• Seattle, Washington: Sound Transit

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

Moderators: mtuandrew, gprimr1

  by lpetrich
Seattle Streetcar -- now has a checklist of four "startup activities", mostly vehicle testing and operator training. I'm guessing that they have all the vehicles that they'd ordered. Still no opening date.

Project updates: University Link Extension | Sound Transit
  • The University of Washington (UW) station is complete.
  • The Capitol Hill station is in its final stages of construction, including restoration of a nearby street.
  • Track and power systems are 85% done.
Still shooting for early next year.

Project updates: Northgate Link Extension | Sound Transit
Tunneling crews continue to make progress on both tunnels between the Roosevelt Station site and the U District Station site. TBM Brenda is just south of NE 50th Street and Pamela is north of NE Ravenna Boulevard. Brenda is expected to arrive at the U District Station site by the end of October and Pamela by the end of the year.

Crews continue to pour the concrete base and install drainage in the future northbound tunnel between Roosevelt Station and the Maple Leaf portal.
This extension should open in 2021. It runs in a tunnel northward from UW to the Maple Leaf Portal a little south of Northgate Station, where it emerges into an elevated track.

Project updates: Lynnwood Link Extension | Sound Transit -- the FTA has issued a Record of Decision for it, and it should go into final design early next year. Construction should begin in 2018 and the extension should open in 2023. It will run in alternating surface and elevated tracks from Northgate northward to Lynnwood.

Project updates: East Link Extension | Sound Transit -- I-90 will get its outer lanes turned into carpool lanes, while its center ones will be turned into light-rail trackway. The latter project should start in mid-2017. It should open in 2023.

South 200th Link Extension | Sound Transit -- under construction, should be done by late 2016.

Tacoma Link Expansion | Sound Transit -- in planning. The local preferred alternative is north to the Stadium District, then west to Martin Luther King Blvd, then south in MLK Blvd.

Tacoma Trestle | Sound Transit -- "Sound Transit is replacing the wooden single-track railroad trestle east of Freighthouse Square with a new, concrete double-track bridge." The replacement will be done in stages.
  • Build a concrete bridge south of the existing trestle
  • Replace the trestle with the bridge and then demolish the trestle
  • Extend the Tacoma station platform eastward
  • Build a second concrete bridge where the trestle had been
Point Defiance Bypass | Sound Transit -- should open in 2017
  by lpetrich
Shaping Sound Transit 3 -- a wish list of projects to be added to that upcoming 2016 ballot measure.

Commuter Rail: southwest of Lakewood, southeast of Puyallup
Light Rail:
  • Lynnwood - Everett
  • East Link further into Redmond
  • Issaquah - Bellevue - Kirkland
  • (existing line) - Ballard - (Sounder ROW) - downtown Seattle - West Seattle
  • South 200th St. - Federal Way - Tacoma
  • SW from downtown Tacoma
  • Western Tacoma
Only some of these projects are likely to make it to the 2016 ballot, but it will be interesting to see which ones.
  by lpetrich
Would voters dig another transit tunnel? | The Seattle Times (recent), Second bus tunnel proposed downtown | The Seattle Times (last February, but it has a map)

The proposed tunnel would start a little east of the existing International District / Chinatown station and parallel the existing one northward, having a station at Madison St. It would turn westward under the existing tunnel just south of the existing Westlake station, having a station there also. It would continue northwestward to Uptown at the foot of Queen Anne Hill. It may be a bus tunnel at first, later being converted to rail.

Light rail options for North Puget Sound far from settled | HeraldNet.com - Local News -- arguing about whether to detour into the SW Everett industrial center in Paine Field.

Tunnel-machine Brenda reaches future U District light-rail station | The Seattle Times
Sound Transit’s tunnel-boring machine Brenda broke into the future U District light-rail station late Friday morning, still on schedule for trains to serve Northgate by September 2021.

After four to six weeks of maintenance, it will resume digging south toward Husky Stadium to finish the northbound subway tunnel, said Sound Transit spokeswoman Kimberly Reason. Shortly after that, tunnel-drill Pamela, now digging the southbound tube, will break into U District Station.
Rail News - Sound Transit's tunnel boring machine arrives at U District station. For Railroad Career Professionals
The machines are expected to finish tunneling by third-quarter 2016. To date, Sound Transit has bored nine tunnel segments for Link light-rail construction, agency officials said.
University Link Extension | Sound Transit -- the latest there is a cab-view video from a test train. Service should start there early in 2016.

New grant clears way for $175M expansion of light rail in Tacoma - Puget Sound Business Journal -- so it looks like that one's going ahead.

