Seattle is undertaking an ambitious transportation project, which isn’t surprising because this isn’t something that Seattle has shied away from in the past. The city already plays host to four of the longest floating bridges in the world. Seattle is now working on the world’s first floating passenger train. Construction on this project has already begun so it’s not like the idea hasn’t jumped off of the drawing board as yet.
Local transit agency Sound Transit is building the world’s first floating passenger train. It’s a light rail project so it’s a passenger train that’s going to serve local traffic. It aims to complete the project on a floating bridge over Lake Washington by 2023.
This project is part of a $3.7 billion plan to develop a light rail corridor to connect Seattle with Bellevue, Washington. The bridge will support two pairs of 300 ton trains that will be capable of traveling up to 55 miles per hour.
This is going to be a very challenging project. Sound Transit expects 50,000 people to ride the train daily. If an unfortunate incident were to occur where a train went off the bridge’s tracks, it would result in the entire carriage sinking 200 feet to the bottom of the lake. There isn’t any room for error.
Two dozen giant pontoons will be connected to form the buoyant. They will be anchored to the lake bed with steel cables to protect the floating bridge from rocking if there are strong waves and wind.