Greater Greater Washington

Metro debuts new "Rush Plus" map

This morning, WMATA released the final version of its updated Metro map, which shows the new service patterns that start this June. It has some subtle differences from the draft from last year.

Lance Wyman, the man who designed the original iconic map that has served the system for almost four decades, came back to revise this map. The new map, which shows the peak hour service patterns Metro has dubbed "Rush Plus," keeps many of the same elements as the original.

But there are some changes, both subtle and otherwise, since the last version in October of last year.

The National Mall is darker and labeled. The final version of the map shows the National Mall and West Potomac Park (and the White House grounds) in a darker shade of green than the other parks shown on the map. This subtle change might make it clearer to visitors which stations are close to the Mall.

Station names have changed. The new map also introduces a few name changes which the WMATA Board voted on them several months ago. At least one station is getting a longer name: Navy Yard-Ballpark. But this map shows the first effort ever at attempting to shorten names. Many stations will be getting subtitles, and the New York Avenue station will be losing a few characters.

Many other small changes. Metro fixed a few errors in the draft, like moving the bend in the Red Line back to between Van Ness and Tenleytown, and putting the dots on the eastern branch of the Blue and Orange Lines in the center of the lines where they belong. The transfer station symbol for the Silver Line at East Falls Church is gone, and the Red Line stations in Maryland on the Shady Grove side have gotten more spacing.

Below, you can see an image overlaying the October draft atop the final version. In addition to the changes listed above, you can see some shifts in some map elements along with other changes.

Eagle-eyed readers might notice that some of the station names are still closer to their lines than others, and the parking symbols somewhat inconsistently align with either the top or bottom of the text.

More changes are coming

This map will only serve Metro for about 2 years. Another revision will happen when the Silver Line opens in late 2013 or early 2014.

Metro elected not to show the yet-to-open Silver Line running through downtown with the Blue and Orange Lines because it might confuse visitors. Instead, the new map will only show the Silver Line west of its junction with the Orange Line.

But since the Silver Line will run all the way to Stadium-Armory on the east side of the city, Metro will need to redesign the map to add it to the Blue/Orange trunk line. Lance Wyman has already created a draft of that map, but it does leave hope that any bugs with this map can be fixed in the 2014 version.

Consider showing short turns

The initial draft released in September used small dots to show stations where trains sometimes turn, such as Silver Spring and Mount Vernon Square. The October version took these out.


Left: The first draft of the revised map. Right: The final version.

I've felt that WMATA should do more to highlight stations on the map that appear regularly on train destination signs. Customers unfamiliar with the system need to be able to quickly identify the station on the destination sign so they know whether or not the train will take them where they need to go.

Perhaps the forthcoming next version can find a way to show this information that enlightens rather than confuses riders.

What do you like about the Rush Plus map? What would you change?

Matt Johnson has lived in the Washington area since 2007. He has a Master's in Planning from the University of Maryland and a BS in Public Policy from Georgia Tech. He lives in Greenbelt. Hes a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He is a contract employee of the Montgomery County Planning Department. His views are his own and do not represent the opinion of his employer. 

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How sad is it (for me) that the first change I looked for was to see whether they had matched the gaps for the Yellow and Green Lines at Fort Totten. The old map, where they added on the extension of non-rush service to Fort Totten, hit right up against the Red Line line, where the existing Green Line line had the normal Metro map gap.

Short answer: Yes. Yes they did fix it.

Overall, I like the new map (at first glance).

by Joe in Alexandria on Mar 19, 2012 3:17 pm • linkreport

The inconsistent alignment of the parking [P] symbols will drive me nuts every time I see the map.

by yatesc on Mar 19, 2012 3:17 pm • linkreport

Time to take the Beltway off this map. It's a transit map, not a road map. The Beltway was useful orientation when the original system was under construction, but now it's just clutter.

by Ben Ross on Mar 19, 2012 3:18 pm • linkreport

Time to take the Beltway off this map. It's a transit map, not a road map. The Beltway was useful orientation when the original system was under construction, but now it's just clutter.

