Aug 4, 2012
commented on Runaway Train
In 1999, I was involved in a project with the Port of Seattle that was expanding the shipping terminals in W. Seattle. The Seattle FD had a hold on the project until it could be demonstrated that there would be the ability to fully respond to an emergency when the city would be bisected by one of the monster trains leaving the Port and moving onto the mainline and exiting town. What was put in place was a network of sensors at the key crossings and the rail bridge that parallels the W. Seattle bridge which could alert the FD when the cut-offs occurred. This way the FD would be set up with adequate resources on either side of the line to handle any situation during the fifteen minute to half hour time of cut-off. The one "perfect storm" scenario that was most discussed was a situation where a playoff game was letting out at either stadium during a work day, rush hour traffic, and then one of these beasts moving into the mix. Not a pretty sight, eh? The potential of hyper increased rail traffic was never considered, and I hope that SFD's operational readiness has been updated to accommodate the future blockades to be imposed upon the city should this go through. With the Viaduct going away and the upcoming craziness with the Tunnel, I want to see what the contingency plan is for mobility through the city before this is put to a vote.