All aboard…See the King Street Station in Operation

When you’re walking about in Pioneer Square or the International District, you might enjoy stopping by to see the newly restored, historical King Street Station at Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street, now that the outdoor stairs and the passenger-waiting area are fully open. Here are some photos taken one evening this week to give you an idea.

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The vintage clock tower of the station, built in 1906, contrasts in an interesting way with the super-modern building in the background, drawing attention to the different eras that the each building represents.

The lower level of the station is on King Street. The area seen here (below), looking down from Jackson Street, is the entrance for Amtrak passenger ticket and waiting areas. The rail tracks are on the other (eastern) side of the station, under Fourth Avenue South and South Jackson Street, where the trains enter a mile-long tunnel to pass under Seattle’s central business district. The station also serves  Sound Transit’s  Sounder commuter rail.

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To get to the lower level of the station from Jackson Street, you can cross the new plaza in front of the station and use the recently reopened stairs under the canopy. This photo is taken from the top of the stairs looking back towards Jackson Street.

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Here are the stairs that will take you from the Jackson Street plaza to the passenger ticket and waiting areas.

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The passenger waiting area (below) was quiet during this visit, and looking quite lovely. The decorative, molded plaster ceiling had been covered in 1963 with a suspended, false ceiling. During the recently completed restoration, the original ceiling was uncovered and restored, and original lights replaced.

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The plaster decorations on the walls and ceiling, the marble wall panels, and the terrazzo and decorative glass-mosaic tile floor are some of the details that create an elegant interior.

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And here (below) at the top of the photo you can see the balcony overlooking the passenger waiting room.
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The station is a perfect place to begin a fabulous trip. In the center of the room there is a sign showing passengers where to line up for the “Coast Starlight” train, one arrow pointing towards “sleeping” and another indicating “coach.” The Amtrak website says:

“En route daily between Los Angeles and Seattle, the Coast Starlight train passes through the San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Barbara, Sacramento and Portland. Widely regarded as one of the most spectacular of all train routes, the Coast Starlight links the greatest cities on the West Coast.”

All aboard!