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Old March 7th, 2007, 09:30 PM   #401
UrbanBen
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
Concerning the 2.5min frequencies...I just did a mock-up timechart of the frequencies (I have a lot of time on my hands), and during peak-hour, it came out to a max 20 trains per hour. So that's 3 minute intervals---not 2.5. Off-peak was exactly 12 trains/hour in nice 5 minute intervals. That's for downtown.

In Rainier Valley, it's 6 minute peak and 7.5-10 minutes off-peak.
You're using the most recent map, which only concerns ST2. With ST3+, headways are 5 minutes to Tacoma, 7 to Redmond, and 15 to Issaquah, which shifts you from 3 to 2.44 minutes for Everett Station to ID Station. That's still in the long-range plan.

(Easy math for this: Multiply 5, 7 and 15 to get 525 minutes, then divide 525 by (525/7 + 525/15 + 525/5) for the number of trains in that time period. You get 2.442 minutes per train.)
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Old March 8th, 2007, 01:01 AM   #402
Jaxom92
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
I really wish you'd step back and ask questions before making assumptions. Our system is flush with station platforms. There are no wheelchair ramps, there is no step up or down during boarding.

There's a serious problem here of attacking an improvement as "not good enough". Seattle has buses. We don't have any rail at all right now, and initial designs for this system were at more of a heavy metro level. We compromised, because construction cost inflation is ridiculous, to get any system at all. The warning system we've had in downtown Tacoma - much higher vehicle density than MLK - has had ZERO accidents in its several years of operation. We're using that same system with a higher degree of separation in MLK. Instead of focusing entirely on speculating about how awful vehicle traffic will be, could you take a moment to recognize that we're not making the same mistakes as Portland, Dallas and Denver?
I think getontrac should be given some forgiveness for not knowing the area. Furthermore, no cited sources have been given in this thread about the specific measures taken to address safety in the corridor. I'm sure the Environmental Impact Statement for Central Link would have this information. It should be on the web and we could therefore directly link/quote it. If not, it'll be found in any public library in this area, and those of us that live here have access to that resource...
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Old March 8th, 2007, 02:03 AM   #403
getontrac
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
weakest link!! Ha, that's exactly what I originally thought. But I'm thinking this: Since the O&M facility or train barn is placed right between Downtown & Rainier Valley...in case something does go wrong on MLK, they can just make Lander St or SODO the temporary terminus, and have the trains enter/exit the O&M to not cause delay to the rest of the system. Will that work?

I wouldn't think so. Wouldn't that just platoon all the riders on the southern part of the line. They'd really get the short end of the stick.

Nate
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Old March 8th, 2007, 02:19 AM   #404
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
I really wish you'd step back and ask questions before making assumptions. Our system is flush with station platforms. There are no wheelchair ramps, there is no step up or down during boarding.

There's a serious problem here of attacking an improvement as "not good enough". Seattle has buses. We don't have any rail at all right now, and initial designs for this system were at more of a heavy metro level. We compromised, because construction cost inflation is ridiculous, to get any system at all. The warning system we've had in downtown Tacoma - much higher vehicle density than MLK - has had ZERO accidents in its several years of operation. We're using that same system with a higher degree of separation in MLK. Instead of focusing entirely on speculating about how awful vehicle traffic will be, could you take a moment to recognize that we're not making the same mistakes as Portland, Dallas and Denver?
I am asking questions.

Are the low-floor vehicles completely level inside, or is there an iside step or a ramp? That affects boarding and capacity, although not as much as an outside step up.

I'm not going to get into the "we only have buses, so we should accept X" argument.

I also don't think comparison between the little Tacoma Link line that operates every 10 minutes at much slower speeds is reasonable. Of course the density is higher there: one has to have more trains running at any given time to keep a certain service frequency if those trains are traveling at a slower rate of speed. I also admitted it might work. However, this would be the only system in the country to operate at high speed and VERY high-frequency and NOT be fully grade seperated. I'm skeptical. Time will tell.

Nate
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Old March 8th, 2007, 02:22 AM   #405
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Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
A low-floor train is slightly more costly to maintain, but the cost differential does not overwhelm the capital project cost differential of complete grade separation for 100+ years of operation.

Can you reference that? I'd be very interested on where I can find that information.

Thanks,
Nate

Last edited by getontrac; March 8th, 2007 at 02:34 AM.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:24 AM   #406
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I wouldn't think so. Wouldn't that just platoon all the riders on the southern part of the line. They'd really get the short end of the stick.