About the TBM that's been boring the tunnel for the replacement of the Alaskan Way: Bertha ready to burrow in early January | The Seattle Times after two years of repairs.
  by Jeff Smith
Extension opening early: Progressive Railroading
Sound Transit to open University Link extension early, under budget

Sound Transit's University Link light-rail extension will open six months ahead of schedule on March 19, the agency announced yesterday.

The project is more than $150 million under budget, Sound Transit officials said in a press release.

The 3.1-mile underground extension includes stations on Seattle's Capitol Hill and at the University of Washington near Husky Stadium. Trains making the eight-minute trip from the university to downtown Seattle will bypass some of the most congested traffic in the region, they said.
  by lpetrich
The First Hill Seattle Streetcar line is finally open: CHS Pics | First Hill Streetcar celebrated in the International District | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

University Link Extension | Sound Transit, now expecting to open on March 26.

Home - Sound Transit University Link Light Rail 2016 has Station Tour - University Link Light Rail Extension -- it's rather impressive how long the stations' escalators are.

Another Seattle tunnel drill (not Bertha) damaged, needs repair | The Seattle Times
Another Seattle tunnel machine has been damaged, and spent six weeks going nowhere.

This time, a Sound Transit drill nicknamed Pamela halted some 650 feet north of the future University District Station on Dec. 28 and was out of service until Thursday, according to Sound Transit.

The damage apparently is related to difficulty spinning through “very hard ground,” Fazel said.

Pamela will run at reduced torque and speed, needing two months to finish the short distance to the station, Fazel said.

Pamela is one of two light-rail boring machines. Brenda last year needed cutter-teeth replacement, but it continued and has already passed the U District Station, heading south toward Husky Stadium.
Bertha resumes viaduct tunnel digging under Seattle
  by lpetrich
University Link light rail opens -- 6 months early and $200 million under budget.
Capitol Hill, UW light-rail stations open to big crowds | The Seattle Times
Light rail extension to UW opens | News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News | KOMO -- has a photo gallery with 24 pictures

Notice the long staircases and escalators that the two stations have -- it's a long way down.

Link light-rail work to affect 28th Ave. S. traffic in SeaTac - Tukwila Reporter -- work on the Angle Lake extension. It has a new station that will open later this year.
  by lpetrich
Sound Transit Breaks Ground Today on the $3.7 Billion Light Rail Extension | Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network -- Friday, April 22

Work has already started on a 2150-ft tunnel through downtown Bellevue, and the extension's length will be 14 mi: downtown Seattle - Mercer Island - Bellevue - Overlake in Redmond, with 10 stations.

The article inlines this video: Sound Transit - East Link Extension alignment animation - YouTube a 3D-model artist's conception. It links to

East Link Light Rail I-90 Track Bridge System Animation - YouTube -- like the I-90 highway bridge, the light-rail line will rest on floats.

Sound Transit breaks ground in Bellevue - Bellevue Reporter
The first construction phase of the East Link extension — the Downtown Bellevue tunnel — is already underway. It will be followed by the Overlake to Redmond portion in Mid 2016, the South Bellevue route in late 2016, the Bel-Red portion in Early 2017 and the I-90 and Wilburton/Central Bellevue portions to begin construction in mid 2017.
It should be done by 2023.

Video: East Link animations | Sound Transit links to Video: East Link animations | Sound Transit: Seattle - Mercer Island and Bellevue - Redmond videos.

The line will branch off from the existing line's International-District / Chinatown station, going eastward from it.
  by lpetrich
Sound Transit 3 - Board approves ST3 plan for November ballot with this map of ST3's proposed improvements.
  • Seattle Light Rail
    • (Northgate -- from end) Lynnwood - Everett
    • (East Link) Bellevue - South Kirkland
    • (East Link-- from end) Bellevue - Redmond
    • (East Link) Bellevue - Issaquah
    • Westlake, Seattle - NW to Ballard
    • SODO, Seattle - W to Alaska Junction
    • (South 200th St. -- from end) SeaTac area - Federal Way - Tacoma Dome
  • Tacoma Light Rail: downtown Tacoma to Tacoma Community College
  • Commuter Rail: SW of Tacoma: Lakewood - Dupont
  • Express Bus Routes: several
The South 200th St. extension should be done later this year (Sound Transit pushing hard on light rail progress in 2016 - seattlepi.com, from January, says September). The Northgate extension's tunneling should be done by the end of this year or early next year, but the extension will be completed in 2021. The East Link extension's construction started earlier this year, with a tunnel in downtown Bellevue, and it should be done in 2023.

