Seattle — Second Line to Open in 2015
Seattle's Department of Transportation will open its second modern streetcar line later this year and The Oregonian of Portland gave its readers a preview. It says the South Lake Union Inekon cars eventually will be put up for sale when a link is made between that line and the new First Hill line, which will require battery power for the downhill part of its route. Portland is interested in buying the non-battery equipped South Lake Union cars at some future date.
According to The Oregonian, The South Lake Union Trolley has helped spur a huge redevelopment in Seattle's bustling South Lake Union District, which extends from the Westlake Mall to its namesake lake more than a mile to the north.
Seattle will open its second modern streetcar line later this year. Track and wire are in place, but the six cars ordered for the line are not yet complete, so no formal launch date has been announced. The new Inekon cars will operate in one direction on battery power, a capability also being used on a soon-to-open modern streetcar line in Dallas.
The planned Center City Connector line will connect the South Lake Union and First Hill lines along First Avenue. When it is done in three or four years, the four cars currently on the South Lake Union line will no longer be usable as they do not have the battery propulsion feature. So those cars will be offered to sale, with Portland as an interested potential buyer.