Nate
Well, my point is to keep all the trains moving on the rest of line. Why punish everyone else? It'll minimize disturbance since a vast majority of riders up north don't even need to go past downtown to MLK. That's better than freezing an entire system. The people who need to go to MLK can either wait downtown, take a bus, or find another means to get there. Why halt an entire system if you can just cut MLK off temporarily?

Last edited by kub86; March 8th, 2007 at 03:32 AM.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:31 AM   #407
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I am asking questions.

Are the low-floor vehicles completely level inside, or is there an iside step or a ramp? That affects boarding and capacity, although not as much as an outside step up.

I'm not going to get into the "we only have buses, so we should accept X" argument.

I also don't think comparison between the little Tacoma Link line that operates every 10 minutes at much slower speeds is reasonable. Of course the density is higher there: one has to have more trains running at any given time to keep a certain service frequency if those trains are traveling at a slower rate of speed. I also admitted it might work. However, this would be the only system in the country to operate at high speed and VERY high-frequency and NOT be fully grade seperated. I'm skeptical. Time will tell.

Nate
The at-grade portions will operate at 35mph. The grade-separated portions will operate at 55mph. Seriously, man, when you're seeing something and saying to yourself "this is a huge issue!" you are probably missing something.

The vehicles are low-floor through everything but the ends of the vehicles. At the ends, they are high-floor with steps, but people naturally filter mostly into those portions of the vehicle for longer trips - as we've seen in dozens of other cities. Station dwell times will be about 20 seconds, except at major stops (such as Westlake when the line opens).

In response to your other comment - I was told about the low differential when I toured the operations and maintenance facility on Monday and asked those questions myself. Email Sound Transit and ask them what annual maintenance per vehicle is expected to cost, and the difference between that and a high-floor vehicle (probably normalized to passenger capacity).
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:32 AM   #408
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
Well, my point is to keep all the trains moving on the rest of line. Why punish everyone else? It'll minimize disturbance since a vast majority of riders up north don't even need to go past downtown to MLK. That's better than freezing an entire system. The people who need to go to MLK can either wait downtown, take a bus, or find another means to get there. Why halt an entire system if you can just cut MLK off temporarily?
Exactly. Because there are crossovers in several places, including at least two at the ends of MLK, service can continue looping with bus transfer along the affected portion.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:43 AM   #409
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Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
I am asking questions.

I'm not going to get into the "we only have buses, so we should accept X" argument.

Nate
You know, I don't think there really is a good response to that argument. We have no metro system. It failed in '68 and '85, and the '95 vote was close - and nearly derailed entirely before we chose to make the MLK corridor at-grade. So let's see - we could have the entire system fail and make the Puget Sound region completely dependent on the automobile for another decade or more, or we could build at-grade in one fairly low-density segment, increase transit reliability by a huge factor, and decrease transportation-related fatalities.

Seriously, what argument is there? That we wait - until what? We've already failed twice, and it's getting a lot more expensive to build every year - well over CPI inflation. We didn't have the legal bonding capacity or the public trust in the agency to even consider trying to ask for more money.

Something I see consistency is a set of assertions that a public agency has made "bad choices", or is "doing something wrong". I've never seen these claims hold up to significant scrutiny - if there are failures, they're systemic. Sound Transit is bound to legal requirements and limited in scope and power by the state law which created them. They were legally bound to build a transit system of a particular length with a minimum capacity - and that they are doing to the best of their ability. It is ridiculous to argue that they "should have" done anything else.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #410
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post

In response to your other comment - I was told about the low differential when I toured the operations and maintenance facility on Monday and asked those questions myself. Email Sound Transit and ask them what annual maintenance per vehicle is expected to cost, and the difference between that and a high-floor vehicle (probably normalized to passenger capacity).
Oh you went to the O&M tour? Was that the one where you eat lunch with them and take a ride on the trains too? How was it? What else did they say?
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:47 AM   #411
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Perhaps I am missing something, and that is why I'm here to find out.

I believe my capacity concerns are huge issues. You may not. That's fine. I'm investigating. I think it's easier to get information from sites like this than to go through the official channels or long arduous internet research, sometimes.
I know this project has a long, complicated history.

Thanks,
Nate
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:51 AM   #412
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Why did the region need to build on MLK in the first stage?

Nate
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:52 AM   #413
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Check this Out!!!!
Its of them testing the trains in the SODO district...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=64wRy1ZaTZM
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Old March 8th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #414
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UrbanBen, I was not necessarily referring to the transit agency, but metropolitan planning organizations, communities, legislature, etc. I don't quite buy into the either this or nothing argument of a false dillema, which sounds like what you are describing.

I'm simply scrutinizing what appears to be a very curious system.

Nate
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Old March 8th, 2007, 04:01 AM   #415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by getontrac View Post
Why did the region need to build on MLK in the first stage?

