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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #1941
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it's named after the street the station is on
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Old October 7th, 2008, 01:27 AM   #1942
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Has anyone driven on northbound I-5 and taken a look at the light rail yard? Looks like a bunch of toy trains lined up haha
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Old October 7th, 2008, 04:00 AM   #1943
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A few pics of the Link trains being tested:


A few hours in downtown Seattle
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Old October 9th, 2008, 03:12 AM   #1944
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I rode Link yesterday...

I was on the media ride (as I write for the Seattle Transit Blog).

I took some pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensch

We didn't go full speed, but it was still amazing. The trip was between Othello Station and the elevated guideway in Tukwila. It was mostly to give Patty Murray, ST boardmembers, and some media a chance to see that it actually does work!
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Old October 9th, 2008, 07:10 AM   #1945
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UrbanBen View Post
I was on the media ride (as I write for the Seattle Transit Blog).

I took some pictures - http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensch

We didn't go full speed, but it was still amazing. The trip was between Othello Station and the elevated guideway in Tukwila. It was mostly to give Patty Murray, ST boardmembers, and some media a chance to see that it actually does work!
Was it smooth?
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Old October 9th, 2008, 04:05 PM   #1946
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Check out the timelapse video someone posted on youtube from the event. Looks great. I can't wait to ride it next year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d1pXycw0rcI
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Old October 10th, 2008, 04:55 AM   #1947
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Haha, weeeee it looks like you're riding a highspeed train
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Old October 15th, 2008, 08:34 AM   #1948
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Quote:
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Haha, weeeee it looks like you're riding a highspeed train
Yeah you can use that video to brag to people in Oregon. 'Hey guys we have high speed rail!'
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Old October 19th, 2008, 06:23 PM   #1949
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With the high turnout expected for the November election due to the high degree of enthusiasm for Barak Obama plus the recent surge in gas prices, the ballot measure to expand the Link light rail system stands a good chance of passing. I am generally supportive of rail transit, but Sound Transit's efforts have been difficult for me to love. The costs are completely out of proportion to similar systems in other cities. Last year's Sound Transit II ballot measure featured a cost for light rail expansion of about $200 million per mile in 2006 dollars. Light rail in other cities is typically being built for a cost of no more than about $70 million per mile. The cost in present year dollars for this year's ballot measure remains a mystery as Sound Transit refuses to release cost information in present year dollars. I don't expect that the cost will be any less than the $200 million per mile of last year's ballot measure.


Last edited by greg_christine; October 19th, 2008 at 06:49 PM.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 12:44 AM   #1950
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greg_christine View Post
I don't expect that the cost will be any less than the $200 million per mile of last year's ballot measure.
This is from the pamphlet that ST sent out. The projected cost for light rail is listed as $11.8 Billion out of the total $17.9 Billion. That is for 36 miles of light rail, the First Hill/Capitol Hill street car, matching funds for an extension of the Tacoma Link, and preliminary work (Design, environmental review, and ROW acquisition) on extensions to Everett, Tacoma, Ballard, West Seattle, and Redmond. Per mile, that comes out to about $327 Million/mile, but that looks to be for much more than just Link construction.


A couple notes about the ST2 additions that might be pushing the cost up:

-The line will be the first in the world to go over a floating bridge.

-There are several good sized bits of tunneling (U-district to Roosevelt, and DT Bellevue (I'm assuming?)), and other extensions are 100% grade seaparated going north and south on an elevated structure. More characteristic of a heavy rail system than a light rail system.

-Seattle's generally high costs of construction and difficult terrain.


That being said, I am in agreement with your previous points, that for just a little bit more, Seattle could have a 100% grade separated heavy rail system rather than their tweener kind of system we're getting. But I'm still happy with what's being proposed. I guess I'd give it a B-
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Old October 20th, 2008, 01:31 AM   #1951
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The $11.8 billion is the caqpital cost for light rail expansion in year-of-expenditure dollars. The operations and maintenance costs for the light rail expansion are an additional $292 million. Dividing the $11.8 billion capital cost by 36 miles of light rail yields $328 million per mile; however, that is not the right number to use for comparison against other systems as it includes inflation for expenditures for years decades into the future. I asked Sound Transit for the equivalent number in present year dollars. Sound Transit's response was total B.S. The response appears below.

=========================================================

Dear Mr. V_________:

Thank you for your email to the Mass Transit Expansion proposal email account. You asked if project cost figures were available in constant dollars, as opposed to the year-of-expenditure (YOE) figures you find in our financial information for the Mass Transit Expansion proposal. In an effort to avoid confusion of having multiple figures in circulation on the total cost of this plan, Sound Transit has not converted the amounts to 2007 or 2008 constant dollars. Instead, we have used YOE dollar figures so that the public understands that the $17.8 billion figure for the Mass Transit Expansion proposal includes the capital costs as well as inflation, reserves, debt service, and operations and maintenance costs for the plan. Our goal is to be as clear and transparent with the public as possible about the costs of expanding the mass transit system in the Puget Sound region.

