First Hill Line opens in Seattle
USA: A soft launch for Seattle’s second tram line was held on January 23. The 4·2 km First Hill Line connects Capitol Hill with Pioneer Square, serving 10 stops.
Services are operated with seven bidirectional three-section Inekon trams ordered for $30m. These are equipped with lithium-ion batteries produced by Saft that allow off-wire operations, and only the track used when travelling towards Capitol Hill has overhead wires.
There are plans to extend the line at both ends. A northern extension from Capitol Hill to Broadway with two stops is envisaged, and a link from Pioneer Square would connect the line to the South Lake Union Line at Westlake Hill.