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Old April 26th, 2014, 08:22 AM   #2321
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From Sound Transit's Youtube channel, an animation of prefered route for Lynnwood Link extension:

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Old April 29th, 2014, 07:59 AM   #2322
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New TBM Brenda arrived to Seattle to construct new tunnels for Northgate Link extension, courtesy of Sound Transit:


NorthLink_TBM_Dedication_042814_14 by SoundTransit, on Flickr
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Old April 29th, 2014, 10:37 AM   #2323
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That LRT route looks sort of ridiculous.

All it does is follow the freeway and the stations are just big park n rides with little room for TOD. If all they are going to do is follow a freeway they should just put in bus-only lanes on the freeway and save themselves a cool billion.

This system looks more like a bunch of parking lots joined by rails than a true transit system to serve people.................not impressed and I think the ridership will be substandard. American cities have a habit of building expensive transit lines to places nobody lives.
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Old April 29th, 2014, 11:54 AM   #2324
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Old April 29th, 2014, 05:40 PM   #2325
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssiguy2 View Post
That LRT route looks sort of ridiculous.

All it does is follow the freeway and the stations are just big park n rides with little room for TOD. If all they are going to do is follow a freeway they should just put in bus-only lanes on the freeway and save themselves a cool billion.

This system looks more like a bunch of parking lots joined by rails than a true transit system to serve people.................not impressed and I think the ridership will be substandard. American cities have a habit of building expensive transit lines to places nobody lives.
Lines like this one needs a little to be good and useful. Just put some branches into the neighbourhood, and use rapid section for fast service to the center. For realiable service, don't use more then 3 branches of neighbourhood lines on main line. On branches, rush hour interval every 9 minutes, every 15 minutes on not rush hours. The ridership and effects could be tripled.

Last edited by Rail_Serbia; April 30th, 2014 at 04:52 AM. Reason: NOT BRUNCH, BRANCH, SORRY FOR MY ENGLISH
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Old April 29th, 2014, 10:17 PM   #2326
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But what if more people in the neighbourhood want brunches?!

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Old April 30th, 2014, 12:11 AM   #2327
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They love brunch in Seattle. You should see the crowds on the light rail on Saturday and Sunday around 11 am-noon!
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Old May 10th, 2014, 10:45 PM   #2328
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Alternatives analysis for a West Seattle extension:
http://westseattleblog.com/2014/05/l...ive-committee/
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Old May 11th, 2014, 05:44 AM   #2329
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Forgive my ignorance but is it common for light-rail stations to be underground? If you're going through the insane expense of underground stations, at least upgrade to heavy rail, no?
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Old May 11th, 2014, 08:08 AM   #2330
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Quote:
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Forgive my ignorance but is it common for light-rail stations to be underground? If you're going through the insane expense of underground stations, at least upgrade to heavy rail, no?
Well, it all depends on several things, from current conditions of the station/s being constructed and its surroundings (density, road congestion, etc) to addressing noise and traffic issues assessed by both transit planners and community leaders. However, light rail going underground has been in place for many years, especially in denser communities like Boston or San Francisco, since those would go through downtown or crowded areas where it saves space overground for larger buildings, and it also addresses noise and congestion issues, especially for trendy neighborhoods. Other examples include San Diego (at SDSU light rail station) and Los Angeles (the downtown portion of the Blue and Expo Lines north of Pico Station).
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Old May 11th, 2014, 08:47 AM   #2331
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I think the benefit of light rail is that right of way and station types can be varied based on what is needed.

Parts of the Seattle Light Rail runs at grade, but parts of it are a subway or elevated. A heavy rail system would need to be entirely grade separated which would cost more.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 09:34 PM   #2332
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zaphod View Post
I think the benefit of light rail is that right of way and station types can be varied based on what is needed.

Parts of the Seattle Light Rail runs at grade, but parts of it are a subway or elevated. A heavy rail system would need to be entirely grade separated which would cost more.
Disadvantage being that the trains have to run slower and with lower frequencies in the non grade separated sections. Heavy rail can be run with very long trains, very frequently at full speed for most of the length of the line.

