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Old January 21st, 2007, 05:22 AM   #241
getontrac
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Can anyone provide information or have a link that contains technical details of the alignment, specifically where the tunnel, elevated, and surface sections are and where there are grade crossings and where (if any) there is mixed-traffic operation?

Thanks.

Nate
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Old January 21st, 2007, 09:00 AM   #242
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
Can anyone provide information or have a link that contains technical details of the alignment, specifically where the tunnel, elevated, and surface sections are and where there are grade crossings and where (if any) there is mixed-traffic operation?

Thanks.

Nate
All the information you want to you know about the Seattle's LRT is at www.soundtransit.org
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Old January 21st, 2007, 08:16 PM   #243
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^I looked at that site but couldn't find where, can you direct me more specifically?

Nate
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Old January 21st, 2007, 11:01 PM   #244
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^I looked at that site but couldn't find where, can you direct me more specifically?

Nate
It's not in one place, you'd have to look in the site map or look in the tabs, just browse around....I can't lead you to one place. It's in there, it tells you about signaling on rainier ave, elevated routes, tunnels, etc. You'd have to really look. Research is your friend, dude. Also, there's some pdf files that have more info that's not directly from the site.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 09:13 AM   #245
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
Can anyone provide information or have a link that contains technical details of the alignment, specifically where the tunnel, elevated, and surface sections are and where there are grade crossings and where (if any) there is mixed-traffic operation?

Thanks.

Nate
So the line starts at Westlake station in downtown, it runs in a tunnel from there to chinatown... then at grade from stadium station to lander st. then it heads in to the beacon hill tunnel. After that it runs at grade all the way through the Rainier valley. Then it runs on an elevated track all the way through Tukwila, and then its at grade to the airport.

The line is completely in its own right of way for the whole part and never mixes with traffic...
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 01:26 PM   #246
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It's not exactly grade separated though. I heard there's a dozen or so street crossings in the Rainier Valley. Plus, it mixes with buses in the downtown tunnel.
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 05:02 PM   #247
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As an east coast Baltimorean, I'm not that familiar with Seattle, but looking at the ridership projections, the grade and the alignments, and the overall cost of the project, why--why was this project not built as heavy rail?!

I'm sure that this may have been discussed before here, but in my past reseach I didn't find much material on this issue. I would appreciate anyone who would indulge me with their knowledge.

Nate
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Old January 22nd, 2007, 11:11 PM   #248
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The costs is due to lot of bridges, elevated line, tunneling in poor soil, the geography which makes light rail construction expensive. Seattle city sits on poor waterlogged soil which makes it a jell-o sort of thing.

The 1.3 mile transit tunnel in downtown cost $444 million to build in late 1980's, that's another example why it's expensive to construct in poor soil.

Back in 1960's, voters turned down the heavy rail system which cost about $1 billion, the federal money went to Atlanta instead.

Last edited by sequoias; January 22nd, 2007 at 11:18 PM.
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 01:00 AM   #249
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It's not exactly grade separated though. I heard there's a dozen or so street crossings in the Rainier Valley. Plus, it mixes with buses in the downtown tunnel.
yeah of coarse theres gonna be street crossings, but it never mixes with traffic like it does in portland...
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Old January 23rd, 2007, 07:25 AM   #250
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yeah of coarse theres gonna be street crossings, but it never mixes with traffic like it does in portland...
However, the new south lake union street trolley does mix with traffic.
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Old January 25th, 2007, 11:31 PM   #251
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There are differing degrees to mixing with traffic. The Seattle line's closest is with the dual bus/train operations in the downtown tunnel.

Portland has the trains running on the downtown streets but not in the same lanes as vehicles. When the Portland Mall line opens in 2009, they too will have mixed bus and train operations, with an outside traffic lane.

The only mixed light-rail and traffic I've seen is in Tacoma Washington on Commerce Street in the downtown area. Now, while this line is considered light rail technology, it is really a hybrid old-style street car and light-rail line. As such, it might not count as light rail mixing with traffic.

I actually think it's a bad idea because there's be numerous times I've personally been riding that an automobile has blocked the trackway in some fashion. This is especially a concern if Sound Transit expands the line along Stadium and west down 6th street. With the increased train traffic (right now only two trains operate on the line at any given time) it could pose further problems to joint rail-automobile operations.
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Old January 26th, 2007, 12:14 AM   #252
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Link to newer page regarding Seattle's Light Rail:

http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=422473
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Old January 26th, 2007, 12:34 AM   #253
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^I would contend that dedicated lanes on a street would still constitute mixed traffic.

