Greater Greater Washington

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A cheaper route to Metro core capacity?

Metrorail will reach its capacity by 2030. The Orange Line is already just about maxed out in Arlington. We can build light rail, BRT, streetcars and other modes to relieve the pressure, but Metrorail will remain the fastest and most desirable mode. The separate Blue Line would relieve some of the pressure, allowing for more trains through Rosslyn. However, a new Potomac tunnel and subway across DC would cost billions. If we can't fund that, is there a cheaper way?

How about separating the Yellow Line instead? The Yellow Line plan Dave Murphy suggested last week, and some of your comments, suggest a possibility. If we separate the Yellow and Green lines in DC, then Metro could put many more trains over the 14th Street bridge. According to Metro planners, this option would involve building a shorter subway tunnel from the 14th Street bridge to the Convention Center along 9th Street.

While the tunnel at Rosslyn is already at its capacity, the 14th Street bridge isn't, because all its trains must merge with Green Line trains from Branch Avenue. Metro can squeeze a few more Yellow Trains in if they reduce Blue trains, but not that many. If the trains didn't have to compete with the Green Line, the 14th Street bridge could carry many more trains from Virginia.

The new Yellow Line could connect to Green, Blue, and Orange at L'Enfant Plaza, stopping on a new platform just west of the existing station. Metro already wants to link Metro Center and Gallery Place with a walkway; the new line could stop along there as well to connect to all other lines.

For the other two stations, walkways probably aren't necessary. We could give them different names (Convention Center West?) However, the stations are extremely close to the existing ones, unless we put them in different spots. One advantage of lining them up and even giving them matching names is night service. When the Yellow and Green Lines are running at low frequencies, it would make more sense for Yellow trains to merge with Green, as they do today, to give each station more service (and save money by closing some entrances).

While this plan mostly benefits Virginia, it does do some good for DC and Maryland as well. The Green Line south of L'Enfant won't be able to carry more trains, even as development picks up in the Capital Riverfront area and, hopefully, in River East and Prince George's County one day. A separate Green Line would let all stations benefit from more frequent service. Finally, ending the Yellow Line at Convention Center always leaves open the possibility of extending it through DC and into Maryland along some route one day.

One big question mark remains. Yellow Line trains also have to compete with Blue Line trains for space between Pentagon and King Street. If we add trains over 14th Street, they have to go somewhere on the other end. How would we handle service on the Virginia side? I've come up with two possibilities, which I'll show tomorrow. What can you come up with?

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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The Yellow Line can have 2 terminus's --- Huntington and Franconia --- or if one was extended further south, only service with Yellow and keep Blue ending at its current locations

by coneyraven on Jun 29, 2009 12:43 pm • linkreport

Yes!

by Paul S on Jun 29, 2009 12:49 pm • linkreport

Paul: Quite right. I've added a mention of your comment as well.

by David Alpert on Jun 29, 2009 12:54 pm • linkreport

At the moment, I have three questions nagging my transit maps, which always seem too likely to pose additional options for me to publicize:

1) Has any planning exercise ever brought up the possibility of a bridge or tunnel across the Potomac at Fort Totten?

2) Light rail cars should work underground about as well as Metrorail cars, correct?

3) What process do you go through to get the graphics looking so close to the official WMATA map?

by Squalish on Jun 29, 2009 1:05 pm • linkreport

Additionally regarding the Yellow Line separation: This opens up the option, if a three-way junction could be constructed just past Pentagon (a difficult construction job) for the Silver Line to take the path of the blue past Cemetery and the Yellow for the rest of the route up to Silver Spring and White Oak, handily maximizing the 5-trains-per-12-minutes capacity of the area tracks.

by Squalish on Jun 29, 2009 1:13 pm • linkreport

A tunnel at Ft Totten? You must mean something else.

by цarьchitect on Jun 29, 2009 1:20 pm • linkreport

If you split the Yellow & Green lines, the new line through D.C. should serve Union Station. Future increases in MARC service are likely to create another choke point on the Red Line between Union Station and Gallery Place.

