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Old January 23rd, 2008, 09:55 PM   #1741
Jaxom92
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I don't understand the argument behind the 520 first either, especially considering the space, ROW, and convenience of I-90. 520 is already a huge issue in and of itself, so to add light-rail on top of it now seems to be pretty foolhardy politically. I think the governor has the right of it when she says light-rail on 520 is a decision for our future leaders.
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Old January 23rd, 2008, 11:45 PM   #1742
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaxom92 View Post
I don't understand the argument behind the 520 first either, especially considering the space, ROW, and convenience of I-90. 520 is already a huge issue in and of itself, so to add light-rail on top of it now seems to be pretty foolhardy politically. I think the governor has the right of it when she says light-rail on 520 is a decision for our future leaders.
Indeed, it would be crazy.

Are you aware of the trouble brewing in the state senate? The attempt to reorganize Sound Transit, killing the University Link FTA grant?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 03:30 AM   #1743
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Trying to copy Vancouver (only in a shittier way), eh?
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Old January 24th, 2008, 03:40 AM   #1744
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Trying to copy Vancouver (only in a shittier way), eh?
Yeah, and Vancouver is only working well due to strong support from Ottawa.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 04:56 AM   #1745
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Trying to copy Vancouver (only in a shittier way), eh?
I wish Seattle were trying to copy Vancouver (Skytrain). Instead, Seattle is trying to copy Portland (light rail).
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Old January 24th, 2008, 05:24 AM   #1746
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I wish Seattle were trying to copy Vancouver (Skytrain). Instead, Seattle is trying to copy Portland (light rail).
You're right, because Seattle's building light rail exactly like Portland, with tons of grade crossings through downtown!

Vancouver has chosen NOT to build Skytrain for their Canada Line, and while they will extend Millennium Line using the existing technology, Skytrain was regarded as an expensive mistake in technology choice.

Last edited by UrbanBen; January 24th, 2008 at 06:17 AM.
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Old January 24th, 2008, 08:24 AM   #1747
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Quote:
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Vancouver has chosen NOT to build Skytrain for their Canada Line, and while they will extend Millennium Line using the existing technology, Skytrain was regarded as an expensive mistake in technology choice.
Not necessarily. It was more of the size of the trains being a mistake, the narrow guideway restricting wider trains.

With the Canada Line, the SkyTrain bid was about $2.5 billion (excluding 3 years worth of construction inflation) and the other bid, which was chosen, was $1.7 billion.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 04:07 AM   #1748
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Regarding the relative size of the trains, the newer trains on Vancouver's existing Skytrain lines are similar to the ones used in Kuala Lumpur:



A two-car married pair has an overall length of 110' 6" and a width of 8' 8". Kuala Lumpur has now ordered four-car trains. The four-car trains might already be in service.

The typical articulated low-floor light rail vehicle in service in the United States, such as the Siemens S70, are smaller than this with an overall length of just over 90' and a width of about 8' 8":



Light rail vehicles lose passenger space to the driver's cabs at either end. The fully-automated Skytrain vehicles have their entire length available for carrying passengers.

Subway cars vary considerably in size. The cars on the IRT lines in New York City are 51' 4" long and 8' 9" wide:



The cars used on MARTA in Atlanta are 75' long and 10' 6" wide:



For the RAV/Canada Line in Vancouver, Bombardier bid a larger version of the Skytrain vehicles similar to the ones used for JFK Airtrain in New York City. The JFK Airtrain vehicles operate in two-car trains that are 115' 6" long and 10' 6" wide.



The trains being built by Rotem of South Korea for the RAV/Canada Line have been advertised as having a length of 41 m (134' 6") and a width of 3 m (9' 10"). The trains will have a walk-through design.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 04:22 AM   #1749
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Those length trains won't fit in the DSTT with only single articulation, I believe.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #1750
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Old January 26th, 2008, 05:14 AM   #1751
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The downtown transit tunnel was designed before the two-bedrooms-and-a-bath style low-floor articulated light rail vehicles were available. This is a major part of the explanation for why the platforms inside the transit tunnel had to be rebuilt to be at the right height for level floor loading of the light rail vehicles. This begs the question of exactly what type of light rail vehicle the transit tunnel was designed for.

The first generation light rail vehicles used in North America were high-floor vehicles with single articulation. The overall length was about 90'. The light rail vehicles built by Ansaldobreda for Los Angeles are representative of this configuration:



I haven't been able to find a dimension published for the wheelbase of the Los Angeles light rail vehicles, but I estimate that it is about 33'.

There are some shorter single-articulated light rail vehicles in service in San Francisco and Boston. They have an overall length of about 75'. I doubt that these would have been used as the basis for the design of the transit tunnel:



The subway cars used on the IRT lines in New York City evolved from streetcars. They have a wheelbase of 36'.

The newer vehicles (Mark II) used for Vancouver's Skytrain system have a wheelbase of 39' 4". The older vehicles (Mark I) used in Vancouver, Toronto, and Detroit are considerably shorter:



The sources that I have state the overall length of the Mark I vehicles as 12 m or 40'. I estimate that the wheelbase of the Mark I vehicles is no more than 30'.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 05:29 AM   #1752
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We couldn't have run any system requiring full grade separation in the DSTT, either.

I believe it was originally designed for Alstom-style low floor trams.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #1753
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The first Alstom partial low-floor light rail vehicles went into service in Grenoble in 1987. This is the same year that construction began on the downtown transit tunnel. When the question has been asked why the transit tunnel platforms were not built at the right height for low-floor light rail vehicles, the answer has always been that low-floor light rail vehicles were not in service in North America at that time and were considered developmental.

