KC Light Rail

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Sunday Star Light Rail coverage

Today's Star is jam-packed with great light rail coverage and a "concensus plan" for a starter line. The only thing we'd change is to make sure the publishers leave this special online section active and not charge the typical archive fee. The timing for boosting the discussion is perfect, since tomorrow is the second public meeting where route options will certainly be discussed.

8 Comments so far

  1. Dave October 28th, 2007 9:31 pm

    there will need to be a platform, or some other passenger boarding area where cars can’t go, to meet ADA requirements. that’s why a dedicated lane for the streetcar makes a lot of sense (it would also reduce the potential for train/car collisions and improve travel time).

  2. northlander October 29th, 2007 6:29 am

    In Boston they have traffic lights and the street has painted area for traffic to stop.Some of the route is also underground and you can buy monthly passes.

    So Dave the streetcars don’t seem to be such a bad idea now?
    If a dedicated lane is installed there will be fewer stops. should go three block to have stops[for streetcars] and let the MAX run the express,that how to get your best results. Sone land along Main already has been cleared and would be great for housing{38th St]

  3. Eric October 29th, 2007 12:35 pm

    I notice that the Star did not publish any data on travel times, proposed time tables etc. They also didn’t compare the capacity of light rail vs. streetcar vs. BRT, etc.

    A big drawback with streetcars is you can’t mix them with light rail easily. What if light rail line is built to the airport or Joco? People will have to get off and transfer between the two - unless we go ahead and build the tracks sturdy enough handle both.

    Going with the lighter street system is cheaper upfront, but it sacrifices flexibility in the future and prevents a one-seat ride from the suburbs.

  4. northlander October 29th, 2007 8:32 pm

    Streetcar line is for downtown only [urban part of town] It will take 25 years to pay for it,the cost of Laight rail will problem be to high by then.If we had money you would use the Light Rail to bring people from the suburbs or go to airport. If you have rode LR you would know you make transfers to get to different parts of town,or like when you ride the bus. Light Rail is to big for downtown to fit in with traffic

  5. Kyle October 30th, 2007 11:09 am

    Not sure if anyone has researched this yet but the ONLY manufacturer in the US that makes modern streetcars is United Streetcars which is a subisdiary of Oregon Iron Works. It actually partnered with the vendor for Portlands streetcars, SKODA, to make an All US PRODUCED version.

    The weight of the United streetcar is as follows;
    empty 61600 lbs
    Fully loaded(170 people) 87934lbs

  6. Dave October 30th, 2007 11:29 am

    that’s 170 people standing, about 40 people seated (the same seated capacity as a MAX bus). however, the smoother ride on rails makes it easier for most people to stand for short trips. it would be good to see people get behind full light rail, if only for the capacity improvement. it’s also important to remember that portland’s streetcar makes a slow 8-mile loop in a congested urban environment on narrow streets… light rail does their heavy lifting and serves as the spine.

  7. Mark November 1st, 2007 2:27 pm


    Bombardier and Siemens both maintain manufacturing facilities in the U.S. so they can meet the “Made in the U.S.A.” federal requirements. Both companies have streetcar models. Kawasaki Railcar has a streetcar in development in Japan and has a huge assembly plant in Lincoln, NE where they assemble LRV’s.

    Other foreign manufacturers could easily partner with Oregon Iron Works, Sustraco, etc to manufacture their product here.

  8. northlander November 3rd, 2007 4:45 pm

    Albuquerque’s Modern streetcar is 66ft long and can carry 150 passengers and runs within traffic. Streetcar construction is relatively fast since most utilities generally do not meed to be relocated. Little impact to home/business since one lane will remain open. Modern streetcars run up $3 million to $3.5 million, Vintage Trolley start at $870,000 per car. As you can see we could buy more streetcars and have money left over. I think a mfg is in WI as well, who can rebuild or make streetcars.

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