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City-News Archive

Seattle [US] - Trolleybus system prolonged

J. Lehmann - 31.05.10

Service on routes 14 and 36 was extended as planned, to serve new "Link" light rail stations, on 19th September. However, trolleybuses did not operate on route 36 until 21st September due to unrelated roadworks. The new route 14 wiring extends from 31 st Avenue and
McCIellan Street to and from a new "Mt.Baker Transit Center", which also opened on 19th September, the off-street portion of which is also served by three bus routes. It is located about 80 yards east of the Mount Baker light rail Station and trolleybuses serve it as a quarter-mile double-run en route to and from Mt. Baker terminus. There are three roadways, all westbound, but only the centre one is fitted with wiring for route 14. It has twosetsof wiring, but normally only that dosest to the kerb is used. There is also new non-revenue wiring linking the new section with nearby route 7, and this is used by route 14 depot journeys. Route 14's overall service level is unchanged, being every 15 minutes at peaks and 30 minutes off-peak, from 05.00 until 01.00, every day. However, the last three journeys of the day, those leaving
the city centre after 23.30, daily, now terminate at Mt. Baker Transit Center. The one-mile route 36 extension, from Beacon Avenue and Myrtle Street eastwards to the Othello light rail Station ends in a round-the-block loop via Othello Street, 38th Avenue, Myrtle Street, ML King Jr Way and Othello. The wiring runs alongside the light rail line
for the one-block section on MLK Way. The layover point is on Myrtle Street, about 130 yards west ofthe Station, and is fitted with a
set of passing wires. At the route's former terminus, just south of Jefferson Park, the last 375 yards of wiring along Beacon Avenue, from Myrtle St to Othello St, are no longer used, but have been left in place, and connected-in to the new wires, for emergencies. This extension is enabling a phased expansion of trolleybus usage on route 36. Previously, alternate daytime journeys on the route, and all evening service, extended well beyond the wiring, to Rainier Beach, and were operated by buses. That route section now has been taken over by a
bus route, and all route 36 journeys terminate at Othello Link Station. All evening, and weekend service, is now trolleybus-operated, and eventually this will extend to Monday to Friday daytime. However, whilst about half of the route's journeys continue across the city centre to become route 1 to Kinnear, and are worked by trolleybuses, the remaining journeys terminate in the city centre and, Monday to Friday daytime, there is inadequate Provision of wiring in the city centre for all trolleybuses, not just route 36, needing to layover there. Therefore, until
the construction of two new passing sidings on Virginia Street, which is planned, about one third of route 36 Monday to Friday journeys undertake a manoeuvre involving the use of unwired streets, and are thus operated by buses.

This news is taken from the Trolleybus Magazine (No.282 and 281), with the kind permission of the editor. The Trolleybus Magazine is published every two months and reports worldwide about the trolleybuses.

Martin Schmelter, 26.05.2010

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