You Know What Works Great in the Snow? Light Rail

Comments

1
Isn't it just THRILLING! Thanks OranViri.
2
Yep, Link was the shit last evening coming from Beacon Hill to Westlake then walked home to LQA. Fuck the cars and I-5 mess! ~ thisbandyc
3
Snow doesn't have much effect on real trains either. Keep that in mind if you're ever stranded somewhere because of snow. The airport may be shut down, but the trains are almost always still running.
4
Tunnels better than elevated structures as well.
5
@5: not completely true - cold enough temperatures and wind from the right (wrong) direction in combination with snow can freeze--erh, whatever it's called where the train is directed from one track to another, which often can pile up and screw up an entire train system for days. But yeah, still better than cars.
6
trains get stranded by snow as well, but less frequently:

http://gothamist.com/2010/02/05/new_lirr…

I doubt Seattle gets many +10" blizzards though

7
damnit. I mean @2, and I should perhaps clarify that English isn't my native language.
8
I ran into a friend last night at the airport. It took me around an hour to get home (including the time walking to the train, waiting, and walking home). Between waiting for his ride and driving back to around the UW, it took him 20 hours to get home.
9
When I was reading this morning about all those buses simply being abandoned on Capitol Hill, my first thought was, "Gee, light rail to Capitol Hill would have been a real lifeline right about now."

P.S. "OranViri" isn't just any old YouTube user. That's Oran Viriyincy, who supplies quite a few photos and video, together with the occasional post, to Seattle Transit Blog.
10
I had to stash my car after the viaduct northbound was completely blocked. The buses were not running northbound into town but the train worked great. The only problem was that the touch screen ticket vendors were frozen and could not take my money; too bad. After dinner downtown, I took the crazy bus (358). It was crowded but making good time and I was home in good time considering.
11
HUZZAH! Go light rail!
12
I checked Sound Transit's website this morning and they said to expect delays in the trains. Eh, I don't mind walking. There will probably be fewer idiots sliding around in their cars today.
13
Too bad we're still years away from having the Roosevelt light rail station open. I'm getting ready for the bus ride from Greenlake to a light rail station so I can get to the airport.
14
@ #10

Yay Crazy bus! That's the one I'm usually on. I should add I try not to add to the craziness; at least not visibly.
15
@12, did it say to expect delays on the Trains (i.e. Sounder) or delays on light rail (I.e. Link)?

I rode link in this morning. It was packed, and right on time. Absolutely no problems at all.
16
A couple years ago when PDX got 10 inches the MAX light rail did ok, but not great. There were many delays because of switching stations freezing.
17
Transit and infrastructure now! Yay! Let's do it.
18
Got into the airport late last night. There were so many people with no transportation (no taxis! 1-5 basically shut down) and light rail saved the day. The atmosphere was downright festive and we sailed right in to downtown where I immediately parked myself at the fairmont hotel bar. Way better option than sleeping at the airport!
19
Jeez, if the native dumbasses had supported the Forward Thrust initiatives from the late 60's and early 70's, we would be sailing all over much of the city on rail.
20
@12, 15: It said delays on Central Link, but my guess is that the problem was in buses in the DSTT.

I also notice that if anything the alerts for Link over-report problems and make the system seem less reliable than it is.
21
This is why Vancouver doesn't shut down during snowstorms. It's not just that great BC beer and cider - it's that they have a metropolitan multi-city wide light rail system which keeps working even when bus lines have problems - using that as spines, most people can eventually get home.
22
i sorta get the feeling that even if light rail does eventually get delayed by weather, it is long after cars and buses start getting delayed. so it's still more resilient than cars/buses.
23
Note, this awesomeness does not apply to the SLUT. It was stuck on Westlake waiting for piles of cars turning right onto Mercer / clogged I-5 NB just like everyone else.

And they have a special crew with a snowplow truck out pouring de-icer and blowtorching the track switches.

http://i.imgur.com/zY52P.jpg

That asshole needs to get his plow & blowtorch working to cover more than a 1.3 mile stretch of bullshit trolley stuck in traffic.
24
I used light rail from Convention Place to SODO station last night - saved my ass. I hoofed it to West Seattle from there in under an hour. Yay light rail.
25
Eli,
Indeed, that is correct. I said as much last night to a friend "Roads and airports may close and autos and buses stall and be abandoned but fixed rail transit keeps moving"

I said that while commuting home on the bus. It took an hour & 1/2 when it usually takes 12 mins. but it got me home all right.
26
Too bad Seatac kept flights coming in past when the Light rail stopped running. That was a fun 4 hours.
27
@5

You're referring to the switches, and you're correct in theory. However, Sound Transit installed switch heaters earlier this year, so we should be able to keep on running through subfreezing temperatures.
28
Trains can be stopped by weather effects, just as buses can. Here in lovely LA, where never a bit of ice is found, the light rail was stopped for half a day this spring when heavy winds blew a tree across the tracks. I've been stranded for 10 hours on Amtrack due to a frozen switch.

And, of course, when a train has an at-grade crossing, it can be blocked by crashed cars....

29
Yes, anything CAN be stopped. That isn't really the question, but which is more reliable.