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Old August 13th, 2016, 08:02 AM   #2661
SounderBruce
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Those frequencies aren't very high. They could easily double frequency even with at at-grade sections.
Not with the car-first mentality at the DOT. 6 minutes was a hard ask (down from 7.5 at peak before September 2015) and even then it took weeks to hammer out the issues with trains being stuck behind red lights. Add in the pedestrian mid-block crossings and there's more limits to the at-grade section.

This says nothing of the downtown tunnel, where trains are only allowed to proceed into stations after buses have completely cleared the platform. Runners and wheelchair loading cause frequent holdups. And the tunnel isn't equipped to handle lower frequencies because of ventilation and signaling issues that would cost at least $21 million.

There's also the lack of traincars that we are dealing with. We can barely deploy a handful of 3-car trains, so a bump in frequency would stretch us thin between 2-car trains (and maybe 1-car trains at peak, which would be a disaster).

In reality, though, it seems trains leave downtown at even higher frequencies and get bottlenecked a bit headed into the at-grade segment. Lots of held trains on the SODO viaduct and other points in the open-air segments.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 11:45 PM   #2662
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ST Northgate Link

The main twin tunnels from UW/Husky to Northgate are almost completed. Of course, side connecting passageways need to be dug and all systems are yet to be installed. Thus the start date of 2021. More details from the Seattle Times.
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Old August 18th, 2016, 11:56 PM   #2663
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And stations being constructed! Cams courtesy of Sound Transit.

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Old August 19th, 2016, 01:19 AM   #2664
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And video I shot of some dirt passing through Roosevelt Station:

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Old August 25th, 2016, 05:33 AM   #2665
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Sound Transit Angle Lake

The opening date for the extension of Link south from Sea-Tac airport has been announced: September 24. More info here.
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Old August 25th, 2016, 12:18 PM   #2666
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The opening date for the extension of Link south from Sea-Tac airport has been announced: September 24. More info here.
Angle Lake Station at night by Sound Transit Special Selection, on Flickr

Angle Lake Station platform by Sound Transit Special Selection, on Flickr

Angle Lake Station train and public art by Sound Transit Special Selection, on Flickr

Angle Lake Station train public art by Sound Transit Special Selection, on Flickr

ALS_Platform5 by Sound Transit Special Selection, on Flickr

ALS_MediaEvent1 by Sound Transit Special Selection, on Flickr
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Old August 26th, 2016, 11:33 PM   #2667
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Light-Rail Ridership Explodes In Seattle, Supporting A 3rd Phase Of Sound Transit

Driving in Seattle or from Seattle to areas in the Puget Sound is a drive in congestion — a drive in overwhelming lanes and lanes of cars[...]
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Old August 29th, 2016, 01:02 PM   #2668
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Light rail to add cars for two busy days in September

Sound Transit plans to add light-rail cars to help cope with the expected crush of two busy September days, when sports fans should boost ridership above 80,000 passengers[...]
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Old August 31st, 2016, 01:12 AM   #2669
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Sounder South's new non-commute time frame round trip to start in two weeks! From Sound Transit. Heretofore all regularly scheduled trips have been commuter runs. Sounder is beginning to come of age!
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Old August 31st, 2016, 01:30 AM   #2670
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I have every printed schedule from Day 1. On that September 18, 2000, there were but two northbound (toward Seattle) runs in the morning, and two returning to Tacoma in the evening. Compare that to THIS a mere sixteen years later. The only intermediate stations served in 2000 were Sumner and Auburn.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:31 AM   #2671
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For many commuter rail is not an option because if you are late leaving work, have a meeting, or just want to go for a drink/movie/dinner with friends you can't. Many people also don't work set hours and may need a late night option or using it to get to work is not an option.

Even one or ideally 2 southbound trains would make a huge difference say at 8 or 9pm. Or just have one train at 8 or 9 during the week but also offer a later one on Friday nights as well.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 02:57 PM   #2672
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What I think the biggest problem is with commuter rail besides the lack of late trains is the frequencie used. It would be a lot clearer for travellers when they know, for example, it runs between so and so every 30 min. It would be smart to add some trains in a clear pattern (e.g. every 90 min) between peak-periods. Maybe even every 120 min. on weekends. I believe that you can gain quite some travellers by offering them off-peak deals.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 06:31 PM   #2673
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For many commuter rail is not an option because if you are late leaving work, have a meeting, or just want to go for a drink/movie/dinner with friends you can't. Many people also don't work set hours and may need a late night option or using it to get to work is not an option.

