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Weekend video: Can you outrun the train?

We've all probably run to catch a train at one time or another. But have you ever gotten off a train, and then ran to meet it at its next stop? One man in Paris attempted to do just that.

He is running between Cluny-La Sorbonne and Odéon trying to catch the same westbound Paris Metro 10 train he just got of off. Despite having to cross a busy road and even falling down at one point, he manages to catch the train.

Are there any Metro station pairs that one could make this trip?

Steven Yates grew up in Indiana before moving to DC in 2002 to attend college at American University. He currently lives in Southwest DC.  


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How about Gallery Place-->Archives? Down hill, only a couple cross streets, and the trains go pretty slowly from one to the next.

Biggest hurdle two levels of platform at Gallery Place to get up.

by ah on Jan 26, 2013 1:14 pm • linkreport

Farragut West to McPherson?
Federal Triangle to Smithsonian? (too many tourists)
Archives to Gallery place?

by Julien Williams on Jan 26, 2013 1:30 pm • linkreport

I dunno about outrunning a train, but I've been able to outbike the 9A Metrobus between Pentagon and Huntington. Beat it by 6 minutes.

by Froggie on Jan 26, 2013 2:38 pm • linkreport

I bike faster from Georgetown to Crystal City than GUTS and metro can go.

by Jasper on Jan 26, 2013 2:47 pm • linkreport

Bike version for Glasgow here.

It ought to be possible to find a bike-able one in DC.

by Urban Garlic on Jan 26, 2013 3:43 pm • linkreport

I can walk to work faster than our University campus shuttle can get there. It's a mile-long walk, but the bus route is just too long to make it worthwhile, except when the weather sucks.

by Chris on Jan 26, 2013 4:38 pm • linkreport

Walking is competitive with the D6 bus.

According to the timetable it takes 58 minutes to go from 7th and E to MacArthur and Q. Google Maps has that as 3.8 miles for walking. That's an average speed of 3.9 MPH -- a brisk walk.

The timetable is optimistic (or even fictional). The last time I rode that route it took 90 minutes. That's not even a brisk walk. The bus runs every 20-25 minutes at rush hour, so if you have to wait for a bus it's even worse.

by contrarian on Jan 26, 2013 4:41 pm • linkreport

@ contrarian -

Wow, I had to read the timetable myself to believe it.

Like molasses.

by Frank IBC on Jan 26, 2013 5:45 pm • linkreport

Are we ignoring the obvious route of Gallery Pl to Metro Center on the Red Line?

by Xavier on Jan 26, 2013 11:31 pm • linkreport

I think the struggle that DC metro would have with this is the depth of the stations... this video shows that the Paris trains are shallower, more like NYC's subway... Gal Pl to MC would be tough because of all the hurdles to get to/from the platform. Which is why I'm going to try to do it with an inbound Red Line Train from Dupont to Farragut North. That'll be fun!

by David F-H on Jan 27, 2013 12:07 am • linkreport

I think I'd have a good shot at beating an in-bound green line train from Navy Yard to Waterfront-SEU if I got off at the right place and timed it for maximum crush after a Nats game.

Also, I think the last red line train of the night might wait at Metro Center for 10 mins to allow passengers to connect from other lines. That should be enough time to sprint to Farragut North.

by rengade09 on Jan 27, 2013 1:42 am • linkreport

When I read the headline, I expected one of those videos where cars race trains to a crossing. (One of the few times when a tie is the worst possible outcome!)

by aces on Jan 27, 2013 2:05 pm • linkreport

I'm more impressed with this:

by CoHi on Jan 27, 2013 4:33 pm • linkreport

Another race between man and train.

Don't worry, all ended well, except for a bit of yelling.

by Frank IBC on Jan 27, 2013 5:08 pm • linkreport

Has anyone else here run up a down escalator coming out of a crowded station platform?

by Frank IBC on Jan 27, 2013 5:09 pm • linkreport

I bet I could run between Friendship Heights and Takoma and make the same train, or even an earlier one. It's a little different challenge since it's taking the arc on a horseshoe route, and maybe what it illustrates is the need for the purple line more than anything else.

Another one would be running the blue line between Arlington Cemetery and Smithsonian, or Pentagon to L'Enfant Plaza. A fast runner could make the same train, or beat it, but it's again taking the arc of a horseshoe portion of the route.

by Will on Jan 27, 2013 7:09 pm • linkreport

The downtown stations are close together, so you might think that with a 1 minute or longer dwell at each station you would have a chance. But the gotcha is, the serpentining exits mean that it will almost always be two or more minutes entering and exiting each station.

I'm with Will... Friendship to Takoma. That's a 35 minute or so train ride, and shortcutting the U while running could do it, it's 4.4 miles by my pedometer.

There's a metrobus that goes from Friendship to Takoma, but really, walking is about the same speed or a little faster at rush hour. I have walked that whole route in about 75 minutes, and I know the bus in rush hour can take more time than that. All those stops, all the traffic.

by BO on Jan 28, 2013 1:28 am • linkreport

My reaction to this video was damn, those Paris Metro trains wait for a LONG time at stations.

Not counting any sort of delay (large crowds after events or the 10 minute transfer hold late at night) I think the only place you might be able to do this between one station and the next is Gallery Place (9th & G) and Metro Center (11th & G). I'm not even sure how feasible that is - as someone pointed out, even these stations are much deeper than the Paris Metro (which is basically right under the street).

by MLD on Jan 28, 2013 9:12 am • linkreport

There's a driver on the Rosslyn-Dupont Circulator who drives as if her foot is off the accelerator and the only thing moving the bus is the transmission being engaged. I'm pretty sure I could walk backwards faster than that bus.

by Falls Church on Jan 28, 2013 9:37 am • linkreport

@ Falls Church, yep, I know that lady. On nice days I get off at City Sports, then walk down M st, and usually beat her to the four seasons. And that is NOT during rush hour or heavy traffic.

by charlie on Jan 28, 2013 9:47 am • linkreport

Thanks for posting this cool video. Have to give it the guy. He stumbled and took a spill but he pulled it off very smooth.

This is kind on topic...

Benning Road (Blue) and Minnesota Avenue (Orange) are really not far from each other... a 15 min walk or so. You could bike it in 5 mins.

by John Muller on Jan 29, 2013 12:47 am • linkreport

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