“Before entrepreneurs in Seattle won fame selling computer software or takeout coffee across the globe, the city’s vision of Century 21 soared on monorails,” writes Mike Linblom for the Seattle Times.
“Elvis rode the elevated train here during the 1962 World’s Fair, as did 8 million other visitors. The German-built rail cars, whooshing on pneumatic tires from Seattle Center to downtown, demonstrated how people might transcend surface traffic jams in the future.”
A public celebration is underway today, March 29, at Seattle Center Station to mark the 60th anniversary of opening day, March 24, 1962.
The article includes more history of the monorail as well as insight into the current state of the monorail in a rapidly growing city in a rapidly growing region. There is a new bundle of money headed to the monorail for station upgrades, for example, as the system is popular among fans of the Seattle Kraken MLS club.
“State lawmakers provided an initial $5 million toward station upgrades in the new $17 billion Move Ahead Washington package, and the monorail receives periodic train-maintenance grants by the Federal Transit Administration,” reports Lindblom. “That follows $7 million private funds spent last year on renovations, mainly by the arena’s owners.”