Takoma tiles a success for Metro
For the past four months, riders on Metro's Red Line have been able to notice a new kind of flooring at DC's Takoma station. Installed as a part of a test to see how well the new material would hold up, the new, larger pre-cast concrete tiles are located at the far northern end of the platform, where they are exposed to the elements. Metro announced yesterday that the test has been successful, and these tiles will soon be coming to other stations whose floors are in need of replacement.
Since 1976, Metro has been using a terra cotta-colored, hexagonal glazed tile. This design feature has long been one of Metro's common design themes which help to unite the architectural experience. Unfortunately, these tiles have not held up well under outside conditions. Metro reports that one of the reasons for platform deterioration at exterior stations has been caused by water seeping through the tiles and damaging the underlying structure.
The new tiles are made of concrete. They are square, but are cut to appear hexagonal. Each slab is larger than the traditional seven-inch hexagonal tiles rail riders are used to, reducing the permeability of the platform surface. These tiles should do a better job of protecting the platform supports in addition to being safer for passengers. They will be less likely to come loose as the current tiles are wont to do, and have the added advantage of being less slippery. The new tiles are just as easy to keep clean as the old tiles, but require less upkeep. Additionally, the uniformity of design which is unique to Metro will be maintained.
These tiles will be installed soon at other Metro stations where decades of snow and rail have taken their toll. The rehabilitation of platforms with these tiles is expected to occur this fall. All future Metrorail platform construction and rehabillitation, including the Silver Line to Tysons and Dulles, will use the new pre-cast concrete tiles.
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