Seattle's light rail has been loosely referred to as a light metro or heavy light rail because of the large amount of grade separation and high frequencies but still having some slow street crossing sections.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 10:13 PM   #2333
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Quote:
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Forgive my ignorance but is it common for light-rail stations to be underground? If you're going through the insane expense of underground stations, at least upgrade to heavy rail, no?
According to the right defenitions (although they're quite vague anyway) light rail includes metros/subways. Heavy rail means regional/(inter)national trains! They're usually bigger and heavier, therefore don't accelerate that well and are more suited for longer distances in stead of stop-go. Just saying.

OT: If you have a busy stretch of track with busy (usually downtown) streets, it makes sense to put it underground. But when it comes to suburban lines, not so much. Ridership ofter doesn't warrant it.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 10:25 PM   #2334
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Quote:
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According to the right defenitions (although they're quite vague anyway) light rail includes metros/subways. Heavy rail means regional/(inter)national trains! They're usually bigger and heavier, therefore don't accelerate that well and are more suited for longer distances in stead of stop-go. Just saying.

OT: If you have a busy stretch of track with busy (usually downtown) streets, it makes sense to put it underground. But when it comes to suburban lines, not so much. Ridership ofter doesn't warrant it.
Not quite. Heavy rail refers to fully grade separated high capacity systems like the DC metro, Chicago el, and NYC subway.

Light rail refers to mostly grade separated but with a few at grade sections like Minneapolis, Dallas, Seattle, etc.

Commuter rail is low frequency long distance. Typically sharing tracks with passenger and freight rail like metra in Chicago, or the sounder in Seattle.

Lastly there's streetcars which almost exclusively run in mixed traffic in the street.
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Old May 11th, 2014, 10:44 PM   #2335
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Is the ridership really projected to be high enough that heavy rail will be needed in the near future?
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Old May 11th, 2014, 11:32 PM   #2336
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Is the ridership really projected to be high enough that heavy rail will be needed in the near future?
Hmmm... this is combining a couple good questions:

-Is there enough demand for transit in Seattle that they could justify building a heavy rail network?: Yes, definitely. Seattle is a very compact, fairly dense, geographically complicated city with transport choke points all over the place. This environment favors high capacity modes of transportation (heavy rail transit) over low capacity (cars). Seattle was going to be almost gifted a heavy rail system by the federal government in the late 60's, but passed on the money which went to Atlanta to build MARTA. Were a comprehensive system to be built today (covering the areas laid out by the Seattle subway guys: http://www.seattlesubway.org/template_files/big-map.png) I could see it having ridership comparable to the DC metro.

-Is our current system going to be turned into a heavy rail network if ridership is high enough?: mmmm.... Not likely. Its already approaching heavy rail capacity as it is. There would be a few sections that could be upgraded to eliminate grade crossings and such (SoDo, South Seattle, and a few sections of the new Eastlink), but that would be pretty disruptive and expensive. Best we can do is build more lines. Northlink + East link would max out the capacity of the 3rd ave transit tunnel. A Ballard-West Seattle line sharing a tunnel with a 99 aligned route would max out a 2nd ave tunnel. I'd say that serves downtown pretty well far into the future.
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Old May 12th, 2014, 12:06 AM   #2337
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Why would a city pass up free infrastructure funding?
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Old May 12th, 2014, 09:12 AM   #2338
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Quote:
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Why would a city pass up free infrastructure funding?
It wasn't "Free", the split was about 20/80 for a pretty comprehensive system. An older Seattlite might have a better summary, but it was a pretty close vote in the era that most cities thought freeways were the way of the future.
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Old May 13th, 2014, 03:48 AM   #2339
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Not quite. Heavy rail refers to fully grade separated high capacity systems like the DC metro, Chicago el, and NYC subway.
Different definitions then I guess. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passeng...ogy#Heavy_rail
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Old May 13th, 2014, 10:37 AM   #2340
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It wasn't "Free", the split was about 20/80 for a pretty comprehensive system. An older Seattlite might have a better summary, but it was a pretty close vote in the era that most cities thought freeways were the way of the future.
According to Wikipedia, the 1968 vote received a small majority of 50% to 49%, but needed a supermajority of 60% to pass. A repackaged version in 1970 lost 46-54%, influenced by the economic downturn caused by the Boeing Bust. The two successful Sound Transit votes (Sound Move in 1996 and ST2 in 2008) passed with approximately 55%, if I recall correctly. The Sound Transit board is in the process of preparing a new list of projects for an ST3 vote in 2016.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forward_Thrust
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