and wait for the one behind it instead of all of them going to Hillsboro (which there’s not really room for given how close rush hour trains are). So this might alleviate some of those issues – I’m not sure if it’s still in the plan to end rush hour trains there.

      I don’t think Union Station is going to be used for anything Orange Line, though I could be wrong. My understanding of how this plan would work is that a train at Expo will go down Interstate & the transit mall, switch to an Orange through Jackson and run out to Milwaukie. A train at the end of the line in Milwaukie will head up to PSU, switch to a Yellow at Jackson, and continue to Expo. Greens will just circle the transit mall and go back to Clackamas as a Green.

  3. This is my first time hearing the proposal on how the lines would be reconfigured. If it does turn out to be this way, why not just have Expo center to Milwaukee as just 1 line, either yellow or orange? Does it really make sense to change, what seems to be in name only, the line at the Jackson turnaround?

    • I’m not sure Orange is necessarily an official designation (granted that color is used in all of the marketing and promotional materials, but officially it’s still called the Portland Milwaukie Light Rail project), I guess so the possibility of leaving it as one color line straight through is still open.

  4. Also, I support the Blue/red line switch as well. I think more people would benefit from a direct line from PDX to Hillsboro rather than a direct Gresham to Hillsboro line as it is now. Doesn’t really affect people west of Gateway, does it?

    • Theoretically no since one line still ends at BTC and the other goes to Gov Center, but that’s assuming the only change there are the colors. The actual spacing and time between the trains may change.

      • I heard a while back (a long while back) that they were thinking – at one time – of extending the red line to Willow Creek…did you ever hear that? At first, I thought it wasn’t a terrible idea, but then I got to thinking about how that station is configured and realized they’d have to practically tear down half of the bus stops to add a third track. How long have they been talking about the red/blue change you mentioned?

  5. Just an FYI, the building at the end of Lincoln had been home of CBS Radio Portland (later Alpha Broadcasting) and was the home of KUFO-FM, KCMD-AM, KUPL, and for a while Jammin 95.5. If you are a fan of the Rick Emerson Show, he was based in the building from late 2006 and 2009. Alpha Broadcasting. Alpha consolidated all of their stations to a building downtown ​at 1211 SW 5th Avenue in mid-2010, about the time they turned KUFO-FM into KXL-FM.

  6. Is this blog still in use? I love reading it. If the red line service extends to Hillsboro would that also mean later night service to the airport?

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