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Old January 4th, 2007, 05:07 AM   #201
guinessbeer55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
Yes, plans are underway to restore service on the line. The following blurb is from the King County Metro website < http://transit.metrokc.gov/tops/wfsc...streetcar.html >:

Ongoing improvements to downtown's north waterfront area, including construction of the Olympic Sculpture Park and work on the northern end of the seawall, have necessitated the temporary suspension of the George Benson Line Waterfront Streetcar vintage Trolley service.

Metro is providing replacement service with special Route 99 Waterfront Streetcar Line buses. Bus routing and stop locations do not exactly duplicate the Streetcar, however the same neighborhoods are served - the Waterfront, Pioneer Square and Chinatown/International District.




The following is another blurb from the King County Metro website < http://transit.metrokc.gov/tops/wfsc/wsc_newhome.html >:

Waterfront streetcar gets new home that saves money and opens views from new sculpture park



The beloved George Benson Waterfront Streetcar will have a new home in historic Pioneer Square, and people of the region will be able to enjoy beautiful views and sculpture in a new waterfront park in legislation proposed by King County Executive Ron Sims today.

The proposals meet the county's goals of supporting the Seattle Art Museum's new sculpture park, while preserving the waterfront streetcar line. It will also cost less than half the amount compared to an earlier proposal to locate a facility on Port of Seattle property.

Metro Transit will provide free bus service beginning Nov. 19 through the construction of the sculpture park. The buses will feature specially designed graphics and will still link the International District/Chinatown, Pioneer Square and the Waterfront communities. The fare will be free, because the route will be within Metro's Downtown Seattle Ride Free Area.

"This is a victory for streetcar riders, the Pioneer Square community, transit passengers, and the citizens of the region who will get to enjoy a spectacular new park," said Sims. "Having the streetcar maintenance garage in Pioneer Square not only saves $11 million dollars, but it also opens new possibilities for extending the popular streetcar service and builds much-needed market rate housing."

The Main Street location was one of the highest-rated sites in a Metro Transit study in October 2004 analyzing potential sites. The city and the port would each pay $1 million, and the county would pay $7 million. A Port proposal to locate the facility north of the new sculpture park would have cost more than $20 million.

In an agreement reached with the Seattle Art Museum, the museum will demolish the streetcar maintenance barn, Broad Street passenger station, and tracks and then replace them with new tracks and a passenger station that links to the pedestrian sky bridge in the new Olympic Sculpture Park. In a separate agreement, a private developer will include a new $9 million streetcar maintenance facility in a mixed use building at Main Street and Occidental Park.

"This proposal accomplishes what I've advocated for three years: an affordable plan that ensures both great assets are available to the public," said King County Council Chairman Larry Phillips. "By moving the trolley barn from the site of Olympic Sculpture Park, we are opening up the view of the Olympics and access to Elliott Bay to citizens for decades to come. Our region will keep waterfront trolley service and gain a new park to treasure."

Locating the new maintenance facility at Occidental Park will enable the county to resume full operations of the current streetcar line and provide the capability to extend the line in the future.

The developer, Center of Pioneer Square LLC, of Seattle, will build badly needed market rate housing in a building that includes retail space that will open directly onto Occidental Park. The county would enter a lease-to own agreement for the streetcar maintenance garage.

The maintenance barn will be demolished one week following the Nov. 19 transition from streetcar to bus. The historic streetcars should be back on track in 18 to 24 months. The goal is to have the streetcars back in service by the tourist season in 2007.
so does that mean it will be back in service this summer??
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Old January 4th, 2007, 06:11 AM   #202
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so does that mean it will be back in service this summer??
Actually, I have been unable to confirm the status of the project. The following is the most recent newspaper article that I could find:

http://archives.seattletimes.nwsourc...uery=streetcar

Local News: Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Council mulls using streetcar money for suburban bus shelters

By Stuart Eskenazi

Seattle Times staff reporter

One year after the Metropolitan King County Council agreed to spend $7 million on a new maintenance barn in Seattle for Metro's waterfront streetcars, some council members are expressing interest in spending that money instead on bus shelters in the suburbs.

Councilman Dow Constantine has written a letter to the Seattle City Council asking for a status report on the barn project — a clear warning that the county's financial commitment to the project could be in jeopardy if the city doesn't move on it soon.

Developer Greg Smith was set to build the barn as part of a larger condominium project in Pioneer Square, across from Occidental Square park. But he pulled out of the deal in June, citing city delays in granting him a zoning change that would allow him to erect a taller building.

The deal was struck last November. Along with the county's $7 million commitment, the city and Port of Seattle each pledged $1 million.

At the time, there was urgency to find a replacement for the streetcar barn near Pier 70 so the Seattle Art Museum could tear it down and move forward with its Olympic Sculpture Garden as designed.

The old barn has been torn down, and service on the streetcar line was suspended a year ago with the intent to bring it back — using the new maintenance facility — by the 2007 tourist season. Meeting that target date is no longer possible.

The waterfront streetcar would have to be taken offline again — perhaps for as long as a decade — during construction on the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

Now, given that the barn project has not broken ground, Councilwoman Julia Patterson is wondering whether it could be finished before viaduct construction begins.

If it can't, the $7 million essentially would be paying for a trolley garage, said Jon Scholes, Patterson's chief of staff. Patterson, who opposed the $7 million expenditure last year, was unavailable for comment Tuesday.

