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Old November 7th, 2008, 10:20 PM   #1981
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How come choppy texan HSR? Why link the state's largest city to N.O. but not with its capital or even the state's second city?

Barely any traffic worth tapping into Portland-ME market, either...
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Old November 8th, 2008, 01:09 AM   #1982
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Yes. My only concern that we have existing railroads in downtown Seattle area that still having traffic across the railroads. It would be dangerous for high speed rail to use that railroads since it could hit people, animals, and vehicles and even existing trains. I think it is only better solution for this issue... Build a new high speed rail tunnel under downtown Seattle for safety reason. I know it would be very expensive but still.
That would be an absolute dream come true if that happened. Unfortunately...it's not going to happen anytime soon haha. Prop 1 will add additional sounder trains though, so once people begin to use the sounder trains (and hopefully like it), they might demand even faster connections.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 02:38 AM   #1983
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That would be an absolute dream come true if that happened. Unfortunately...it's not going to happen anytime soon haha. Prop 1 will add additional sounder trains though, so once people begin to use the sounder trains (and hopefully like it), they might demand even faster connections.
Yeah... Commuter trains are good just for now until entire light rail system across Puget Sound get built. We will see about that.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 03:12 AM   #1984
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Would it be too mountainous to build an HSR line from Vancouver down to San Diego? I always thought that Washington state and Oregon had very extreme topographies. But then again, I've never been to North America so I could be completely wrong.
Mountains tend to run north-south due to how the tectonic plates have interacted. So valleys tend to run north-south too. Most of the route would be lowlands.

Our bigger problem is a lack of rail corridors in our cities. HSR only works in sections with exclusive use, and that isn't likely anytime soon. In Seattle you'd probably need a tunnel through much of the city. You could make the whole thing cheaper by running around the fringes of town, but that would still have physical hurdles, and you'd be reducing demand.
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Old November 8th, 2008, 09:00 AM   #1985
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Mountains tend to run north-south due to how the tectonic plates have interacted. So valleys tend to run north-south too. Most of the route would be lowlands.

Our bigger problem is a lack of rail corridors in our cities. HSR only works in sections with exclusive use, and that isn't likely anytime soon. In Seattle you'd probably need a tunnel through much of the city. You could make the whole thing cheaper by running around the fringes of town, but that would still have physical hurdles, and you'd be reducing demand.
Does Seattle have much of a fringe though? I mean either it's the waterfront or the I-5 corridor. If you're talking Bellevue or some other parts of the eastside, I guess there's some room. If light rail has to use a tunnel in Seattle, I don't see how HSR could be built without one haha
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Old November 8th, 2008, 10:08 AM   #1986
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The current line through the downtown can easily be sunk. Parts of it have already been sunk and have created beautiful parkland. Freight traffic should be rerouted around the I405 instead.
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Old November 9th, 2008, 12:32 AM   #1987
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The current line through the downtown can easily be sunk. Parts of it have already been sunk and have created beautiful parkland. Freight traffic should be rerouted around the I405 instead.
WSDOT just demolished the Wilburton tunnel though, so new tracks will have to be built to reroute it around I-405.

How about underground Bellevue rail in addition to light rail? haha it'd be nice to have Sounder serve Bellevue as well.
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Old November 18th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #1988
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For $17 billion surely you could build a proper metro?
It's not $17 billion. A lot of that is debt repayment - financing costs. The light rail is more like $11 billion of the total.

And this is much higher capacity than most light rail. Define 'proper', and we'll talk about how much more it would have cost.
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Old November 21st, 2008, 01:04 AM   #1989
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Eastside passenger railway would cost $1billion

By Keith Ervin

Seattle Times staff reporter

An old Eastside freight rail line could be converted into a commuter-passenger railway linking six cities, but the proposal would not come cheap — an estimated $1 billion to $1.2 billion, according to a preliminary report released Wednesday.

The Port of Seattle is buying the 42-mile corridor from BNSF Railway for $107 million. The Port and other agencies are studying whether the corridor linking Renton, Bellevue, Kirkland, Woodinville, Redmond and Snohomish should become a passenger-rail corridor, biking and walking trail or both.

Wednesday's report answered some question but won't end the debate over the rail line. Port commissioners last year resisted King County Executive Ron Sims' proposal to pull up the tracks south of Woodinville in order to build a biking and hiking trail.