Detailed information on the finances can be found at http://www.future.soundtransit.org/d...pendix%20A.pdf.

You can learn more about the plans, projects, and benefits of the mass transit expansion plan at http://future.soundtransit.org/.

Thank you again for contacting us,
Sound Transit Staff

Last edited by greg_christine; October 20th, 2008 at 01:50 AM.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 01:58 AM   #1952
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoulderGrad View Post
...
-There are several good sized bits of tunneling (U-district to Roosevelt, and DT Bellevue (I'm assuming?)), and other extensions are 100% grade seaparated going north and south on an elevated structure. ...
Sound Transit is studying several configurations for the line through Bellevue. On the map below, the red "A" options are at-grade, the blue "E" options are elevated, and the black "T" options are in tunnels.



Earlier this year, I asked Sound Transit which option was being used as the basis for the cost estimates. I was told that the cost estimates are based on an elevated option.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 08:43 AM   #1953
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http://future.soundtransit.org/projects.aspx

This page has project PDF's in them are cost projections which say 2007 dollars.
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Old October 20th, 2008, 02:32 PM   #1954
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXPaul View Post
http://future.soundtransit.org/projects.aspx

This page has project PDF's in them are cost projections which say 2007 dollars.
Thank you for identifying this! Given that the cost information is already available in 2007 dollars on the Internet, I am even further annoyed that Sound Transit wouldn't provide the information when I e-mailed them!

I've gone through the PDFs and found the following cost numbers (2007 Millions Dollars):

N06 Link U of W to Northgate (4.3 miles)
$1304.6 - $1435.1
N07a First Hill Streetcar (2.2 miles)
$120
N39 Link Northgate to Lynnwood (8.2 miles)
$1200.5 - $1380.6
E01 Link Seattle to Bellevue - Tunnel (10.7 miles)
$2112.1 - $2428.9
E01 Link Seattle to Bellevue - Elevated (10.8 miles)
$1685.7 - $1938.6
E02 Link Bellevue to Overlake (3.5 miles)
$663.5 - $763.1
S27 Link Seatac to S. 200th St. (2.0 miles)
$291.9 - $335.7
S28b Link S. 200th St. to Kent Des Moines Rd. (2.3 miles)
$351.7 - $404.4
S29A Kent Des Moines Rd. to S. 272nd St. (2.5 miles)
$376.0 - $432.4
SYSLRT Maintenance Base & Vehicles
$721.0 - $753.1

Please note that the above list does not include preliminary engineering and right of way acquisition for future segments for which construction funding is not provided under the current ballot measure. Taking the midrange of the costs for the Link projects and excluding the First Hill Streetcar, I get the following numbers for the Link expansion:

Link Expansion with Elevated Option through Bellevue
$7019 / 33.6 miles = $209 million/mile
Link Expansion with Tunnel Option through Bellevue
$7477 / 33.5 miles = $223 million/mile

The numbers for the First Hill Streetcar are as follows:
$120 / 2.2 miles = $55 million/mile
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Old October 20th, 2008, 11:48 PM   #1955
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I hope they build the tunnel through Bellevue, well most of the system actually... we should do it right the first time around... elevated would be ok... but at grade=disaster...
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Old October 21st, 2008, 01:41 AM   #1956
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guinessbeer55 View Post
I hope they build the tunnel through Bellevue, well most of the system actually... we should do it right the first time around... elevated would be ok... but at grade=disaster...
I agree with you. I prefer tunnel. Bellevue is too nice city to have elevated light rail system.
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Old October 21st, 2008, 03:17 AM   #1957
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I actually want at-grade... One of the reason the cost of light rail project was so high was because it was fully segregated from traffic a lot... tunnels are damn expensive. Luckily for you guys, you have light rail which allows you to have a choice of having rail at grade. Just north of the border, SkyTrain doesn't give you many options...
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Old October 21st, 2008, 06:33 AM   #1958
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For $17 billion surely you could build a proper metro?
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Old October 21st, 2008, 10:03 AM   #1959
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deasine View Post
I actually want at-grade... One of the reason the cost of light rail project was so high was because it was fully segregated from traffic a lot... tunnels are damn expensive. Luckily for you guys, you have light rail which allows you to have a choice of having rail at grade. Just north of the border, SkyTrain doesn't give you many options...
Bellevue would not be fit for an at-grade system. Congestion is already a problem with increasing traffic/construction, and having a train track run through downtown will only make things worse. Tunnels are the best option, even if it is a bit more expensive. Bellevue is a futuristic city, and the last thing I need is a Bellevue equivalent of a Portland system or a Seattle monorail beheamoth.
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 06:33 AM   #1960
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So gas prices are falling again, do you guys think that will affect the light rail ballot in November?
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