by Ben Ross on Jun 29, 2009 1:25 pm • linkreport

A 9th Street line would have to go deep since the Convention Center garage is currently under 9th Street. Go to 9th next to the Convention Center, note the expansion joints in the road and feel the road tremble whenever heavy vehicles go by. The engineering is possible, but even more expensive than just a regular subway line.

by crin on Jun 29, 2009 1:27 pm • linkreport

Here's a very rough diagram of how it could work out, peak-scheduling wise:

by Squalish on Jun 29, 2009 1:32 pm • linkreport

Tsarchitect: doh! Fort Belvoir, of course - concentrating on two things at once is never pretty...

There's a disassembled rail spur there already, I was wondering how difficult it would be to cross the Potomac, and perhaps include some dedicated freight rail bypass of the city(being debated for nearby Indian Head, which would be a considerably longer bridge in more delicate terrain) in the deal on a second pair of tracks.

by Squalish on Jun 29, 2009 1:39 pm • linkreport

I apologize if I missed this in the original post, what happens to Yellow line service north of Mt Vernon Square during non rush hours? New tunnels and platforms would be an enormous investment only to use for six or-so-hours a day.

by Steve on Jun 29, 2009 1:42 pm • linkreport

@Ben Ross - I think that really depends on whether the separated Blue line is also part of the plan. If that Blue line upgrade is not part of the long term plan then the separated Yellow line does needs to hit Union Station. Otherwise a Blue/Yellow transfer around the convention center should be fine...

by Paul S on Jun 29, 2009 1:43 pm • linkreport

please correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't traffic on the VA side of the yellow line pretty low?

by charlie on Jun 29, 2009 2:21 pm • linkreport

Great idea, but we're calling that new station "Blagden Alley", not "Convention Center West".

by Chris Loos on Jun 29, 2009 2:33 pm • linkreport

The only thing about a bridge at the Fort Belvoir latitude is that the Potomac is wide and needs to stay navigable, so any bridge would have to be really tall or otherwise be a tunnel, so it'd be pricey vs. ROI.

by цarьchitect on Jun 29, 2009 2:39 pm • linkreport

Wouldn't it make sense to run a new yellow line up a major N-S thoroughfare in that part of DC? 14th street comes to mind. From U St down to the mall, there is no rail service on 14th, arguably the biggest N-S thoroughfare of central DC.

The new trunk line could stop at Jefferson Memorial, the holocaust museum/monument area, the White house (with a tunnel connection to metro center), intersect the orange/blue at macpherson square, head up to thomas circle, logan circle and then rejoin the green line on U St, heading up to columbia heights.

A line hitting all those locales would see heavy traffic. That would shorten the tunneling needed (maybe 3-4 miles), create a new badly needed metro corridor, and give the greenbelt bound blue trains somewhere to go.

by staypuftman on Jun 29, 2009 2:47 pm • linkreport

Using this plan, wouldn't the answer on the Virginia side be to route all or almost all rush hour trains from Springfield and Huntington over the Potomac River bridge? This would greatly reduce or eliminate rush hour service to Arlington Cemetery. Also you'd essentially have to route the Silver Line to Largo during rush hour. I would envision either no service to Arlington Cemetery during rush hour or maybe 3 tph from Springfield to Stadium-Armory (and just have Silver Line trains go to Largo). This way service in the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor would be up to either 23 or 26 tph and the sum of service to Vienna or through Tysons Corner could be just as high. You could have 10 tph Huntington to the Convention Center (just as there is now) and another 10 tph from Springfield to the Convention Center, thereby retaining the current level of service there while allowing greater service on the Green Line and Rosslyn-Ballston corridor.

by Mario on Jun 29, 2009 3:52 pm • linkreport

The Yellow Line could be ran parallel to the Green line perhaps straight up

14/16th streets
1st/north capitol streets

or more easterly via NE DC

In any of these cases stations along the current route such as Columbia Hgts, Georgia Ave and U street could be split among the lines.