Even one or ideally 2 southbound trains would make a huge difference say at 8 or 9pm. Or just have one train at 8 or 9 during the week but also offer a later one on Friday nights as well.
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What I think the biggest problem is with commuter rail besides the lack of late trains is the frequencie used. It would be a lot clearer for travellers when they know, for example, it runs between so and so every 30 min. It would be smart to add some trains in a clear pattern (e.g. every 90 min) between peak-periods. Maybe even every 120 min. on weekends. I believe that you can gain quite some travellers by offering them off-peak deals.
All good ideas that we all hope can be instituted eventually. The "problem" of course is that the trackage is not Sound Transit's to do with as it pleases, but is owned by the BNSF freight railroad. If I am correct, ST has to pay a continual fee to BNSF for any time slots used. And ST has paid for multiple track and signaling improvements along the corridor which allowed it to gain more access to slots. In the best of all worlds, ST would own its own tracks, but in a very congested area, there is really no room. So any more increases in service, after the two additional, already-announced Sounder South runs next year, will be incremental at best.
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Old August 31st, 2016, 08:14 PM   #2674
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Quote:
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For many commuter rail is not an option because if you are late leaving work, have a meeting, or just want to go for a drink/movie/dinner with friends you can't. Many people also don't work set hours and may need a late night option or using it to get to work is not an option.

Even one or ideally 2 southbound trains would make a huge difference say at 8 or 9pm. Or just have one train at 8 or 9 during the week but also offer a later one on Friday nights as well.
This might be a good place to say something which I didn't fully realise before commuting regularly with a train. Some trains have to run close to empty!!!

Why would that be? Let's take my real life example. I commute to my work every day with a train in Basel area. Usually I take 17:25, 17:50 or 18:25 train back home and those trains are on average 70-80% full in the second class. However, occasionally I need to stay longer and then I take 19:25 or 20:25 train. Those trains are only ca 20-30% full, but if they didn't exist at all myself and many others in a similar situation would have to acquire a car and probably wouldn't be using those earlier trains either.
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Old September 1st, 2016, 04:26 AM   #2675
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Exactly.

Because commuter trains usually serve much further out areas, other form of transit are not an option so if you don't work set hours then even if you would love to take the train, you can't.

What Sounder could always start off with is late night commuter buses that stop only at current Sounder stations. They could be luxury coach buses and due to immediate turn time could also be used in the opposite direction towards downtown at night.

If they are nice coaches it would give potential Sounder riders an option of working/staying late downtown. GO transit in Toronto introduced double-decker commuter buses to their fleet and they have been a stellar success especially in off-peak times when people take the train to work in the morning but now have a late night option to get home. People have also shown they love the double-deckers.

If a late night train right now would not be possible then maybe some late-night commuter buses to help build ridership ie at 7,8, & 10pm and an extra couple at midnight on Sat/Sun. Also due to immediate turn around time it would allow people to get into the city for a night on the town and return on the bus and not have to drive when they have drinking.
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 03:43 AM   #2676
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TBM Completes Final Tunnel for Northgate Link

The TBM "Brenda" holed-through today at the UW station. There is still approximately 5 years (ugh!) of work left, including mining the cross-tunnels, pouring the rail beds, installing tracks, catenary, etc., and of course building the stations, but the riskiest part of the project has been completed, approximately 5 months early.

http://www.soundtransit.org/About-So...es-mining-last
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 09:50 PM   #2677
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The TBM "Brenda" holed-through today at the UW station. There is still approximately 5 years (ugh!) of work left, including mining the cross-tunnels, pouring the rail beds, installing tracks, catenary, etc., and of course building the stations, but the riskiest part of the project has been completed, approximately 5 months early.

http://www.soundtransit.org/About-So...es-mining-last
It's insane that in the US it takes 5 years to complete even after all the tunnels are dug! In most places it would take less time to go from drawing board to opening date.
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 11:28 PM   #2678
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It's insane that in the US it takes 5 years to complete even after all the tunnels are dug! In most places it would take less time to go from drawing board to opening date.
Well, only the tunnels have been dug (by machine, at quite some depth), so all that remains is building each station, installing tracks, installing electrical systems, installing lights, installing communications systems, excavating cross-hatches for fire escapes, installing safety mechanisms, completing surface-level work, building the vents, testing trains, receiving the new trains needed for the extra 100,000 anticipated to take the extension, and of course planning for opening day. Not to mention float time so that the project isn't delayed into 2022.

Yeah, we're slow, but it's understandable when you look beyond the surface (pun not intended).
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Old September 7th, 2016, 04:05 AM   #2679
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Well, only the tunnels have been dug (by machine, at quite some depth), so all that remains is building each station, installing tracks, installing electrical systems, installing lights, installing communications systems, excavating cross-hatches for fire escapes, installing safety mechanisms, completing surface-level work, building the vents, testing trains, receiving the new trains needed for the extra 100,000 anticipated to take the extension, and of course planning for opening day. Not to mention float time so that the project isn't delayed into 2022.



Yeah, we're slow, but it's understandable when you look beyond the surface (pun not intended).

Why not build the stations concurrently?
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Old September 7th, 2016, 04:09 AM   #2680
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Why not build the stations concurrently?
The stations are being built concurrently. It just takes a long time to build up from 100 feet underground.
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