SEATTLE (AP) -- A day after a fire trapped about 100 passengers aboard one of the city's monorail trains, proponents of a new monorail line said a multitude of safeguards on the proposed train would help prevent such emergencies.
The new 14-mile Green Line remains in its development stage, but a spokeswoman with the Seattle Monorail Project said a safety committee has long been in place to consider necessary emergency equipment and options.
``The new train is going to be a lot safer than the 40-something-year- old version,'' Natasha Jones said.
The city's current two monorail trains, the Red and Blue trains, remained out of service Tuesday as authorities tried to determine the cause of Monday's fire on the Blue Train near the Experience Music Project.
Dozens of passengers were evacuated but no one was seriously injured.
Monorail spokesman Perry Cooper said the fire was the system's first since the trains began running for the 1962 World's Fair.
Jones said development of a new $1.6 billion monorail has included extensive research by a safety committee, with ongoing recommendations from Seattle police and fire officials to ensure the line meets stringent federal safety standards.
City Fire Marshal John Nelsen, who already was advocating emergency escape walkways _ steel-mesh platforms beside the tracks _ told The Seattle Times the fire convinced him to make them a requirement.
``I think walkways are a done deal. This incident solidifies the argument,'' Nelsen said.
So far bidders have been allowed to propose alternatives, ``the fire marshal gets the final say,'' said Joel Horn, the project's executive director.
Preliminary investigation found an accidental short in the Blue Train's electrical motor, Cooper said. Additional outside engineers have been called in to check out both trains and help determine what caused the short.
Cooper said he had no dollar estimate for damage to the Blue Train nor an estimate on when the trains would resume running.
With passengers trapped 20 feet above ground, emergency officials pulled the second monorail train alongside the burning one and began ushering them onto it. Smoke began wafting into the second train, though, and firefighters eventually evacuated people by ladder.
A key feature on the Green Line will be temperature sensors. Jones said they'll be placed throughout the trains and will cause its drive system, including its motor, to shut down ``before it reached a dangerous heat level.''
In case of an evacuation on the new monorail, Jones said more emergency exits will be available. A walkway will run the entire length of the system, while stairwells will be placed every 2,500 feet.
The highest point on the new tracks will be 125 feet at the Ballard Bridge crossing the ship canal connecting Elliott Bay to Lake Union. Most of the track will be 30 to 40 feet high.
Jones said the new line also will differ from the original monorail in that many of the materials that will be used to build the new trains are fire retardant. Seats will be covered with nonflammable, nontoxic fabric. In addition to placing fire extinguishers and smoke detectors throughout, she said each car will be equipped with 24-hour video monitoring and two-way communication.
``So if a situation is developing on board, passengers can contact the central command center,'' she said.
The new monorail line, scheduled for completion in 2009, would extend between Ballard and West Seattle through the downtown area and carry as many as 69,000 passengers a day.
The original monorail runs from Seattle Center to downtown.