"The case was made last year when the council took action that we could have this thing built in 18 months, and therefore have a window of opportunity of one or two years where we could run the trolley along the waterfront," Scholes said. "That window is now closed."

Three City Council members — Peter Steinbrueck, Nick Licata and Jan Drago — responded to Constantine's letter, asking the county to keep its $7 million earmarked for the trolley barn.

"We plan to move forward with this project in 2007," their letter says.

Stuart Eskenazi: 206-464-2293

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company
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Old January 4th, 2007, 06:17 AM   #203
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well, the city messed up on that... why would you build another art museum in place of one of the only transportation lines we had during the time.
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Old January 4th, 2007, 06:49 AM   #204
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The waterfront trolley was essentially a tourist line. Although I'd like to see it run again (and expanded), it's not missed by anyone who relies on transit and it has no impact on Seattle's transit situation, even in our densest urban areas. The promise of the waterfront trolley lies in its future expandability and its future utility for neighborhoods that are becoming denser, not in its present ridership.

The bus I normally take to work (No. 10) carries more people each day than the waterfront trolley normally carried in at least a week, maybe even longer. From personal experience, it's standing room only during the morning and evening rush on my bus and on many of the bus routes (11, 26, 43, 2 or 13, sometimes 49) which I've taken in Seattle.
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Old January 5th, 2007, 12:32 AM   #205
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Is sound transit planning to expand light rail to cities like Lynwood, Kirkland, Issaquah, and Woodinville?
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Old January 5th, 2007, 05:52 AM   #206
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Is sound transit planning to expand light rail to cities like Lynwood, Kirkland, Issaquah, and Woodinville?
From what I've read on this thread so far, the plan is to get to Northgate, then start heading over to the east side (renton, bellvue, etc.). Extension to Lynnwood (and hopefully everett) is later down the line I'd guess
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Old January 6th, 2007, 09:33 AM   #207
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I read that it is the first light rail to use 1500 volt power in North America. Normally most light rail use 600 or 750 volt power in North America. It's due to the bigger light rail trains that has demand with high riderships close to the heavy rail. The trains are 95 feet long each car.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 04:01 PM   #208
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I read that it is the first light rail to use 1500 volt power in North America. Normally most light rail use 600 or 750 volt power in North America. It's due to the bigger light rail trains that has demand with high riderships close to the heavy rail. The trains are 95 feet long each car.
My understanding is that a principal reason for the 1500 VDC power supply is that it allows longer distances between electrical substations than 750 VDC. This was a concern for the Beacon Hill Tunnel, which would have required an electrical substation inside the tunnel if 750 VDC had been used.
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Old January 6th, 2007, 06:35 PM   #209
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yeah tacomas light rail only runs on 750 i think...
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Old January 7th, 2007, 12:52 AM   #210
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I drove down I5 today and I was stunned to see how far they have gotten!!!!!!
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Old January 7th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #211
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this would be a great project for Seattle, seeing as they only have the one monorail line and the commuter rail line to Tacoma. I wish Nashville would do something like this, or at least plan something like this. We have the one communter rail line here too.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 11:07 AM   #212
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Interesting. Is this Seattle's first light rail line?
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Old January 7th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #213
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Interesting. Is this Seattle's first light rail line?

Yes and no, the first since 1940's. There were a network of streetcar routes and they destroyed it in 1940's.
There's also the short 1.3 mile long streetcar line currently running, but on hold due to the construction of Olympic art park at the downtown waterfront area.
Streetcar is a old name for light rail, basically.
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Old January 7th, 2007, 10:29 PM   #214
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My understanding is that a principal reason for the 1500 VDC power supply is that it allows longer distances between electrical substations than 750 VDC. This was a concern for the Beacon Hill Tunnel, which would have required an electrical substation inside the tunnel if 750 VDC had been used.
I see, I guess it was due to cost of construction so they wanted to have less substations.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 12:53 AM   #215
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so theyve started testing trains on monday... they will be now until service starts... and seattle is supposed to get at least six inches of snow tonight and more tomorrow, i wonder if theyll still be testing... i think it would be a good idea to know how to operate the trains in cold icy weather.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 01:58 AM   #216
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so theyve started testing trains on monday... they will be now until service starts... and seattle is supposed to get at least six inches of snow tonight and more tomorrow, i wonder if theyll still be testing... i think it would be a good idea to know how to operate the trains in cold icy weather.
Where are they testing them?
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Old January 10th, 2007, 04:41 AM   #217
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Where are they testing them?

in SODO along the busway
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Old January 10th, 2007, 05:20 AM   #218
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Highway construction was suspended for the snow, I'd suspect light rail construction was suspended also.
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Old January 10th, 2007, 12:08 PM   #219
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Hmmm, Sound Transit's web site says the train's maximum speed is 55 mph, but Kinki Sharyo's web site says the maximum speed of Sound Transit central Link LRV is 65 mph.

I don't know which one is the correct answer. 65 mph sounds more impressive and a little bit quicker to move passengers in some areas between stations, depending on the length and the grade seperation.
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Old January 11th, 2007, 01:27 AM   #220
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Hmmm, Sound Transit's web site says the train's maximum speed is 55 mph, but Kinki Sharyo's web site says the maximum speed of Sound Transit central Link LRV is 65 mph.

I don't know which one is the correct answer. 65 mph sounds more impressive and a little bit quicker to move passengers in some areas between stations, depending on the length and the grade seperation.
im pretty sure its 65 mph... they said the trains would run at higher speeds on the elevated and tunnel portions of the line.
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