A line running up Georgia Ave could serve Shaw, Georgia Ave and many new station inbetween while the Yellow Line could serve U street, Columbia Hgts etc. If they had enough to waste on spliting the yellow line they would certainly have enough to build more stations.

We should have a North-South Line that does not go either East/North/West/East or North/West/North/West/NorthEast/Due East

by Kk on Jun 29, 2009 3:59 pm • linkreport

IMO this thing is quite the boondoggle. Billions of dollars for a new downtown subway in between 12th and 7th Sts? Who ever complained about a lack of Metro service there???

The Green Line doesn't need any more relief routes...it already has one (the Red B line). The Blue Line split is the top priority, and then after than a relief route for the Red A line needs to be considered.

by Reza on Jun 29, 2009 4:22 pm • linkreport

@Reza - Metro is also about economic development and developing new corridors for density.

by Paul S on Jun 29, 2009 4:30 pm • linkreport

Interesting idea, though I don't see how this would exactly relieve that Rosslyn tunnel problem. Most of the blue line trains that go through the tunnel are "relatively" empty compared to the orange line trains that go through the tunnel. The people that take the blue line instead of the yellow line usually do so not because they want to avoid crowds on the yellow line, but instead they want to get to a place like Metro Center or Farragut Square without changing lines at L'Enfant Plaza. On top of that, I complaints about the busy green/yellow lines aren't usually as frequent or as loud as complaints about the Orange line. (though I live in Arlington, so I almost never ride the Green or Yellow lines except when I'm going to U Street or Columbia Heights).

Maybe a combination of the two could work? I dunno - construct the alternate yellow line but then turn headed west around Pennsylvania Avenue and go along M street to Georgetown then back to Northern Virginia. Or, alternatively head east to union station then to the H Street NE? That way more stops could be built and the new tunnel would roughly follow existing busy corridors.

by Max D on Jun 29, 2009 4:36 pm • linkreport

Actually, by sending more trains from Alexandria and beyond across the Fenwick Bridge (more Yellow trains) --- that would alleviate congestion at Rosslyn when the silver opens...also, by sending Yellow in new service up 14th Street, I believe, is a smart idea, it can join in for Columbia Hts with the Green, then, head further north towards Silver Spring, or perhaps, intersect with Silver Spring, and head northeast up Columbia Pike towards White Oak and Burtonsville -- you know the folks in Columbia will bite on this one.

by coneyraven on Jun 29, 2009 4:49 pm • linkreport

It's my understanding that the biggest capacity issues are on the Orange and Red lines. I'm not quite clear on what this proposal does to address either.

Building a new river crossing and tunnel for the Blue line enables more trains to be run on the Orange line, as does routing some Blue Line trains across the bridge from the Pentagon. What does adding capacity to the Yellow line do?

by Esmeralda on Jun 29, 2009 4:50 pm • linkreport

Coneyraven (and others) - I agree that more blue line trains should be taken off their current path and travel from Franconia to DC via the Fenwick Bridge. That would add significant capacity to the Orange Line and Silver Line. The argument, however, was that an additional tunnel should be built to accommodate new yellow line trains, and I don't think that that would be the best investment Metro should make, expansion wise, right now.

