News Roundup: Trains, Trains, Trains

Rail News Roundup!

An Amtrak Cascades train meets the Portland Rose steam special
An Amtrak Cascades train meets the Portland Rose steam special in Tacoma

Its that time of the month for another rail roundup;

Passenger News

Amtrak is planning, yet again, to purchase new locomotives and passenger cars to replace the aging fleet. The NEC still will not be a true HSR route, even with the planned “Acela II” with a maximum speed of 180mph, now the low end standard of HSR.

Due for replacement are 412 Amfleet I, 122 Amfleet II, 122 Superliner I, 184 Superliner II, 50 Viewliner, 92 Horizon cars, as well as Heritage baggage and dining cars. Among the locomotives are 20 AEM7 d.c. electric locomotives (the remaining 29 have been rebuilt with a.c. propulsion), and the railroad’s F59PH, P42, P40, and P32DM fleets. Currently, an RFP is out for 125 single-level coaches/baggage-dorm cars/diners and 20 electric locomotives.

Plenty more after the jump!

Continue reading “Rail News Roundup!”

News Roundup: Distracted Driving Edition

Holiday News Roundup

Photo by "Hong Kong, dear Edward"

News Roundup

"First revenue Link train to Seatac, WA", by DWHonan

News Roundup: Around the Sound

Guideway to Seatac, by Mike Bjork
"Guideway to Seatac", by Mike Bjork

News Roundup: Rail Grinding


Video by Eric Jensen.

News Roundup

Tukwila in the fog, by Mike Bjork
"Tukwila in the fog," by Mike Bjork

News Roundup: Keep Grace Crunican

Dan Corson's Oscillating Field. Photo by The Stranger.
Dan Corson's Oscillating Field. Photo by The Stranger.
  • Grace Crunican, the director Seattle’s transportation department, is looking for a job in Oregon since she might be forced out by the McGinn over last winter’s snowstorm. Many smart people argue the Mayor-elect should keep her on. We agree: McGinn should consider keeping her.
  • The First Hill Streetcar will break ground in 2011 and open by 2013. The City has three public meetings this month about it to discuss the possible alignments. And a minimalist web page.
  • The feds announce some more funding for streetcars and trolley buses.
  • SDOT begins work this week on Aurora bus platforms. RapidRide buses will eventually run along the corridor.
  • Seattle Metro area transit usage up 13.4% between 2006 and 2008, well behind several sun belt cities — and Detroit. Traffic congestion down, mostly due to the economy.
  • King County Council backs SR520 A+ option.  That pits them against Richard Conlin, Frank Chopp, and others, but with the legislative working group.
  • The Stranger art critic looks at the public art piece — above — temporarily occupying the future home of Link’s Capitol Hill stop.

More after the jump…

Continue reading “News Roundup: Keep Grace Crunican”

Westlake Streetcar Placemaking

Westlake Plaza
Westlake Plaza

We put out a blurb on the Westlake Hub Strategy about a month back in a news roundup, but I wanted to share some additional information I got from SDOT as well as bit of analysis.

The strategy is designed to help improve multi-modal transfers around Westlake plaza and help create a more attractive and lively pedestrian environment.  It includes a new pedestrian plaza in what is now Westlake Ave. This project takes big cues from NYC’s pedestrianization of Times Square. The expanded plaza will be created by closing the block between Stewart and Olive to all traffic except the streetcar, more than doubling the size of the existing McGraw Square and creating a public space that is actually functional and enjoyable.

More after the jump.

Continue reading “Westlake Streetcar Placemaking”

Long News Roundup (II)

Escalators, by Oran
"Escalators", by Oran

The constant rainstorms seem to have really slowed down the accumulation of great pictures in the Flickr Pool:

Long News Roundup (I)

Map by Oran, of course
Map by Oran, of course

Stories we didn’t have time to get to or didn’t have anything to say about are below.  There are so many that another installment is coming soon:

News Roundup: Votes, Polls, and Surveys

Beacon Hill Station by galenorama
"Beacon Hill Station" by galenorama

If you missed our post and poll about Infill Stations last week thanks to our service outage, it’s never too late to go there and vote.  I’m somewhat surprised that Graham St. is running away with it so decisively.

News Roundup: Election Day

News Roundup: New Station Edition

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

News Roundup: Rail Moves Forward

Couplers, by Mark Dublin
"Couplers", by Mark Dublin

News Roundup: The Action’s in Bellevue

Photo by Oran
Photo by Oran

Weekend News Roundup

Guide rail and wheels on the monorail, by Mike Bjork
"Guide rail and wheels on the monorail", by Mike Bjork

News Roundup: Sharrows

Beautiful Lobby, by Mike Bjork
"Beautiful Lobby", by Mike Bjork

A whole bunch of stories we didn’t get to over the past week:

Weekend News Roundup

CT DE60LFA 29700, by wings777
"CT DE60LFA 29700", by wings777
  • Dan Bertolet at HugeAssCity offers an articulate defense of embattled Seattle DOT head Grace Crunican.
  • The SunBreak interviews Metro GM Kevin Desmond about ORCA, Twitter, and unions.
  • A bunch of local newspapers worked together to create a very extensive “Navigate King County” transportation special report.  We’ll try to digest it and discuss further later.
  • SOV market share down in DT Bellevue and Factoria, slightly up at Crossroads and Bel-Red.
  • Kemper Freeman-backed Bellevue City Council Candidate Kevin Wallace has commissioned the engineering study to get Link pushed out to I-405 through Bellevue.
  • Two more Central Link vs. car collisions, the usual illegal left turn.
  • Not to be outdone, Tacoma Link takes out a BMW.  The TNT has a great photo.
  • Link noise declared a public health emergency, apparently a technical move to allow expedited procurement to solve the problem.   Stupidest quote in the Times article:  “We can’t have the light rail be more of a pollutant — with the noise, you’ve canceled out the carbon reduction.”
  • Dave Ross loves his Orca (skip to 31:30).
  • Jesse! helps out a homeowner waiting for Sound Transit to fix his yard.
  • City of Snohomish looks at a tourist train.