The more recent 100% low-floor trams developed by Alstom and other manufacturers have not yet appeared in North America. Due to collision strength requirements, there is some doubt that they ever will appear here.
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Old January 26th, 2008, 08:13 PM   #1754
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
The first Alstom partial low-floor light rail vehicles went into service in Grenoble in 1987. This is the same year that construction began on the downtown transit tunnel. When the question has been asked why the transit tunnel platforms were not built at the right height for low-floor light rail vehicles, the answer has always been that low-floor light rail vehicles were not in service in North America at that time and were considered developmental.

The more recent 100% low-floor trams developed by Alstom and other manufacturers have not yet appeared in North America. Due to collision strength requirements, there is some doubt that they ever will appear here.
You're right, the DSTT was designed for nothing.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 10:43 AM   #1755
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This has already been posted on the Seattle development forum (so I get to be the first to start talk of it here, yay!). Discussions from a recent Sound Transit workshop to discuss future plans for Seattle Light Rail after the defeat of Prop1:


Sound Transit shortens its light-rail ambitions

By Mike Lindblom

Seattle Times transportation reporter

Sound Transit's next ballot measure could offer less light rail, more commuter trains, and more buses than Proposition 1, the Roads & Transit measure voters rejected in November.

Transit officials have not decided on a plan, or whether it would go to voters this year, or in 2010. But the latest concept, released Thursday by the transit agency, includes:

• Light-rail extensions by 2020 to reach Northgate and Kent-Des Moines Road — shorter than the Proposition 1 goals of reaching north Lynnwood and downtown Tacoma. But an east line would still stretch from Seattle to Overlake.

• An Everett streetcar.

• Extensions of downtown Tacoma light-rail, west to Tacoma Community College.

• Bus-rapid transit between Snohomish County and a Northgate freeway station. From there, morning commuters could stay on the bus to downtown Seattle. Or, they could walk on a pedestrian bridge across Interstate 5, to meet light-rail trains bound for the University of Washington and Capitol Hill.

• Possible short diesel trains on the Eastside, from Woodinville to north Renton.

• A boost in Sounder service south of Seattle, from the currently funded nine weekday round trips to a total 15 round trips.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABP...2004157186.pdf
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Old February 1st, 2008, 01:45 PM   #1756
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Quote:
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You're right, the DSTT was designed for nothing.
At first I dismissed the above response as a flip comment, but there is actually a lot of truth in it. The downtown transit tunnel was oritinally built with rails; however, those rails were not properly insulated. As a cost savings measure, the electricual insulation was deleted from the design. The rails were just a political show to keep active the idea that the tunnel could be used for a future rail transit system. The original rails had to be torn out and replaced as part of the rebuilding of the tunnel for light rail.
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Old February 1st, 2008, 01:54 PM   #1757
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• A boost in Sounder service south of Seattle, from the currently funded nine weekday round trips to a total 15 round trips.
Critical. Get this done!
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Old February 1st, 2008, 08:04 PM   #1758
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• Light-rail extensions by 2020 to reach Northgate and Kent-Des Moines Road — shorter than the Proposition 1 goals of reaching north Lynnwood and downtown Tacoma. But an east line would still stretch from Seattle to Overlake.
I think this is a pretty good start for a potential vote this year. Let's get this section started now, and in 2010, when we have a democratic president who has increased FTA funding and light rail that people love that is up and running to the airport, we will be able to build everything else.

However, I feel like the South extension is going to be kind of bum without going to Federal Way.


Quote:
• An Everett streetcar.

Good comprimise for not being able to build light rail to Everett.

• Extensions of downtown Tacoma light-rail, west to Tacoma Community College.
Good compromise for not being able to bring light rail to Tacoma.


Quote:
• Bus-rapid transit between Snohomish County and a Northgate freeway station. From there, morning commuters could stay on the bus to downtown Seattle. Or, they could walk on a pedestrian bridge across Interstate 5, to meet light-rail trains bound for the University of Washington and Capitol Hill.
I don't know how I feel about this. Sounds like a gigantic waste of money when we could just improve express service which could be more direct for less money.


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• Possible short diesel trains on the Eastside, from Woodinville to north Renton.
Excellent start without a huge infrastructure upgrade.


Quote:
• A boost in Sounder service south of Seattle, from the currently funded nine weekday round trips to a total 15 round trips.
This will help alot of folks I know personally. Many people are stifled by the low amount of day trips and this would help immensely.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 12:59 AM   #1759
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
At first I dismissed the above response as a flip comment, but there is actually a lot of truth in it. The downtown transit tunnel was oritinally built with rails; however, those rails were not properly insulated. As a cost savings measure, the electricual insulation was deleted from the design. The rails were just a political show to keep active the idea that the tunnel could be used for a future rail transit system. The original rails had to be torn out and replaced as part of the rebuilding of the tunnel for light rail.
Oh, yeah, I was serious. They knew they couldn't change the design from the ground up for rail back then, but they had to do something to keep from getting a lot of negative PR.
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Old February 2nd, 2008, 01:03 AM   #1760
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I don't know how I feel about this. Sounds like a gigantic waste of money when we could just improve express service which could be more direct for less money.
The big congestion is south of Northgate, where there's no longer an HOV lane. A rail transfer is a LOT better than direct service.
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