Seattle Center Monorail 2010 - a Photo Essay
Page Six of Six
Another Monorail Society Exclusive!

Commentary by Russell Noe' & Kim Pedersen

All photos copyright The Monorail Society

Kim: With the ceiling surface pealed away, it becomes very apparent that the body structure is similar in nature to that of modern aircraft.
Russ: The ALWEG Monorails have steel frames with aircraft-style bodies. The weight savings allow these 48-ton trains to carry a 36-ton passenger load! This is a 75% load to empty-weight ratio, one of the highest achieved on rubber-tired transit vehicles, even today!!

Kim: All new wiring and a new footboard await installation of a new driver station, just like the Blue Train. Say Russ, what happened with the old ALWEG-built consoles?
Russ: The Blue Train drivers consoles escapes to the scrap pile. Red Train’s two consoles have been saved and will be displayed in museums. ‘Seems fitting.

Kim: And here you have a photo of Russ and yours truly shaking hands over the transfer of the Red Train D-Car’s operator console. Thanks to Russ’s wonderful idea, Seattle Center Monorail generously has donated this console to The Monorail Society’s growing artifact collection.
Russ: There is no more appropriate place for it to reside! We believe this is the console that Elvis was photographed with!

Kim: Before the 12-hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area to Seattle, I had measured and re-measured the back of our van to make sure the console would fit. I think I pestered Russ more than once for confirmation on the measurements! Still, this was the big moment where surprises might have popped up. Nope!

Kim: After moving the console away from downtown Seattle for the first time since the trains arrived from Germany in 1961, the first Monorail Society members to have a look were our longtime friends, Patrick and Karen Engle of Seatac. Karen wasted no time and jumped onto the driver seat for a close-up look.
Russ: Kids will be kids!

Kim: Our sincere thanks to all the great folks at Seattle Monorail Services for this fantastic addition to our artifacts. Most notably I’d like to thank Tom Albro and Russell Noe’ for making it happen. My current plans are to start a list of our displayable artifacts, then perhaps post them online with an invitation to reputable rail museums for their display in a section devoted to monorail. In a perfect world, we might even be able to start our own Monorail Museum at a USA urban monorail. This was once a possibility with the now-defunct Seattle Monorail Project.
Russ: Not to be confused with the continuing operation of the very successful Seattle Center Monorail.
We are reportedly the USA’s ONLY publically-owned transit system that operates at a profit for the tax-payers!! It can be done. And how ironic that it’s a Monorail.

Kim: More than likely, if new monorails are built in the USA, their technology will be traceable back to the ALWEG monorail of Seattle. Seattle’s monorail eventually led to ALWEG-based monorails in Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates and India. We end our 2010 Seattle Photo Essay with this nice photo of SMS General Manager Thomas Ditty driving the Blue Train on another trip after over 1.1-million miles of travel on this train alone.
Russ: With the Half-Century birthday of this Monorail System coming in 2012, we are preparing for the next half-century of operation of this ALWEG Monorail System!

Seattle Center Monorail 2010 - Photo Essay page One / Two / Three / Four / Five / Six

/ back to the Special Features Page