This Space for Rent

The new Seattle monorail people are idiots.


Alweg put a demonstration monorail line along fifth Avenue in Seattle for the 1962 worlds fair, and it’s been running from downtown Seattle up to the fairgrounds ever since. The monorail loonies have been pushing to put in a bigger monorail system in Seattle ever since (a good idea) and have finally got a plan, money (that’s not ripped off from the so-called light rail system that’s allegedly being built), and city approval of the route. And they’re going to include the demonstration line!

Well, no. They’re going to run their line down Fifth Avenue, and it’s going to be a straddle-beam monorail, but it’s not going to use the same beam design so they’re going to scrap the existing monorail line and replace it with brand new track that the Alweg cars can’t run on.

Now that’s a compelling argument for putting in monorails. Rip out something of some historic significance, something that works and that has been working safely for 40 years, and replace it with some incompatable modern crap that won’t allow the old vehicles to even use it.

Idiots. They’re all idiots.

An Alweg at the downtown station

Update: Yes, I know that some trolley lines in the United States started off their construction by ripping out perfectly good railroad track and then putting their own track down where it used to be (I’m looking at you, Los Angeles), but you can run old streetcars on this track without any trouble (except the occasional pothole-like jar as the tramway profile wheels bounce in and out of flangeways. But in Portland, where we’ve got a multitude of new streetcar lines, we’ve also got 3 new wooden trolleys that are running on PCC trucks that were used to move 6000-class EL cars from place to place in Chicago. But they don’t look like Disney toy cars, so I can understand why nobody would like them.)