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RonO's Ramblings

Aug. 14th, 2009 02:10 pm Light Rail Realization

The other day (probably yesterday, but it might have been Wednesday) while waiting for the shuttle to take me to the commuter train, I realized some interesting facts about my personal ridership on light rail or metro systems (not counting commuter, intracity and sight seeing trains):

I've ridden on light rail in every country I've ever been in, except Mexico and India.

I've ridden on exactly two systems in every country but the US, Mexico and India:
Japan: Sapporo Subway, Osaka Subway.
Australia: Melbourne Trams and Sydney Monorail
UK: Glasgow "low level" trains, London Underground ("Tube")
Canada: Toronto subway, Montreal Metro

In the US I've ridden quite a few more:
Chicago CTA, Seattle Monorail*, Atlanta Marta, San Diego Trolley, Philadelphia Subway, Disney World Monorail*, NCTD Sprinter (San Diego County), Disneyland Monorail*

* Indicates systems that are more tourist attractions or theme park rides than practical transportation, although all 3 do work to get someone from place to place, and I've used all 3 as such.

For what it is worth, I've also ridden on some "heavy" rails:
Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad (twice), Durango and Silverton Scenic Railroad, Chicago Metra, Amtrak (Southwest Chief, Pacific Surfliner), NCTD Coaster (San Diego County)

If my current travel crystal ball holds, I'll probably not get any more light rail systems for the next few years: next year I'll just be repeating systems in Australia, I don't expect to use light rail in Reno, Chicago would be a repeat, as would either Glasgow or The Docklands, and I don't think San Antonio has light rail.

Of course, if Japan wins Worldcon for 2017 and we can somehow afford to go, that would likely add some Japan systems to my log. An unexpected business trip could also add systems depending on where I were to end up. But I'm not expecting any at least not in my current position.

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Date:August 14th, 2009 10:20 pm (UTC)
If you ever make it back out to Seattle, we've got a real light rail system out here now, running from downtown to (almost) the airport. It'll get the final leg all the way to the airport by the end of the year.

Eventually, they are looking at expanding it all the way North to Lynwood. I've not heard anything about rail out toward Bellevue or Redmond, though.
Date:August 14th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
I did notice it last year on one or both of my visits, and that it was working towards the airport (which was hard to miss since the stanchions were already crossing the freeway from I-5 to SeaTac). But with the time I had to spend, I only ended up riding the monorail either to get from downtown to the Seattle Center or from the Seattle Center downtown.

Getting good light rail up and down the West side would be very helpful -- getting it connected to the East side would be even better.