Upgrading the line for commuter rail would cost about $21 million to $27 million per mile, nearly double the price of Sound Transit's Sounder train service which links Seattle with Tacoma and Everett.

But it would be far cheaper than the higher-capacity light-rail system now under construction between Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, which residents of three counties voted Nov. 4 to expand by 36 miles for $11.8 billion.

Sound Transit, the Puget Sound Regional Council (PSRC) and consultant Parsons Brinckerhoff presented the draft feasibility study ordered by the Legislature to an ad hoc regional committee.

The new cost estimate for commuter-rail service was higher than some commuter-rail advocates claim, but one of those advocates, Cascadia Center of Discovery Institute representative Tom Jones, said the billion-dollar price tag would still be "quite literally a bargain."

"This corridor can be developed for about one-third to one-half of the estimated $1.23 billion," Jones said. "Cascadia continues to believe that the corridor can be built for millions and (in) years, rather than billions and decades."

Elected officials on the committee on Wednesday peppered the consultants with questions about their cost assumptions and conclusions, but didn't offer any opinions on whether the projected ridership would justify the cost.

Metropolitan King County Council Chair Julia Patterson said officials are "in the infant stages" of deciding how to develop the Renton-to-Snohomish rail line with a spur from Woodinville to Redmond.

"The vision is at some point in the future you would be able to get on a train in Tacoma and when you get to the south part of Lake Washington you would have a choice to go to the left to Seattle or to the right all the way up from Bellevue and Kirkland to Snohomish County," Patterson said.

PSRC staff estimated 5,015 passengers would ride a commuter train daily between Renton's Gene Coulon Park and Snohomish. In order for the train to connect with the Tacoma-to-Seattle Sounder train, the new route would have to be extended to Tukwila on BNSF rails. The study didn't estimate the cost of that extension.

The draft report said building a biking and hiking trail beside the tracks north of Interstate 90 would be costly. Parsons pegged that cost at $245 million to $359 million.

Trail costs south of I-90 weren't estimated because parts of the corridor are very narrow and it isn't known if some neighbors have easements to use parts of it, Parsons project manager Allison Dobbins said.
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Old December 10th, 2008, 11:55 PM   #1990
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"Cascadia" is basically nuts.

Did anyone notice that the first U Link contract came in 34% under engineering estimates? It's a drop in the bucket - but the cost savings was $10 million.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 02:25 AM   #1991
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That is good. That will give Sound Transit some extra money to work on other projects like light rail extension for Overlake to Redmond.
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Old December 11th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #1992
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That is good. That will give Sound Transit some extra money to work on other projects like light rail extension for Overlake to Redmond.
Don't expect anything. Sales tax revenues are going to drop just as quickly as construction costs - and there's also the $3-3.5m repayment to people just outside the district edge who the department of revenue (state) mistakenly assessed MVET to. There are plenty of little things to eat money like this.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 09:52 PM   #1993
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Opening Day

I heard for the first time last evening about an actual opening day--July 3. It may be unofficial, but super exciting nonetheless. We have been waiting for 2009 for a long time! If it does open on [Friday] July 3, I'll be riding the rails the whole holiday weekend--back and forth, again and again.
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Old January 6th, 2009, 10:12 PM   #1994
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Really? That is little early than expected but awesome!!! Can't wait to ride it!
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Old January 15th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #1995
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University Link

More information on the Sound Transit University Link, due to start construction this year between downtown Seattle and the University of Washington (UW). From Thursday's Seattle Post-Intelligencer.
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Old January 18th, 2009, 01:46 AM   #1996
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What about East Link?
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Old January 18th, 2009, 06:43 AM   #1997
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Gotta study it, design it, permit it, hire builders... A few years off.
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Old January 19th, 2009, 03:50 AM   #1998
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I can assure you that we will get quite a bit of money from the feds for east link as well... especially with Obama as the president
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Old January 19th, 2009, 05:30 AM   #1999
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I hope so! It would be much nicer if entire light rail project could be completed few years earlier than planned.
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Old January 21st, 2009, 08:31 AM   #2000
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I hope so! It would be much nicer if entire light rail project could be completed few years earlier than planned.
As much as I hate saying this, I can't wait for gas prices to rise again.
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