Talk:Seattle Center Monorail

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Featured articleSeattle Center Monorail is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophyThis article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on March 24, 2022.
Did You Know Article milestones
March 24, 2020Good article nomineeListed
June 14, 2020Featured article candidateNot promoted
April 23, 2021Featured article candidatePromoted
Did You Know A fact from this article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page in the "Did you know?" column on March 24, 2020.
The text of the entry was: Did you know ... that the Seattle Center Monorail began operating 58 years ago today and still uses its original trains (example pictured)?
Current status: Featured article


Please? Ideally one with the other transit on it as well (LINK, SLUT, SOUNDER, etc.) Is it dead and demolished? The page doesn't say, and that is a pretty darn important thing... -Map here still shows it being of 2014. The ridiculous green-line/monorail extension debate ended 5+years ago. --ah, finally, a map: Theblindsage (talk) 03:18, 23 April 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]


i put the $200 per year stat as when people see 2% they think...ehhh who cares. when they see $200 per year (and much more for many people) that's when it really hits how much 2% is.

in person i'd point out that if all five monorail lines were ever built and each cost about the same we'd hit $1,000 per person per year ($4,000 per year if you own a low-end bmw), but that *is* probably too much math.

-Justforasecond 05:31, 23 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hopefully no hard feelings on the 70/75 year bit, I just wanted to make sure we had a source for that figure included. As for the 2% bit, sometimes people forget about the accelerated depreciation tables that are used. The rate you pay drops >5% each year down to a very small value. But turns out it's not FMV like I thought. When the $30 tab law passed the rate for tabs on a 1974 VW Beetle went up, they had previously been $18 or so.
There are a lot more details at the state DoLicensing's Monorail page. I'm going to do another update based on the information available there. Although I may do it over in Green Line (Seattle) since the tax is really a lot more pertinent to that than to the existing (but out of service) Seattle Center Monorail line.
wac tc 06:07, 23 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Ugh this is more complicated than I thought. It's quoted as 1.4% on that site though I was thought it was higher, apparently I was wrong. On the other hand the depreciation tables seem to be a lot higher than FMV-- cars typically drop half their value in 5 years, but that chart has them at 73% of their MSRP after five years....and who *ever* pays MSRP for a car? Maybe we could just quote the $130 number? --

Right now the average annual monorail license charge is $130 annually. "Some people pay a penny, and there are two (people) that pay $12,500," Buchter said.[1]

-Justforasecond 17:08, 23 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've added this information to the Green Line (Seattle) page along with the SMP board estimate for when people will get to stop paying the tax (2006-2007). wac(talk contrib) 21:11, 23 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Just a thought. But shouldn't we mention the economic impact of the monorail. Seems like Westlake mall is taking a beating with it out of commision. Plus, it should be mentioned that it carries something like 17,000 (yeah, I don't believe it either) people a day. Don't make my drunk ass look this shit up, cause I might.--drew1718 11:31, 24 December 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Monorail running again[edit]

I would edit the entry myself, but don't recall whether it started running in July or August.Spazquest 05:30, 8 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Voters and the Demise of the Green Line[edit]

Hey, I thought the voters of Seattle voted down the continuation of the Monorail Project during the same election period as the presidential elections in November 2004, and not November of 2005. I'm referring to a statement made towards the end of the page. Where's the citation? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 02:59, August 14, 2006.

Added citation showing November 8, 2005 as requested.--Bobblehead 15:45, 14 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


[Apparently] a monorail was proposed in Seattle as early as 1910. The linked article has just a teaser on this; someone may want to follow it up. I imagine there are articles and maybe commercial or government documents from the time (or at least more than one picture). - Jmabel | Talk 00:05, 28 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Who designed the monorail? Who built it? How long did it take? What challenges were faced? -- Some ideas for improvement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:54, 11 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Track Length[edit]

I'm not sure where the 1.2 mile (1.9 km) distance comes from, but it is certainly not accurate. It's possible that the number comes from numbers that were quoted a long time ago or from someone who measured the distance using driving directions or something. However, I've measured the track length using a number of different GIS applications and each time I get 0.96 miles (1.54 km), plus or minus a few feet. The distance shown on the page overstates the true distance by almost 1300 feet, which may not sound like much, but for how short the track is, this is off by +25%, which is significant. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Shemtheo (talkcontribs) 20:56, 27 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The page says: "The guideway is just under 1 mile in length at the present day, but when it was built in 1962, it extended beyond Westlake Center and was a little longer than 1 mile.". Also, the page quotes a newspaper saying in 1969: "Seattle's two monorail trains travel only the 1.2 miles between the Seattle Center and Westlake Mall.". Razvan Socol (talk) 06:09, 28 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Popular Mechanics also says (in 1963): "Alweg erected its 1.2-mile Seattle system in a matter of 10 months at a cost of almost $4,200,000.". Razvan Socol (talk) 06:21, 28 October 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Aviation Week vs NYT[edit]

On the supposed conflict of the Aviation Week with The New York Times [2]. I don't see any conflict... (talk) 09:24, 2 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Your edit states that Lockheed built the monorail which is a claim that the NYT article doesn't support (instead, mentioning only Alweg). — Myasuda (talk) 13:58, 2 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Not my "edit." Aviation Week, which is a way more reliable source than myself or anyone else, states that. Still, I don't see any conflict between the two sources. NYT mentioned the operator, AW described the construction contractor. Where's conflict? (talk) 12:52, 3 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If the monorail construction began in 1961 and was completed in 1962, then why do you think a May 1959 article is more reliable? Here's a link [3] which contains four pictures, the first of which shows Lockheed presenting a proposal but (as the caption points out) Alweg Rapid Transit Systems won the eventual bid. —Myasuda (talk) 14:00, 3 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The Seattle government mentions only Alweg, and city ordinances mention only Alweg. Not to mention the prominent branding of Alweg on the monorail vehicles themselves (which isn't a reliable source, but proof nonetheless.
While Lockheed indeed won the bid,[1] they apparently backed out over costs and allowed Alwac/Alweg to step in with their proposal to build and operate the system in 1960.[2][3] SounderBruce 01:31, 4 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ "Monorail Has Been Off Again, On Again". The Seattle Times. January 31, 1960. p. 18. Hopes were high last spring, when the Seattle Transit Commission announced it had named the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. as prime contractor to install a monorail system for the Century 21 Exposition.
  2. ^ Patty, Stanton H. (January 31, 1960). "Lockheed, Swedish Firm Are Rivals". The Seattle Times. p. 1. Alwac International plans to submit a proposal to the Seattle Transit Commission this week. The Transit Commission has been negotiating for the past year with Lockheed Aircraft Corp.
  3. ^ Patty, Stanton H. (March 22, 1960). "Monorail Problem Is Shifted". The Seattle Times. p. 25. The Transit Commission last week voted to drop the Lockheed Aircraft Corp. from the monorail competition [in favor of Alwac].
Nice find! I think this lesser-known "pre-history" of the Seattle Center monorail is worth adding to the article. — Myasuda (talk) 15:36, 4 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I've been meaning to completely rewrite the article as part of my series on Seattle transit. This might push me to accelerate work on it. SounderBruce 23:08, 4 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Thanks for clarifying. That's a way different story. (talk) 09:26, 5 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It says: "reduce the number of vehicles needed to serve the arena". I'm not entirely sure what is meant by that. Maybe something like this? "reduce the number of car trips needed to access the arena" Schwede66 19:20, 6 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Fixed, though I was trying to be inclusive of ride-hailing, since it's expected to play a major role. SounderBruce 19:29, 6 March 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]