New Seattle Center Monorail

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One of my current ideas is for replacement of the existing Seattle Center Monorail with a modern and extended line, along with certain improvements to the Seattle Center.

I am not only interested in a larger monorail system in Seattle, but also in revitalization of the Seattle Center. My ideas include the following:

A REPLACEMENT FOR THE EXISTING MONORAIL — The existing Seattle Center Monorail has served us well from it’s opening in 1962, but I think it is time to replace it with a modern and improved monorail line. The new monorail would use the modern Hitachi system that was planned for the Green Line.

My idea is to build a new monorail that would be a modified version of the portion of the Green Line that had been planned for 5th Avenue. The Green Line design would have roughly followed the route of the existing monorail from the Experience Music Project (EMP) to Virginia Street, where it would have curved west onto Virginia and then south on 2nd Avenue. There would have been stations near 5th Ave. North and Broad St., 5th Ave. and Bell St., and near 5th Ave. and Virginia St.

In my plan, the new monorail would follow the same route south from the EMP but instead of turning west at Virginia St. it would continue south on 5th Ave. to a new station at 5th Ave. and Pine St. The new station would be a modern station on the south side of Pine St. and west of 5th Ave. near where Westlake Ave. terminates. It would be well lighted underneath so that people would be safe, and the station and surroundings would be attractive. Other stations would be at Bell St. and in the Seattle Center, just south of the existing station.

West of the EMP, the monorail guideway would curve to the southwest to the new station just mentioned. From there the guideway would curve to the west along Thomas St., passing the south side of the Center House and further west would curve northwest to another new station just south of Key Arena.

Map of proposed new Seattle Center Monorail

Proposed Route

The Orange line is my proposed route for a new Seattle Center Monorail. Orange circles are the proposed station locations. The green line represents possible route extensions that could be the beginning of a Green Line monorail. Note the transfer point at the Key Arena Station. A switch just south of the Key Arena Station would permit trains to go either way. The two routes would share the short segment between the switch and Key Arena Station.

KEY ARENA IMPROVEMENTS — I would like to see an improvements to Key Arena. However the improvements should be such that the Arena would be used for more events. The net income of the Arena should be self-supporting. The new and extended Seattle Center Monorail should improve attendance to events at the Arena.

THE MONORAIL MUSEUM — As mentioned previously, my plan for the new Seattle Center Monorail includes a new station just south of the existing station at the Seattle Center (in order to accomodate the line curving to the southwest to pass to the south of Center House). The old station could be preserved as a maintenance base and also be used for a new Monorail Museum, that would not only display the old trains of the current monorail along with various momentos and displays of that line, but also photos and other displays of monorail history, technologies, and other monorail systems around the world.

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©2007 Robert M. Fleming Jr.

This page was last updated on 20 March 2013

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