Nate
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Old January 26th, 2007, 12:48 AM   #254
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I suppose mixed to give potential to an acciented is mixed enough.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 01:53 AM   #255
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(right now only two trains operate on the line at any given time).
According to ST, peak times will be in 6 minute intervals; and off-peak at 10-15. So at 36 minutes round trip, that'll be 6 trains during peak, and 3 during off-peak. Anyone know if they're going to have signs that tell when the next trains are coming?!!

I wish they could've just made everything grade-separated. Houston had (has?) problems with cars running into their trains. But then I read somewhere that the Rainier Valley wanted at-grade because it'll spur more development. I think that's the only at-grade portion we'll ever have since it seems all the extensions will be separated.

And I never fully knew the *exact* cost of Seattle Central Link. Is it $2.4b or 3.6b? Every website seems to have either one or the other. But STs website says the former ($2.4).

One more question: Seattle's system will use 1500v, so does that just mean it gets more power or make it go faster? What's the difference between 700v and 1500?
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Old January 27th, 2007, 05:32 AM   #256
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One more question: Seattle's system will use 1500v, so does that just mean it gets more power or make it go faster? What's the difference between 700v and 1500?
Its more to do with transmission of electricity through the line. The longer the wire you're sending current through, the more voltage you lose between terminals (stations in this case). Because Seattle's stops will be relatively far apart, they need to up the voltage to keep from losing power between stations. At least thats what I gather from the posts before...
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Old January 27th, 2007, 07:02 PM   #257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
As an east coast Baltimorean, I'm not that familiar with Seattle, but looking at the ridership projections, the grade and the alignments, and the overall cost of the project, why--why was this project not built as heavy rail?!

...

Nate
I wish it had been heavy rail. The tunnels and viaducts being built for the line are more similar to what would be expected for heavy rail rather than light rail, hence the high cost of the system relative to other light rail systems.

Shared operation with buses in the downtown tunnel is likely to end once the line is extended to the university. The future extensions east across Lake Washington and north to Everett are all being planned as fully grade separated. The grade crossings in the Rainier Valley may be the only ones that will ever exist on the system.

The line segment in the Rainier Valley with the grade crossings will eventually be a part of the main trunk to Tacoma. Train speeds will be restricted to 35 mph along that segment. Train frequencies along that segment will be restricted to about 6 minutes in order to avoid significantly impacting cross traffic on the intersecting streets. These factors could prove to be a hindrance to operations once the line reaches Tacoma.

Partial low-floor light rail vehicles will be used which have an awkward stepped floor arrangement. The trains will never have a walk-through design as the newer Skytrain vehicles do in Vancouver. Also, the trains will never be automated as they are in Vancouver. The model that the planners in Seattle chose was Portland. I wish they had chosen Vancouver.
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Old January 27th, 2007, 07:13 PM   #258
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Hmm, I hope that doesn't hinder the line too much. Maybe ST can limit the trains going to the airport to every 6 minutes; but the rest of the line (UW northgate etc) can have greater frequencies and just have its terminus be at Stadium or Lander before going to the O&M facility?
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Old January 28th, 2007, 04:44 AM   #259
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Also, the trains will never be automated as they are in Vancouver. The model that the planners in Seattle chose was Portland. I wish they had chosen Vancouver.[/QUOTE]

what do you mean by automated...??
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Old January 28th, 2007, 05:42 AM   #260
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At least your system will have longer platforms. Vancouver's new Canada line will have 40m (131ft) platforms, compared to Seattle's 190ft (please correct me if I'm wrong)

Interestingly, Seattle predicts a ridership of 42,500 daily by 2020, where Vancouver's Canada line is predicted at 100,000 from opening day (2009) yet Vancouver has the shorter platforms. The main advantage Vancouver's system will have is that it is completely grade separated and automated as mentioned, and thus headways can be potentially reduced to 90 seconds.

Btw, how do the number crunchers come up with a number as specific as 42,500 riders per day by 2020? source: http://www.soundtransit.org/document.../FACT_Link.pdf
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