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How'd you do in week 2 of whichWMATA?

On Monday, we posted our second photo challenge to see how well you knew Metro. I took photos of 5 stations and we asked you to try to identify them. Here are the answers. How well did you do?

We got 23 guesses on this post. One commenter, Justin, got all 5 correct. Excellent work, Justin! Another 4 commenters got 4 right.

Image 1: Silver Spring.

Over 75% of you got the first one right. This is an inbound Red Line train arriving at Silver Spring. You can see the Lenox Park residential tower in the upper left corner, which seemed to help several of you find the answer.

Image 2: Braddock Road.

The second image is a picture of Braddock Road, taken from a southbound Amtrak train. Only 5 of you got this one right, but most people made educated guesses based on the railroad tracks visible in the foreground. I thought this one would be easy, since Braddock Road and King Street are the only two stations with this roof design (3 people guessed King Street).

While WMATA does have a few unique stations, most fall into 8 basic designs. Knowing which design elements are present could help you get the right answer in the future. The devil (and the answer) is in the details.

Image 3: Gallery Place.

The third image is of the lower level of Gallery Place. Eight of you guessed correctly. Another six guessed either Metro Center or L'Enfant Plaza, which were also great guesses, since the three downtown transfer stations have a similar layout.

One commenter, Justin, gave his reasoning for picking Gallery Place over the other two:

It's underground transfer, which makes it Gallery Place, Metro Center, or L'Enfant Plaza. There's a red transfer dot, eliminating L'Enfant Plaza. There are four lines of text on the wall, and the second line is small. If it was Metro Center, the second line on the Virginia side would be longer for Silver Line, and there wouldn't be one on the Maryland side, since Silver/Blue both go to Largo.

Image 4: New Carrollton.

This picture is of the eastern entrance to New Carrollton. One distinct feature of this station is the extra-wide overhang on this side of the station. It's the result of a provision for a bypass track into the railyard here that was never installed. Six of you got this one.

Image 5: Greenbelt.

This one did prove to be the hardest: only four of you got it right. But I'm impressed. Everyone gave it a good go and made educated guesses.

This is a sign at Greenbelt in the pedestrian tunnel that links the faregates to the Lackawanna Street entrance and the MARC Camden Line platforms. At Greenbelt, the Camden Line platform for Baltimore (eastbound) is only accessible from this tunnel. The only other place where that happens is in Rockville (2 of you guessed Rockville).

At New Carrollton (3 guesses) both MARC tracks are on an island platform, so there's no need to distinguish between directions. Silver Spring (2 guesses) does have split tracks, but both are accessed from a bridge that is off WMATA property.

I think one thing that threw people off was the "westbound." But remember that MARC (and before it, the B&O) considers both the Camden and Brunswick lines to run east-west. Baltimore is railroad east of Washington and Brunswick is railroad west. If you pull up a Camden or Brunswick line schedule, you'll see they refer to trains as eastbound and westbound.

Next Monday, we'll have 5 more photos for you to identify. If you want a sneak peek, you can follow me on Instagram. Thanks for playing!

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 Department of Transportation. His views are his own and do not represent those of his employer. 


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I guessed Silver Spring for #5 but wasn't really satisfied with that answer. I always thought both tracks at Greenbelt were accessed from the north side of the station with an at-grade crossover like at Rockville - I've only been to the Lackawanna Street side of Greenbelt once and I guess I didn't notice the internal access point.

My reasoning for #3 was that the really short second line of text on the wall sign had to be a station subtitle, and it must be "Chinatown" since neither of the other underground transfer stations has a subtitle.

by Peter K on Apr 23, 2014 2:56 pm • linkreport

I guessed Silver Spring for #5 but wasn't really satisfied with that answer. I always thought both tracks at Greenbelt were accessed from the north side of the station with an at-grade crossover like at Rockville

You are confusing Greenbelt with the stealth MARC station, College Park.

by Richard on Apr 23, 2014 5:01 pm • linkreport

Yessssssss :-)

by Justin..... on Apr 23, 2014 5:04 pm • linkreport

To add the distinction between the lower levels of the 3 90 degree transfer stations:

The angle at the base of the coffered arch in Gallery Place is not as steep as in Metro Center, in L'Enfant Plaza it is vertical and there are no coffers above the light troff.

Bradock Road was easy because of the retaining wall on that side of the station.

by Sand Box John on Apr 24, 2014 8:01 am • linkreport

Jeez, I missed them all. I can't believe I ignored the fact that GP (and others) are transfer stations and two levels. Ugh. I feel like a rube.

by RDHD on Apr 24, 2014 8:15 am • linkreport

Well I got 4 out of 5, so I'm happy. Gallery Place was the really challenging one for me (I picked L'Enfant Plaza).

The rest were easy though, especially the first two which I recognized immediately (can't miss that fugly roof at Braddock Rd/King St). If it wasn't for first hand experience I might not have gotten the last two, but I've ridden both Metro and MARC from both Greenbelt (when I was at UMD) and New Carrollton (when I grew up nearby) a ton of times.

These photo challenges have shown how bad I am at recognizing underground stations. All of my misses, (except NoMa) have been underground stations...

by King Terrapin on Apr 24, 2014 10:37 am • linkreport

Actually, the Greenbelt tunnel would be a great place to park bikes if it weren't prohibited. Just toss them over the rail -- between the rail and wall -- and lock up. Bike liking between rail and wall only. Wouldn't interfere with the rail for those who need rail for walk assistance, and would be out of the way for blind etc.

by Greenbelt on Apr 24, 2014 11:38 am • linkreport

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