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Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

June 3, 2009 at 3:28 PM

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Seattle media jumps on the light rail

Posted by Gabriel Campanario

There was a press ride-along this morning to take the light rail from Westlake station to Tukwila and Seattle Sketcher got to sneak in. The line opens to the public on July 18 -- the same day the Sounders play Chelsea by the way. It was a nice change of pace for me to sketch this odd group of commuters: politicians, TV reporters, photographers and cameramen trying to hold steady on a moving train.

lightrailone060309m.jpg

lightrailbloggers060309m.jpg

These folks (Martin Duke and Ben Schiendelman on the left, and John Jensen on the right) were the exception. They looked more like the regular people I normally see on my bus. They are hard-core light-rail supporters who work on their Seattle Transit Blog after they leave their day jobs at Microsoft and Boeing. That is true dedication to a cause. My hat is off to them.

lightrailnickles060309m.jpg

I happened to enter the train through the door closer to where Mayor Nickels spoke to the crowd. He called the moment "historic" and it certainly was. Light rail won't arrive to my neck of the woods in Snohomish County until 2023, but I'm still really excited about it. The train jerks a bit when starting up, but the smooth ride and views beat commuting on a bendy bus. Even if you have to stand.

lightrailmedia060309m.jpg

The cameramen weren't too happy with all that stopping and going at every station. I bet it wasn't easy to keep their cameras still. My pen and sketchbook felt so easy to work with in comparison.

There's a video of the ride-along on our website. Check it out.

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