Eh. I disagree. No one is going to use this for driving directions. The beltway is a useful landmark. And given that the beltway representation on this map cuts through the least cluttered portions of the page and is visually subservient to rail lines, I don't think it really clutters things at all.

by Alex B. on Mar 19, 2012 3:22 pm • linkreport

i think they should have kept the new alignment for the Congress Hts/Southern Ave part of the Green line. also, some of the lowercase L's look messed up.

by jkc on Mar 19, 2012 3:24 pm • linkreport

I wish this was the second draft.

by selxic on Mar 19, 2012 3:29 pm • linkreport

Time to take the Beltway off this map. It's a transit map, not a road map. The Beltway was useful orientation when the original system was under construction, but now it's just clutter.

I disagree with this because I think the Beltway is a reference point that helps gives a bit of a sense of place. True, the map isn't intended to be anywhere close to geographically correct and it compresses some distances (Vienna looks closer to the Beltway than it really is, for example), but I think it's important to remember that the map is not used solely by people who are already in a Metro stop or on a train. People visiting the area, or local residents who don't normally ride the trains but want to go downtown to a museum or something, will be viewing the map online or elsewhere (once upon a time perhaps in the Yellow Pages, but not likely these days), and for them the Beltway is helpful in assessing where they might want to drive to and then park. Someone coming up from Richmond, for example, might be assisted by seeing that Franconia-Springfield is located south of the Beltway.

Essentially, just about everyone in the DC area except MAYBE the most hard-core of the anti-car types knows where the Beltway is. Leaving it on the map may help some people and doesn't reduce the map's usefulness for anyone else, so I don't see any reason why it shouldn't be on there.

by Rich on Mar 19, 2012 3:30 pm • linkreport

Have they changed the Yellow line service so that trains never turn at Mt. Vernon, or did they just not bother to communicate that many do on this map?

by Gray on Mar 19, 2012 3:32 pm • linkreport

@selxic: I completely agree.

The Mall's alignment is pretty poor now with misrepresenting the Archives and Federal Triangle stations as if they were on the mall. If you're going to add geographic clues to a diagram, I think you ought to try to do a better job of making it as geographically accurate as possible (particularly the center stations). This version is chalk full of shoddy alighments.

by 7r3y3r on Mar 19, 2012 3:42 pm • linkreport

They appear to have taken the "H" off of Medical Center, as well as removing the subtitled intersections. I'm conflicted about the latter, which is cleaner, but did give a sense of place for people not familiar with that stop - that is, if they noticed it was ever there to begin with.

On inconsistencies - they also appear to switched from angled to straight lines to designate "under construction" on the Silver Line... except they didn't do the same thing on the legend.

I too would have liked the dots designating short-turn stations, but overall it's seems to be a pretty good map.

by SWC on Mar 19, 2012 3:46 pm • linkreport

The southern Blue/Yellow line is very cluttered with the multiple lines, some solid, some dashed, indicating the border of Alexandria & Fairfax County, and the Beltway. The labelling of "Alexandria" overlaps the Yellow Line, which makes it look like like it refers to the Yellow Line. This is one spot where less lettering would be an improvement. Also, the Alexandria border doesn't continue far enough east to connect with the DC border at the Wilson Bridge.

by ZZinDC on Mar 19, 2012 3:47 pm • linkreport

If they're going to keep the Beltway on there, they should at least label it somewhere. It's just a blank line right now.

by Scoot on Mar 19, 2012 3:58 pm • linkreport

No virtual tunnel between the Farraguts?

by Ward 1 Guy on Mar 19, 2012 4:04 pm • linkreport

On inconsistencies - they also appear to switched from angled to straight lines to designate "under construction" on the Silver Line... except they didn't do the same thing on the legend.

I think the bigger differentiation between future service and peak service is the thin hatching versus the heavy hatching.

The angle of the hatching might be a limitation of the graphics program.

by kidincredible on Mar 19, 2012 4:31 pm • linkreport

I find it intriguing that Metro usually announces when trains change jurisdictions ("The next station is Friendship Heights. Friendship Heights is the final station in the District of Columbia.") but chooses not to mention states in their map. I think that could help tourists and casual riders immensely.