Nate
You know, that's exactly what I was wondering...

Couldn't they have chosen a higher-ridership segment like North Link first? Makes more sense...

Quote:
Originally Posted by guinessbeer55 View Post
Check this Out!!!!
Its of them testing the trains in the SODO district...

http://youtube.com/watch?v=64wRy1ZaTZM
Cool! Thanks! Ha the conductor was practicing honking. 3 more years people. And I wish the interiors weren't so gloomy and bus-like...they could've done something different and refreshing for once.

Last edited by kub86; March 8th, 2007 at 04:11 AM.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 04:55 AM   #416
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Regarding this issue of level floor loading, the number of different approaches that have been used in different cities is amazing:

- Boston and San Diego don't have any provision for level floor loading of the trains. Both now have some low-floor LRVs; however, the station platforms would have to be rebuilt a few inches higher in order to provide level floor loading.

- Los Angeles and Saint Louis have high-floor LRVs and level floor loading from high-level platforms at all stations.

- Sacramento, Salt Lake City, and Denver have high-floor LRVs. The stations have wheelchair ramps that provide level floor loading to the forwardmost door of the LRVs.

- San Jose and Houston utilize 70% low-floor LRVs with station platforms built at the proper height for level floor loading. The light rail lines being built in Charlotte, Phoenix, and Seattle will have the same configuration.

Some cities have a mix of configurations due to different segments being built at different times. San Francisco has resorted to light rail trains with folding steps that serve high-level platforms in the downtown subway and low-level platforms elsewhere.

The amount of variety in light rail systems in general is truly remarkable. There isn't even any consistency between different lines in many cities. The light rail lines in the Philadelphia area are prime examples:

- Subway-Surface Lines: Single-ended trolleys powered by overhead wire with steps for street level loading.

- Red Arrow Lines: Double-ended trolleys powered by overhead wire with steps for street level loading.

- Norristown Line: Double-ended LRVs powered by third rail with level floor loading from high-level platforms.

- NJ Transit River Line: Double-ended LRVs powered by diesel engines with level floor loading from low-level platforms.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 06:51 AM   #417
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Sound Transit's LRVs have a level floor in the interior for most of the length of the car. Either end is raised and looks something like this:

---______---

The lines represent the floor level. There will be steps to move passengers from one level to another. It's the same sort of thing we see in miniature on the Tacoma Link vehicles. So the floors of the LRV are flush with the station platforms, which are built for the low-floor LRVs that we're getting. I hope that clears up confusions on this particular issue.

As to the history of the alignment, the simplest explanation is that it is riddled with disagreement amongst various interest groups and neighborhoods. The general sentiment was one of NIMBY. The route we see today is the best compromise Sound Transit could achieve in the democratic planning process. One of the reasons Seattle has not had a Light Rail system until now is this large scale disagreement, largely within the city itself. However, we can see this problem outside of Seattle in form of only one station in Tukwilla.

The reason that the alignment was built from Westgate south instead of the Northgate portion first was that Sound Transit severely underestimated the cost and timeline for project completion. This caused a massive shake-up in how things were run administratively and technically within the agency. When the smoke cleared, there was only enough money to build what we have at this point. The Northgate section required considerably more money due to the necessity of a tunnel for virtually the entire distance from Westlake to the terminus at Northgate Mall. That money would have to be taken from the southern portion, however the citizenry felt going to the airport was a greater priority than building to Northgate. Hence, we have Seatac to Westlake as Central Link. That is the simplest explanation for the particulars of the alignment.

I did some searching for a Central Link EIS statement on the web and I'm unable to find one after about a half hour of searching. Thus I cannot address the issue about safety in Rainier Valley with absolute facts. It is my opinion from my memory of this document that Sound Transit has taken adequate steps to ensure the safety of pedestrians and drivers within this part of the alignment.
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Old March 8th, 2007, 07:27 PM   #418
UrbanBen
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Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
Oh you went to the O&M tour? Was that the one where you eat lunch with them and take a ride on the trains too? How was it? What else did they say?
The tour was great - it wasn't a lunch tour, but I did get to look at one of the trains (inside and out) in person. They said a lot... I don't know, what kind of questions do you have?
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Old March 9th, 2007, 03:26 AM   #419
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OK I have another video!!! This one is much better... God I cant wait until these trains start running in 2009

http://youtube.com/watch?v=uc3P51tMbNw
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Old March 9th, 2007, 03:31 PM   #420
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http://www.kinkisharyo-usa.com/dart_dallas_slrv.html#

Check this video out, we will be installing the C Sections this year. All of our platforms will be modified for the Center low floor Sections.
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