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Delve into streetcar details with this track schematic

Simply put, the H Street streetcar goes from Union Station to the Anacostia River. But really its route is more complex.

This unofficial schematic shows the line in much more detail, including where it runs in the curb lane versus the middle lane, where there are track crossovers, and the layout of the railyard.

Schematic by John R. Cambron AKA Sand Box John.

Cross-posted at BeyondDC.

Dan Malouff is a transportation planner for Arlington and professor of geography at George Washington University, but blogs to express personal views. He has a degree in urban planning from the University of Colorado, and lives in NE DC. He runs BeyondDC and contributes to the Washington Post


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Kind of a long way to go between crossovers. I guess the maintenance plan is to just shut the whole line down rather than single track?

by Michael Perkins on Nov 27, 2013 11:43 am • linkreport

That the tracks are laid in mixed traffic lanes kinda reduces the utility of crossovers.

by Froggie on Nov 27, 2013 11:51 am • linkreport

My guess is any serious track maintenance (new wires, replacing track) in the future will be off hours anyways to try to limit exposure to traffic.

by jj on Nov 27, 2013 12:11 pm • linkreport

Since the Streetcar is merely an economic development tool, and not a serious answer to public transit needs, any shutdown will result in minimal inconvenience. In the end, the X2 bus will save the day.

by DMarshall on Nov 27, 2013 1:30 pm • linkreport

I really can't tell what the plan is on the western end/Union Station stop, but it appears to be a single track, single platform station. This station may be modified or simply eliminated when the line is extended westward, but right now there is one track and one platform at Union Station, and it isn't even at the most convenient entrance to the parking garage.

by kinverson on Nov 27, 2013 1:45 pm • linkreport

There is a stop planned I think between the middle of the bridge and the 2nd and H st NE intersection to allow transfers via the bus garage/back entrance to Union. Pretty sure I saw it is some illustration but I can't remember where.

by BTA on Nov 27, 2013 2:06 pm • linkreport

@ Michael Perkins

Take a look at the schematic of the 09 1958 DC transit streetcar system: You will notice there are no crossovers to allow wrong rail movements on the other track.

by Sand Box John on Nov 27, 2013 2:10 pm • linkreport

I agree, rail is stupid. We should have just put in more buses and scrapped the Metro system while we were at it.

by BTA on Nov 27, 2013 2:18 pm • linkreport

Of course, now that I think about it that makes sense

by Michael Perkins on Nov 27, 2013 2:32 pm • linkreport

Rail isn't stupid, but rail running in mixed traffic on congested arterials very well could be.

It would make for a much nicer party shuttle than the X2 on Thursday/Friday/Saturday nights, tho. Too bad it won't be running that late.

by Dizzy on Nov 27, 2013 3:41 pm • linkreport

Any news on hours of service, fare, transferring between Metrobus, Metrorail, DC Circulator

by kk on Nov 28, 2013 12:42 am • linkreport

I guess there's no way to visualize mixed traffic/wasted opportunity in this diagram.

by MetroDerp on Nov 28, 2013 11:36 pm • linkreport

View it on Google Maps and you will see that LRVs/streetcars sharing traffic lanes is just plain stupid. I live in SF where most of the surface rail system does not have dedicated ROW. It's painfully slow. Even though I am pro rail either separate it from traffic or don't do it at all.

by Mark on Nov 29, 2013 4:33 pm • linkreport

it would seem better to make these crossovers all intertied better, and to allow the trolleys to come out down 26ths street and turn either way

by patb on Nov 30, 2013 12:04 am • linkreport

DC had a great strettcar system as late as 1958 with very few crossovers and no emergency single track operation. If a car broke down, the car behind it would couple up and shove it ahead to where it could be gotten off line, at the loop at Wahington Circle for instance on Pennsylvania Ave.

by Martin Van Horn on Nov 30, 2013 10:00 pm • linkreport

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