The map may not be intended to be geographically accurate, but the artistic license should not allow it to look so similar in width to East Potomac Park.

by arm on Mar 19, 2012 4:37 pm • linkreport

The map also implies that all yellow line trains will serve Fort Totten, but the website clearly states that there will still be normal rush hour service from Huntington to Mt Vernon Square. The map should note that most trains will not travel north of Mount Vernon Square during rush hour. I'm sure the average customer will see the map and be surprised that in rush hour, only three trains per hour (every 20 minutes) will go from [say] Columbia Heights to King Street. On the other hand, the new orange service seems well displayed.

http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/news/rushplus.cfm?

by arm on Mar 19, 2012 4:53 pm • linkreport

Georgia Ave-Petworth stands out like a sore thumb. Still wish it could become simply "Petworth"... but at least the neighborhood promoters of the blogosphere should be pleased that it will stand out on the map!

by Neighbor on Mar 19, 2012 4:56 pm • linkreport

The beltway, along with the jurisdictional borders are a reference for gauging distance from the city center. In fact, it's common for road maps to draw concentric circles from a central point at set intervals (like a mile) so readers can better gauge distance.

by Falls Church on Mar 19, 2012 5:25 pm • linkreport

Yeah, this would make a great second draft. The minor inconsistencies, the glaring Yellow Line omission, and the lack of short-turn station designations show there is still work to be done.

by OctaviusIII on Mar 19, 2012 5:27 pm • linkreport

I'm in the group who thinks the Beltway should be on the map. The Beltway, for better or for worse, defines the DC Metro area and serves as a map reference for the stations which are inside and outside the Beltway.

The darker green shading for the National Mall is good, but it does make it look like Federal Triangle is on the Mall. The map has two National Mall labels at either end. Clutters up the map a bit, IMO. Should the L'Enfant Plaza label be at a reduced angle so the L'E does not fall on the Yellow Line?

Will the next version of the map for Phase 1 of the Silver Line have a reserved space to insert a station label for the Potomac Yards in-fill station?

by AlanF on Mar 19, 2012 5:49 pm • linkreport

Argh!! Why is U Street STILL shown as being further south than Dupont Circle??? I understand that the map is not to scale, especially for the outlying stations. However, stations in walkable areas should be more geographically accurate since people rely on the Metro map to determine which station to use.

by Adam L on Mar 19, 2012 6:33 pm • linkreport

However, stations in walkable areas should be more geographically accurate since people rely on the Metro map to determine which station to use.

They shouldn't. That's not what the system diagram is for.

by Alex B. on Mar 19, 2012 6:38 pm • linkreport

@Alex B.

Uhh... what the hell are you talking about? A system map should absolutely give an accurate representation of where stations are in relation to one another. There is no earthly reason that U Street station should appear to be further south than Dupont. Someone not familiar with the area would absolutely assume that they wouldn't want to exit at Dupont Circle if they were going to M Street. According to the map that would be more than a 8 block walk! If it was a big deal to fix the FriendTen bend, then I would think this would be a no-brainer.

by Adam L on Mar 19, 2012 7:01 pm • linkreport

A system map should absolutely give an accurate representation of where stations are in relation to one another. There is no earthly reason that U Street station
should appear to be further south than Dupont.

You're right - there's no earthly reason, because it's not an earthly map. It's not technically a map at all, but a diagram meant to help people navigate within the system. It sacrifices geographic accuracy to that end.

Someone not familiar with the area would absolutely assume that they wouldn't want to exit at Dupont Circle if they were going to M Street. According to the map that would be more than a 8 block walk!

That's not what this map is trying to show, however.

There's no such thing as a universal map. Every map must highlight some kinds of information at the expense of other information. The even station spacing is there to help people understand the sequence of stations they will travel through as they use the system - not where they are specifically in relation to one another.

What you seem to be describing is a regular map of the city that also shows Metro. That, of course, serves a different purpose.

by Alex B. on Mar 19, 2012 7:14 pm • linkreport

@Alex B.

Not buying your argument. There is a way, for these two stations, to show how they relate to each other while still showing the proper sequence. If the relation of stations didn't matter at all there would be no reason to even have a map. You could just have a text list of the stations in order.

by Adam L on Mar 19, 2012 7:31 pm • linkreport

@Adam L.

Sure, the map could be more accurate in how the stations relate to one another. I don't disagree with that.

I'm just arguing that it's not of much value. The Metro map will never be a substitute for the kinds of things you want it to do.

by Alex B. on Mar 19, 2012 8:01 pm • linkreport

@Alex B.

I want the location of two stations switched. They're the most inaccurate in the entire map and entirely noticeable given that one of the stations is named after the street its on.

by Adam L on Mar 19, 2012 8:16 pm • linkreport

@Adam L
"They're the most inaccurate in the entire map "

You crack me up! In reality, Shady Grove is four miles north of Glenmont, but the "map" would tell you they're parallel. In reality, it's not a map, it's a diagram. Would it be better if they were adjusted, yes (see one of my earlier comments), is it worth bickering about on the internet, nope.