Highway 99 tunnel’s double-decker roadway begins to take shape | The Seattle Times -- since tunneling restarted there, it has proceeded without major problem. The first mile of it is now done, and the second and remaining mile of it should be done by the end of this year.
  by lpetrich
Light rail service to Angle Lake started Saturday, Sept. 24 | The Highline Times / Des Moines News
The 1.6-mile light rail extension from Sea-Tac Airport to South 200th Street consists of an elevated guideway and station that will serve as the southern terminus for Link until service to Kent/Des Moines starts in 2023. A 1,050-stall garage, 70-space surface lot, van pool parking and passenger drop-off/pickup area at the new station will provide needed relief for transit user parking in a busy commuter corridor.
  by lpetrich
Sound Transit wraps up Northgate extension tunnel mining
Having completed 7 miles of tunnel, the tunnel builders are now building cross passages between the tunnels to use as emergency exits.

Sound Transit breaks ground on Northgate light rail station | GENERAL VALLEY NEWS | Sky Valley Chronicle Washington State News
One of the three stations in that extension -- the other two are at U District and at Roosevelt.

Bellevue gets new tunneling machine for Sound Transit project | KING5.com
About two Tunnel Boring Machines that will be digging a tunnel under downtown Bellevue.
Sound Transit says it's using this technique to minimize impacts to homes and businesses. It uses the Sequential Excavation Method, also called Austrian tunneling. It chews out a section of the tunnel, and then the area around it is injected with a concrete product called Shotcrete. Finally a tunnel lining is installed.
There are a few tunnels elsewhere in this extension, but most of the route is either surface-level or elevated.

Alaskan Way Viaduct - Follow Bertha
Bertha resumes digging with only a half-mile to go | The Seattle Times
Where's Bertha? Massive tunnel machine gets back to work beneath Seattle (Video) - Puget Sound Business Journal
This after replacing about 300 of its 500 cutters. It should be finished by the middle of this year. It should open in 2019.

Will this TBM get used for digging a double-track rail tunnel somewhere? Most rail tunnels I am familiar with are single-track, and usually in pairs, one for each direction.
  by Backshophoss
Sounder is buying 9 more coaches,no source stated,could be getting used cars or new from BBD("sausage" type)
  by electricron
Backshophoss wrote:Sounder is buying 9 more coaches,no source stated,could be getting used cars or new from BBD("sausage" type)
They ordered nine (9) new cab coach cars from Bombardier back in 2014, scheduled for a mid 2017 delivery.
What will be interesting to find out is will they appear as the existing cab cars with an end door, or will they be cab cars without the door ala the new cab cars for GO?
  by Backshophoss
If new from BBD,they would be like the new GOT/Metrolinx cab cars.
  by lpetrich
Price tag zooms up for light rail across I-90 bridge: $225 million more needed | The Seattle Times
The cost to build light rail on Interstate 90 between Seattle and Bellevue has zoomed $225 million higher than Sound Transit once estimated, now that final engineering work has revealed the challenge of retrofitting the roadway.

The job includes building the world’s only trackway on a floating bridge. The roadway moves with Lake Washington’s water level and must be kept buoyant despite the weight of tracks, ties and trains to be placed in the existing express lanes.

Sound Transit is on the verge of winning final approval by state and federal governments to begin I-90 trackwork this summer, after engineers solved 23 technical issues raised by outside experts.

The $225 million change represents a 46 percent increase, compared with the $486 million budget for the I-90 trackway construction contract.
East Link Extension | Sound Transit states that it is in "Final Design".

A potential problem is the weight of the light-rail vehicles. I couldn't find any weight limits for that bridge, so I'll use typical road weight limits. From Road Weight and Size limitations: By State, that's 80,000 lbs or 36 metric tons (megagrams).

SanDiego1_DataSheet_2014_LR.pdf has some specs for a LRV, and I will use those. It's a two-segment, three-truck articulated railcar, a very common LRV configuration, so it's likely typical.

Empty weight: 99,500 lbs or 45 mt.
Capacity: seating 68, max. 230.
At 80 kg each the passengers thus add up to about 18 mt, giving 63 mt total.

A two-LRV train thus weighs from 90 to 126 mt. That's about 2.5 to 3.5 full 18-wheelers.

ETA: Project updates: East Link Extension | Sound Transit has some construction updates. Parts of the line are already under construction, like the downtown Bellevue tunnel. It is not being dug by a TBM, but instead with more typical excavation equipment. As the excavation or "mining" continues, the tunnel walls are built.
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