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Seattle Center Monorail

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Seattle Landmark Designated August 4, 20031 Operation Opened March 24, 1962 Owner City of Seattle Operators Seattle Monorail Services Character Elevated Technical Line length 096 mi 154 km Electrification Third rail 700V DC Operating speed 45 mph 70 km/h
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Seattle Center
South Lake Union Streetcar
Westlake Center
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The Seattle Center Monorail is an elevated monorail line in Seattle, Washington, that operates along Fifth Avenue between Seattle Center in Lower Queen Anne and Westlake Center in Downtown Seattle Center Monorail is a public transit route with a top speed of 45 mph 72 km/h Owned by the City of Seattle, the line has been operated by private contractor Seattle Monorail Services since 19942 It was given historical landmark status by the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board April 16, 20033

Contents

  • 1 Creation and route
  • 2 Operations
  • 3 Technical details
  • 4 Accidents
  • 5 See also
  • 6 References
  • 7 External links

Creation and routeedit

South terminus of the monorail in 1963

The monorail, which cost $35 million to build, opened on March 24, 1962 for the Century 21 Exposition, a World's Fair held at the current site of Seattle Center Eight million people rode the monorail during the half year the fair was open; today, annual ridership is around 2 million The line and its trains were built by Alweg Rapid Transit Systems4

Originally, the south end of the line was a large station over Pine Street at Westlake Avenue that formed a lid over the street and a portion of Westlake Park In 1988, the station was moved north a block with the construction of the Westlake Center shopping mall on what had been the right-of-way of Westlake Avenue

The Westlake station of the monorail has an elevator down to the Westlake Station of the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel, a stop for the Central Link light rail line, and major Metro bus lines Westlake Center is also near the southern terminus of the South Lake Union Streetcar and numerous surface bus routes

At the northern end of the line, the Museum of Pop Culture building was designed so that the monorail passes through it on its way to the terminal

Operationsedit

The Seattle Center Monorail is operated by a private contractor, Seattle Monorail Services SMS, which took over operation from the City in June 19942 Operating profits, which can be as much as $750,000 per year, are split between the City and SMS2

Service operates daily, and trains depart every 10 minutes from the station at Seattle Center en route to Westlake Center Mall, at Fifth and Pine Street Each trip takes two minutes to cover the approximately one-mile route Every train can carry up to 450 passengers per trip The monorail provides two-train service during special events and activities, with departures every five minutes or less

One-way fares are $225 for adults, $100 for youths aged 5–12, and $100 for reduced rate, including seniors citizens 65 years and older, disabled individuals, persons with Medicare cards, and active-duty US military carrying their identification cards Roundtrip fares are twice the price of a one-way fare, while children four and under ride free

Technical detailsedit

The monorail implements the Spanish solution The driver controls include an LCD monitor that displays technical information

The line consists of two parallel tracks with one train riding each track

The fleet consists of two trains constructed by Alweg in 1961 These original trains are still in service and have served the line since its opening in 1962

Each train is powered by four 750 Hp DC Motors running at 700V and typically drawing up to 700 amps The motors are controlled by a mechanical motor controller that adjusts the position of the motors and number of resistors in the circuit The motors run into a standard truck differential, with one side blocked off and the other running to the driving wheel, which runs a standard truck tire

The electric current is drawn from a two-tiered electric rail that is aligned with the side of the track The top rail is ground, with the live rail suspended beneath it

The monorail uses dynamic braking for higher speed braking over 10 mph, and has drum brakes for lower speeds

Accidentsedit

Aftermath of the 2005 collision, the train on the right was approaching the station, and should have yielded

On July 25, 1971, a brake failure on the red train resulted in it striking the girder at the end of the track in the Seattle Center station, causing injuries to 26 passengers5

On May 31, 2004, a fire broke out on the monorail with 150 people aboard Five passengers were taken to the hospital with minor injuries6

On November 26, 2005, the two trains clipped one another on a curve, shearing a door off one train Two people were hospitalized with minor injuries Poor design and driver error were blamed for the crash;789 in 1988, the space between the monorail tracks had been reduced at the southern end of the line to make room for the new Westlake Center, effectively making a gauntlet/interlaced track

See alsoedit

  • List of monorail systems
  • Seattle Monorail Project now defunct plan for a new Seattle monorail

Referencesedit

  1. ^ "City of Seattle Ordinance: 121240" City of Seattle Retrieved 2013-03-06 
  2. ^ a b c Yardley, William September 25, 2006 "In Seattle, a Dream From the Past Has a Hazy Future" The New York Times Retrieved 2009-12-13 
  3. ^ McRoberts, Patrick "Space Needle officially becomes a City of Seattle historic landmark on April 19, 1999" HistoryLink Retrieved 2006-01-09 
  4. ^ A competing proposal came from Greene Monorail Systems See "Greene Monorail Systems: Theory and Operations" 1958
  5. ^ "Monorail crashes into steel girder at Seattle Center injuring 26, on July 25, 1971" HistoryLinkorg Retrieved April 12, 2011 
  6. ^ "Fire hits monorail at Seattle Center" The Seattle Times June 1, 2004 Retrieved April 12, 2011 
  7. ^ "Monorail trains collide" The Seattle Times November 27, 2005 Retrieved April 12, 2011 
  8. ^ Lindblom, Mike November 28, 2005 "Monorail collision result of hazard created during 1988 track redesign" Seattle Times 
  9. ^ Lange, Larry January 5, 2006 "Monorail damage more than just dents" Seattle Post-Intelligencer 

External linksedit

  • Seattle Center Monorail current
  • Seattle P-I archives: Seattle Center Monorail
  • Seattle page at the Monorail Society
  • Unofficial site about the monorail

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Seattle Center Monorail


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