Those of you whom managed to get to work and didn’t have much in the way of hills today are lucky. My bus this morning jack knifed heading up Kent – Des Moines hill between Meeker and Military Road. A 20 minute walk back home and slipping twice was enough for me just to stay home.

Sounder was on time today though….Portland MAX, Seattle Streetcar, Portland Streetcar, Tacoma Link are also running just fine…rail is superior when it comes to weather like this. O.o

5 Replies to “Snow + buses = stuck or crashes, trains are fine”

  1. I was looking at the Metro Adverse Weather Page, interesting that only two trolleybus routes are affected so far, the 3 and 4. The network has built in redundancies to go over gentler grades. Such as the back-wire that seems to have no purpose on the 1-Kinnear most of the year, but when ice and heavy snow closes the Counterbalance, the 2 and 13 run via that route. Although in tests the Trolleybus was better than the Streetcar on Queen Anne Ave, the stories I have heard over the years, that when it snowed, streetcars were better on the Counterbalance.

  2. Of course they were better – they had a counterbalance. This was a weight attached to a cable, pullied at the top. You hook up the streetcar, and the weight pulls it up. It sounds like a great system as no amount of snow would keep you from climbing the hill.

  3. Should have kept it in place, but it was seen as progress at the time to get rid of streetcars.(Yakima called the retirement parade of their streetcars in 1947, the Parade of Progress). It would have been great to preserve at least the trucks from the counterbalance cars, or the blueprints, so engineers today could try to see if the SKODAs can be modified for it.

    I love how the LRT does not run well in the snow argument gets proven wrong. If that was true, Denver’s system would have been crippled for days by the heavy storms they got last year. Instead, they ran sweeper trains to keep the tracks(and wires) clear after service was done for the day, and the crews were told that they could pick up anybody who was at the station platforms. Minneapolis and Salt Lake City are the same, and then there are the two Canadian Cities that helped launch the North American Light Rail Boom, Edmonton and Calgary, although it does not snow much in Alberta(according the the TRAINS MAGAZINE CITY RAIL column in the December Issue), but it does freeze a lot.

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