(I think I may have just became a hypocrite for that previous sentence.)

by arm on Mar 19, 2012 8:40 pm • linkreport

Hate the hospital symbols for all the logical reasons previously discussed on this board, but mostly because they look like they were haphazardly and awkwardly placed in an otherwise orderly map (or diagram...). Also agree that the Beltway should be labeled as it was previously because it takes no space and there's no reason not to...even though its obvious to most people who would find it useful.

Not to be too anal, but the Parking symbols on 90% of the stations align with the top of the text, but there are a few that align with the bottom, most notably Twinbrook, which has no reason to.

by xtr657 on Mar 19, 2012 9:08 pm • linkreport

What about using ALL CAPS for the stations where trains normally terminate? The stations would stand out more on the map.

by Rob on Mar 19, 2012 9:23 pm • linkreport

@arm

No shit. I was relying on previous comment that the outlying stations are going to be obviously out of proportion, but nobody is walking between Shady Grove and Glenmont. Not so for stations within the Beltway.

Bigger point is that others have produced much better, more accurate, and equally usable than this tired 70s creation.

by Adam L on Mar 19, 2012 9:46 pm • linkreport

Can someone answer a question I have wonder ever since they started having trains go to different place at specific times.

For the Yellow lines going to Greenbelt and currently Ft Totten 6:30-9:00 and 3:30-6:00 does the last train arrive at end of the line at 9:00 or 6:00 or does it leave the start of the line.

How much money did WMATA waste on this; this is the type of things anyone could come up with as there are only slight differences that a child could do.

@arm

WMATA calls it a map

by kk on Mar 19, 2012 10:42 pm • linkreport

So why no Hospital sign at Southern Avenue as its about the same distance from United Medical Center as Shaw is from Howard Univ Hosp?

by kk on Mar 19, 2012 10:46 pm • linkreport

@Alex B.

Please explain the Metrobus map that is also 100% accurate; there is no reason they could not use the same map for rail but just take out all streets and buses.

As was said before why do you need a map at all or anything that resembles a map. If you are going to create one it should be accurate or just make six lines colored blue, orange, green, yellow, red and silver and have a list of all stops that they serve beside each colored line.

by kk on Mar 19, 2012 10:59 pm • linkreport

My thoughts:
1) The Orange Line's New Carrollton branch can be stretched more to allow better spacing among the stations and labels. New Carrollton is at the Beltway in reality; make it so on the map.

2) Why do some stations have abbreviations and some full spelling? For Example, see "King St" vs. "Van Dorn Street." Same for "Branch Ave" vs. "Morgan Boulevard." I think this should be standard (with abbreviations being okay). Virginia Square is abbreviated as "Virginia Sq"; all "Square" names are labeled as Sq. So should road/street/blvd/avenue designations.

3) The Orange Line's Vienna branch should be stretched further west to allow for better spacing of the stations and labels.

4) Label the Capital Beltway. I suggest placing labels west of the Forest Glen name and east of the Eisenhower Ave name (with the label not crossing the river).

5) Remove the hospital symbols. Soon we will hear of requests for [H] symbols to be added at Southern Ave (United Med Ctr), Dunn Loring (INOVA Fairfax), and Ballston (Virginia Hosp Ctr). [With that, why is there no [H] symbol at Medical Center Station?]

6) I like that WMATA included the subtitles.

This is a great two-year interim map!

by Transport. on Mar 19, 2012 11:37 pm • linkreport

I agree with some of the suggestions by Matt and in the comments, especially not marking Silver Spring or Mt Vernon Sq as destinations and the alignment of the parking icons. I disagree with the inclusion state labels though--even tourists know that Virginia is south of the Potomac and Prince George's and Montgomery counties are part of Maryland and not DC.

There should also be some consistency with the commuter rail/Amtrak connection icons. In one instance MARC is front of Amtrak, in another Amtrak is front of MARC, and yet in another Amtrak is on top of MARC. I'm also not a fan of the subtitles, since they seem really random; the 'H' symbols are also unnecessary.

