Blue Lights Over Duwamish, With Train by Atomic Taco
"Blue Lights Over Duwamish, With Train" by Atomic Taco

25 Replies to “News Roundup: New Station Edition”

  1. I read that article about the Leavenworth station. While the times might not be convenient its not that easy to change. Freights give Amtrak a certain window to operate. And all the tired comments about Amtrak being so unreliable, well yes of course there are issues once in a while but for the most part we are on time or early. My #7 today got into Seattle at 9:53am, 27 minutes early. And my #8 on Thursday got into Spokane almost an hour early. Yes theres a lot of padding but still Amtrak does a good job given the stepchild status it has.

    /end rant.

    1. About 6 months ago I read where the FRA was going to crack the whip, and hold the class 1’s accountable for any delays to passenger trains(progressive RR, I think).
      NADA, zip, NO MAS, since then. Have you heard any cracking sounds along the ROW?
      Just curious.

    2. Being early is just as annoying as being late, in my opinion. I expect my train to arrive at the time advertised, no earlier and no later.

      1. we don’t leave early. if we arrive at a station early we have to wait to our regularly scheduled departure time. however there is padding time before terminals so for instance the empire builder gets over an hour to get from edmonds to seattle when the actual running time is something like 28 minutes. if you want though we can just sit north of north portal and not get you anywhere early.

      2. This just seems wrong Tim. Scheduling a 1 hour trip that can be made in less than half that time, then giving BNSF a bonus to meet a really easy time point. If the trip normally can be done in 28, schedule it for 28 and penalize BNSF for making you late. Not the other way around.

      3. If I am not mistaken, that extra 30-32 minutes is the schedule padding for the entire trip (from Chicago in the case of the Empire Builder). Check out the eastbound vs westbound times between Seattle and Everett on that train.

      4. nope that padding is only southbound. same as eastbound into spokane. theres no padding leaving spokane westbound.

        schedule going east:
        seattle: 4:40
        edmonds: 5:12

        schedule going west:
        edm: 9:10
        sea: 10:25

        schedule going east:
        ephrata: 9:42
        spokane: 12:32

        schedule going west:
        spk: 2:15
        eph: 4:22

  2. the coast starlight (affectionately known as the coast starlate) comes into seattle at 8pm (45 minutes early) almost every day now. that train used to come in 3-4 hours late at least, almost every single day. supposedly there was a lawsuit against the UP that got that situation changed. i’m sure their lack of freight traffic and desire to get on time bonus money from amtrak helps too.

    i only operate on bnsf territory and they are really good to us, but like i said freight is down so they really have no reason to screw with us.

  3. Breaking News out of L.A.:

    AnsaldoBreda walks away from $300 million contract!

    Italian rail car manufacturer AnsaldoBreda S.p.A. has declined to sign a contract with Metro to exercise an option to provide 100 additional light rail cars to meet the agency’s operating needs for new rail lines in Los Angeles County. As a consequence, Metro will proceed with seeking industry bids on a new rail car procurement.

    http://www.metro.net/news_info/press/Metro_178.htm

    http://la.streetsblog.org/2009/10/31/breaking-news-contract-talks-between-metro-ansaldobreda-breakdown-rail-car-contract-goes-to-bid/

    1. Terrific photo! And if anybody is in the Belltown neighborhood and wants to check out a cool temporary installation by Dan Corson (Blue Lights Over Duwamish, Beacon Hill Station’s Portals and Space Forms, etc.), Grotesque Arabesque will be at Suyama Space through December 18.

  4. What a cool pic! I hadn’t even noticed the little boat passing under the trestle right as the train crossed.

  5. An example of a “transit-adjacent development” can be seen at this link at http://www.streetsblog.org/2009/10/29/eyes-on-the-street-the-gateway-center-pedestrian-maul/ where a new mall was built beside subway lines and buses, but ignores them. They have about about 2,800 parking spots wasted, because most customers arrive by transit or walk. However, the entrances are through the parking lot or beside roads leading to the parking lot.

    Make sure that that “transit-oriented development” actually allows pedestrians and transit users to have friendly access.

  6. Just a reminder – because The Seattle Times note forgot to mention it – that the water taxi begins year-round service next spring from its much-improved dock at Seacrest Park. Improvements to the “temporary” dock at Seacrest Park, including a practical and much-needed kayak platform, are budgeted at nearly $2.4M, by the way.

    Next spring should also see necessary modifications and improvements completed to the “temporary” dock at Pier 50 that serves the water taxi, and which will also be a base for sea and route trials for Kitsap Transit’s prototype low-wake passenger ferry. Kitsap Transit, the King County Ferry District, and the Port of Kingston are working together on the dock modifications. The Port of Kingston is planning for passenger ferry service to downtown Seattle by the end of 2010, using its own low-wake boat. (Presumably the Port intends to join the ORCA pod when it launches service.)

  7. “a much needed kayak platform” When there is a low angle sand beach on either side of Don Armeni park?

  8. The other major LRV makers are Bombardier, Siemens, Kinki Sharyo, CAF, and Alstom. Given the number of trams they’ve sold and have on-order I suspect Siemens, Kinki Sharyo, and CAF are all set-up to comply with the “Buy American” requirements. While Bombardier hasn’t sold many LRVs in North America recently they have a number of US and Canadian facilities that could be used to assemble any LRV order from LACMTA.

    There is some bad blood between Siemens and LACMTA over a previous LRV order so I’m not sure they would compete for any new bid. Actually this may prove a problem for a replacement order as LACMTA has gotten a reputation as being difficult to work with for rolling stock vendors.

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