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Discussion Starter #1
Hello Seattlites! Erm, not sure if that's the right word for you...

Anyways, I want to do a project for my Transit Financing class on Seattle's light rail project. Does anybody have any useful sources or links other than what is available on soundtransit.org? That would be awesome! Thanks in advance.:)
 

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you could always look at wikipedia... haha although I know its world reknowned for not being to reliable...

ktransit.com might be good...
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Wikipedia is good for getting general ideas and info (as well as being my first obvious choice), but I am looking for something more detailed.

Thanks for ktransit, it has good pictures, but nothing really substantive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6

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Mukilteo rail station work to start today.

This is great that this is starting. It will really help.

Today in the Herald:
MUKILTEO — Soon the Sounder commuter trains that have blown through town since the end of 2003 will actually stop to pick up commuters.

After years of delay, construction is scheduled to start today on a $19.2 million Mukilteo Sounder station. The station is expected to load its first passenger onto a Sounder train by mid-2008.

By that time, Sound Transit hopes to expand the number of trains rolling from Everett to Seattle each weekday, giving commuters the flexibility they have clamored for since service started in December 2003. Right now, only two trains make round trips each day.

A third is expected to be added next month, said Linda Robson, a spokeswoman for Sound Transit. A fourth train may be added around the time Mukilteo station opens.

The agency had hoped to get the fourth train rolling by the end of 2007, but that deadline has slipped into 2008 because permits for Burlington Northern Santa Fe to improve its tracks are delayed.

Still, things are looking up, agency supporters say.

Add the two new trains, a station in Mukilteo and improvements to the Edmonds Sounder station, and Sounder is poised for a wave of new interest by commuters, said Mark Olson, vice chairman of the Sound Transit board of directors and an Everett city councilman.

"I think you'll see a dramatic increase in ridership," Olson said.

Sounder struggled to attract riders when service started, mainly because the single train offered didn't give commuters enough flexibility.

It also suffered from other rough stretches in the early going, including a two-year delay in service and a budget that ballooned to $385 million, triple the original estimate.

Its early problems were linked to underestimating how important the Everett-to-Seattle rail line is to the freight rail company Burlington Northern Santa Fe, officials said.

Original plans called for 12 weekday round-trip trains supporting 7,200 boardings a day by 2010. Tough negotiations with the railroad resulted in just four daily runs.

Sound Transit revised its ridership estimates, suggesting that there will be 2,100 boardings per day by 2010.

Ridership gradually has been climbing and is now up to 835 boardings per day, Robson said.

Mukilteo, which struggles with traffic and parking problems connected to the Washington State Ferries run to Whidbey Island, can't wait for Mukilteo's Sounder station to open, Mayor Joe Marine said.

"We're excited to be able to have the train," Marine said. "It should have been up and running by now."

He said Mukilteo residents will use it to get to Seattle, but the bigger benefit is to get Whidbey Island commuters onto a train and off city streets.

Long lines of ferry traffic grind Mukilteo to a halt each time a ferry empties out, he said. Worse, many Whidbey Island residents have taken to parking their cars in Mukilteo so they can ferry over to the island on foot, avoiding steep car-and-driver fares.

When Mukilteo Station opens, the ferry schedule will be adjusted to help riders connect with a train, said Joy Goldenberg, a spokeswoman for the ferry system.

The state is planning to move the ferry terminal next to the Sounder station, but that plan is delayed and not settled, Goldenberg said.

The reasons for the hold up are many. They include new state requirements for fiscal accountability, a delay in transferring needed land from the U.S. Air Force to the Port of Everett, and a lack of state funding.

Concerns also have been raised about American Indian cultural artifacts that have been found at the site. No human remains have been found, but many tribal experts expect that they will turn up if the project moves forward.

Construction on a new terminal was supposed to start in 2008, but now can't start until at least 2011. The schedule depends on completion of an environmental impact statement, which has been delayed.

When it opens next year, the Mukilteo Sounder station will have just one loading platform on Mukilteo waterfront side, Robson said. About 70 parking spots will be provided.

A second platform and a pedestrian bridge across the railroad tracks are scheduled to open in mid-2009. More parking is planned, but it's not clear how that will take shape.
 

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I'm really disappointed with Burlington Northern Santa Fe, because they are delaying Sound Transit's plan to have more daily trains. If Sound Transit had their own rail track and it will help A LOT with the ridership and not need to worry about the freight trains running on that track.
 

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^^ I agree.. They should have double tracks. I would be using it if it was more reliable. While they are putting in the double tracks they can lay down concrete ties instead of timber. The train will be able to move much faster and smoother.
 

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Yeah, pretty much so. I noticed that on youtube videos show that Sounder trains run pretty slow between Seattle and Everett. It will help a lot if they fix the tracks/install fencing and it will encourage passengers to ride the train at higher speed like they do between Tacoma and Seattle.
 

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Yeah. That would be nice if Sound Transit has its own railways. I doubt that will happen anyway. We don't have enough room for another railways. This railways near Art Institute of Seattle is pain in the ass. Its always shake the entire building up like an earthquake and very distracting from classes. It happens many times a day for the past two years now. :eek:hno:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
They have to share the tracks with freight for part of it's length? If they only have a few runs a day it shouldn't be a problem...though there could be some major delays.
 

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Sound Transit's Sounder will never have its own tracks, so forget about that one. But there's really no issue here. Sound Transit has put big bucks into improving BNSF freight tracks in exchange for trackage rights. On time performance has been excellent and should continue to be so with track and signaling upgrades--a win-win situation for all concerned. Next month the first "reverse" train will begin, heading to Tacoma in the morning and returning to Seattle in the afternoon. Riders along the line who work in Tacoma will finally be able to take the train. Seattle to Tacoma and Seattle to Everett both take about an hour. No worse than a lot of bad traffic days--and immeasurably more pleasurable. And on the Everett line, the views are incomparable. Anyone who could take the train and doesn't, ought to give it a try!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The BNSF railroad that goes through Seattle is a MAJOR freight rail line. There really isn't anything you can do about that, and frankly, I think BNSF *should* get priority on those tracks due to that line's importance. It's their rail line, anyway.
Freight will always get precedence on rail lines, always. Around here, freight causes delays up to 30 minutes on commuter rail.

Here's an old map I made a while ago (just edited now to show only BNSF):


The northern and southern extensions of the plan don't seem to be consistent with BNSF rail lines, are they building their own tracks for these extensions?
 

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Mukilteo rail station work to start today.
Good to see.

I know this is quibbling over minor details, but -assuming we are using the American system as opposed to the British system- shouldn't that train be serving the other side of that station?
 

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By the way, I drove through the Rainier Valley along MLK. I'm very impressed with how the light rail is looking!! I was also impressed on how nice the immediate adjacent properties all look. I didn't see any boarded up buildings from businesses displaced by construction.

The area seems to be thriving or ready to thrive at least. Can't wait to see it all working.
 
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