Otherwise I think the map was done very well. I especially like how the rush-hour service only segments are designated.

by King Terrapin on Mar 20, 2012 12:59 am • linkreport

Ok so it could be much much worse but I still like Cameron Booth's map the best. It's a nice clean map that gets all the information across concisely while attempting to maintain the style of the original map (quite well too). My big issue with this map are the things that are missing (and already pointed out by many). I also think it was kind of ridiculous to put the hospital symbols on the map (if I'm sick, I'm not counting on metro to get me there!). I'd also like to see the little blue and white symbols for parking. I know it's a minor nitpick but it just seems to be more obvious to me. There are other issues but they've been covered very well in these comments.

by Craig on Mar 20, 2012 7:36 am • linkreport

Man those parking icons are just sloppy. Some line up with the top of lower-case letters, some with the bottom of the line, some not at all!

On the charge that Dupont is misrepresented in relation to U Street (and Shaw) - if you are using this map to figure out which station to go to you're doing it wrong. No part of this map is accurate enough to let you choose between stations. It doesn't have any identifying geography other than the mall - how would you know where you are in relation to everything else?

by MLD on Mar 20, 2012 8:13 am • linkreport

This map doesn't give any indication of the "virtual transfer" between Farragut North and Farragut West. That is in effect, no?

Overall, this is a pretty solid design as far as transit maps go. While I still dislike the thick lines, there are some truly awful transit maps out there and Metro's is actually very clear and well-designed in comparison. Now if only we could say the same about the management at WMATA...

by Rebecca on Mar 20, 2012 9:32 am • linkreport

I'm more worried about the reduced service + fare hikes that are being passed off as improvements.

The reorg means less blue line trains into downtown. Given the overcrowding in Rosslyn & Farragut West stations, that means we will likely be hanging out the windows of the train. It's a bad design - should have 3rd and 4th tracks to allow for "express" trains like they do in NYC, and so a problem in one train doesn't affect the entire system. I often wait 6 minutes for a blue line train now, so apparently I will be waiting 12 minutes for a blue line once this comes into effect, and we'll be paying higher fares in July.

Alternatievly, I could ride into Gallery Place and switch trains. However, switching trains does not improve anyone's commute, and it increases the risk that you will run into a delay, which is already a frequent occurence on one train, let alone two. The point is that WMATA is selling this as a benefit to the system when a large number of riders will be inconvenienced by the change. It is basically a reduction in service coupled with a fare hike, but they are rearranging the trains to make it seem that it increases service for riders. I'd rather drive and with the fare hike, the additional cost of doing so will be negligible. Several other commuters will join me, resulting in further reductions to metro's revenue.

by Skeptical on Mar 20, 2012 1:20 pm • linkreport

@Skeptical
WMATA doesn't need a 3rd and 4th track, it needs more rolling stock. The signaling and train control system is only being exploited to half its designed capability. The signaling and train control system is designed to accommodate 90 second headways, WMATA, at present, barely has enough rolling stock to provide 180 second (3 minute) headway service. Even after both phases of Silver line are opened and all the 7k cars are delivered from Kawasaki WMATA will still not have enough rolling stock to shorten headway below 180 second (3 minute).

by Sand Box John on Mar 20, 2012 2:03 pm • linkreport

@Skeptical

Sure, it'd be great to have express tracks. Nobody was willing to pay for them. If the design had insisted on express tracks, it likely wouldn't have happened at all. This is true of all post-war transit systems. MARTA and BART don't have express tracks either. /The Great Society Subway/ by Zach Schrag talks about some of this.

by Distantantennas on Mar 20, 2012 2:06 pm • linkreport

Looks mostly good.

If a station name is at a 45-degree angle, having its additional properties ("P", "VRE", "H") looks silly. Drop the "H" anyway.

Subtitles look great. Still need to see this on an in-service paper map as clutched by a sweaty tourist to assess its in-field performance.

Glad they put the B30 to BWI label at Greenbelt. I didn't even know about this bus until last year.

The Farragut connection probably disappeared because they didn't want folks looking for an actual tunnel, which of course does not exist.

I never realised how clunky Rock Creek Park looks. It resembles a big frying pan on its end.

"Street" vs. "St" ... spacing, I'm sure.

OT: Would love to see Blue and Yellow Virginia termini switched.

Things are gonna get crazy when Silver opens up.

Helvetica rules.

by Jack Love on Mar 20, 2012 4:22 pm • linkreport

@ Distantantennas

Even if they did not add a 3rd or 4th track is there a reason why they did not leave room for them especially on the groundlevel, aboveground and other open tracks ?

