Monorails of North America

Seattle, Washington
 Opened 1962

 1.5 km

 2 stations

 2.5 million/yr

When it opened in conjunction with Seattle's Century 21 World's Fair, the Seattle Alweg Monorail and the Space Needle were the icons of the exhibition. In fact, the monorail adorned two Life Magazine covers that year. For years, talk of extensions remained just that, but the legacy of the Seattle Monorail to this date is how the world took notice of the technology. If you want to see its influence on other monorails, look at the Monorails of Japan section to see how many monorails have been built using Alweg technology. The two four-car trains are the only remaining trains in the world that were built by the Alweg Company. Obviously, they were built to last. In November of 1997, 93,000 Seattle voters passed the Monorail Initiative to build citywide monorail system. On four separate ballots, voters supported the monorail. However, lack of City Hall support and a controversial debt financing plan resulted in the cancellation of the project in November of 2005.

Visit our Special Features section for photo essays of Seattle Center Monorail

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