They could have built all new stations with three tracks or room for three just in case but did not.

by kk on Mar 20, 2012 6:24 pm • linkreport

Re: multiple tracks

Honestly, with proper timetable management and planning you don't need three or four tracks throughout the system. A system of express trains can be executed by constructing/retrofitting strategically located Metro stations so that trains can overtake other trains within a station.

For example, instead of two tracks at a station the line would split with local trains going to the platform to offload/board passengers while the limited express train passes on the main line through the center of the station.

Unfortunately, Metro trains aren't as punctual/reliable as Swiss or Japanese trains making this system difficult to implement here in DC. However, it is a solution Metro should consider in the future.

Beforehand, there are cheaper solutions to increase capacity such as more open interiors to accommodate more passengers on a single train as well as speedup the offloading/boarding process (shorter dwell times at stations will also speed up the ride).

The other challenge in implementing this system would be the headways. Ideally, you would want the trains close together so that the one being passed isn't sitting in a station 6 minutes to wait for the trailing one to pass and then get ahead so the local train can resume service.

Here is an example of such a station in Yokohama, Japan: http://www.japaneserailwaysociety.com/oliver/kky/mota.jpg

by Rob on Mar 20, 2012 7:01 pm • linkreport

As kk said, it obviously would have been cost-effective to build additional capacity even if Metro had no way to use it. What possible reason could there have been to do otherwise?

by Gray on Mar 20, 2012 7:13 pm • linkreport

If there is any need for an H to be shown where there are hospitals, I see no need for one at the Medical Center stop. No one can just walk in to that hospital for medical care, if that's what the H is for, and, besides, doesn't "Medical Center" kind of say it already? Since many Hs are missing, and adding the missing ones would create a mess, I think they all ought to be taken off.

by about the H on Mar 20, 2012 9:40 pm • linkreport

RE: Express tracks. If I remember my history correctly, Metro doesn't have express track partly partly because of the expense of the construction, but also because as the 'subway of the future' it would be automated and computerized, and much faster than the old-fashioned pre-war systems, making express tracks & trains unnecessary. The earlier comments about the existing headway capacity (very interesting, thank you) reinforce this thought. Now obviously speed is one thing, and ability to manuever around disabled trains, and the ability maintain service while tracks are repaired, are other issues entirely. On that topic - the Silver Line doesn't include express tracks or (I believe) even the occasional third track to allow trains to bypass, and most of it's length is not in tunnel, and still that project is almost impossibly expensive. What would the Dulles Toll Road tolls have to be to have if that extra capacity were included?

by ZZinDC on Mar 21, 2012 12:17 pm • linkreport

I'm another who likes the Beltway on the map. I've never lived in the DC area. But when I lived in Norfolk I would drive up to DC for a day, park at Franconia-Springfield, and use the Metro to get around DC. If it wasn't for the old map, I wouldn't have known where to park. I'm sure I'm not the only DC tourist who appreciated that aspect of the map.

by Steve K on Mar 21, 2012 10:32 pm • linkreport

Express trains would have been nice, but you have to be realistic: That ship sailed almost 50 years ago when the system was designed. It would be WAY too expensive, INSANELY so, to try to retrofit the existing system now to incorporate express tracks. Consider the cost of the Silver Line, which is mostly either ground-level or elevated (with one small tunnel under the highest point in Tysons Corner). Widening the tunnels, or more likely digging parallel tunnels, to accommodate express tracks would cost many times what it's costing to build the Silver Line. It's just not an option.

What I think was ultimately the more harmful decision was the omission of pocket tracks or sidings. There are very few of them at all and we see the negative consequences every time a train breaks down or is off-loaded during rush hour. With a pocket track you can simply shove the disabled train out of the way and retrieve it at a non-peak period or during the night when the system is closed. But with the minimal number of such storage areas that we have on the Metrorail system, the disabled train blocks the tracks and everyone endures big delays while they have to single-track around it. Bad idea.

Zachary Schrag's very interesting book explains the background for this sort of thing; as has been noted in an earlier comment, the designers were convinced the system would be ultra-reliable and breakdowns and such weren't going to be an issue. Sounds a lot like the promises NASA made in the 1970s about how the space shuttle would be so reliable and cheap that they'd be launching them every two weeks!

by Rich on Mar 23, 2012 11:56 am • linkreport

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