by Max D on Jun 29, 2009 4:56 pm • linkreport

There seems to be the same question about how this can relieve capacity issues on the Rosslyn Tunnel. There is a limit of roughly 26 tph (trains per hour) for any given tunnel or other double tracked segment. Now, the Red Line has its own track that it doesn't share with any other line, so I'll ignore it for this analysis. Currently trains from Branch Ave, Huntington, Springfield, and Vienna/ West Falls Church (those coming from the south or west, green, yellow, blue and orange, respectively) have to use the 7th Street Tunnel (that's what I'll call the Metro tunnel under 7th Street) or the Rosslyn Tunnel to get downtown. That sets a limit of about 52 tph for those 4 lines combined. Currently Metro runs about 10 tph on the Blue, Yellow and Green lines and 16 tph on the Orange line. That's a total of 46 tph. 26 tph on the Rosslyn Tunnel and 20 tph on the 7th Street Tunnel. That means the Rosslyn Tunnel is at capacity while the 7th Street Tunnel has some capacity to spare (BTW, the interlined Blue/ Yellow through Arlington and Alexandria also has some capacity to spare at 20 tph but there are no plans to increase service there). Currently there are plans to make use of the extra capacity on the 7th Street Tunnel by replacing Springfield to Largo runs with Springfield to Greenbelt runs (via the Fenwick Bridge and the 7th Street Tunnel), the so-called "Blue Line Split". Up to about 6 tph could go from Springfield to Greenbelt. The plan is to keep service to Springfield and between the Pentagon and King Street at current levels (10 tph and 20 tph, respectively). Only Arlington Cemetery would see a reduction in service. The up to 6 tph that would no longer be going through the Rosslyn Tunnel would leave capacity to run up to 6 tph from either Vienna or West Falls Church (or Ashburn, Dulles Airport, or Whiele Avenue in the future) to Largo (they'd have to run to Largo to maintain service levels between Benning Road and Largo). This allows for an increase of service levels between Vienna and/or West Falls Church and Rosslyn to up to ~22 tph max.

Now let's consider the possibility, as in this post, of adding another downtown tunnel that would somehow to connect to at least one of the lines coming from the south or west mentioned earlier. If such a tunnel was built, total capacity from the south and west would be about 78 tph instead of just about 52 tph. Let's consider a shorter version of the new Blue Line from Rosslyn to only the Convention Center (with a walkway connecting a station at M & Connecticut to Farragut North) and the proposal in this post. In either case we can maximize capacity by keeping all service from Springfield and Huntington on the same route after they merge at King Street (going to the Convention Center via the new tunnel, whether under M or 9th). This results in the Orange Line (or the Orange/Silver Line) not having to share the Rosslyn Tunnel. This means that there could be up to about 26 tph running on the Rosslyn - Ballston corridor (compare that to 22 tph with just the "Blue Line Split"). Note that this also results in the Green Line no sharing any track with another line. In both cases, the maximum capacity would be ~26tph for Blue/Yellow (Springfield or Hungtinton to Convention Center), ~26tph for the Green Line (Branch Ave to Greenbelt), and ~26tph for Orange or Orange/Silver (Vienna or Ashburn to New Carrolton or Largo). Either way it tends to increase overall capacity more than capacity for the Rosslyn-Ballston corridor, but it does increase capacity there. One note is that maximizing capacity with a seperate Blue Line would result in no service over the Fenwick Bridge (I'd see that as unlikely to ever happen since only demand in SE DC on the Green Line for more than about 23 tph would justify not having any service over the Fenwick Bridge) with a new tunnel under the Potomac used instead, while with the proposal here, the Fenwick Bridge would be used to capacity (if maximizing capacity).

I do see that this proposal would cost less than even a shortened new Blue Line (since it utilizes a shorter tunnel), but, on the down side, would not increase the immediate service area for Metrorail (the area could to Metrorail stations).

by Mario on Jun 29, 2009 6:04 pm • linkreport

Squalish, your proposal to route the silver line that way is impossible without a lot of work.

by NikolasM on Jun 29, 2009 6:05 pm • linkreport

how bout this for the Silver Line Path...a new 3-way junction at Rosslyn (above ground if more cost effective)...a new 3 way junction at Pentagon, and a third new 3-way junction at L'Enfant with the Silver then continuing on the Green Line to Anacostia. In the future, the silver line could split off at Anacostia down 295 to National Harbor.

The most costly one would be the new 3-way south of L'Enfant, as it would have to be cut-and-cover construction.

But regardless, this would be a cheaper way to take advantage of the underutilized Yellow Line Potomac bridge, the under-used Blue Line at Arlington Cemetery, and the underutilized Green Line Anacostia River crossing.

Thoughts??

by stevek_fairfax on Jun 29, 2009 7:37 pm • linkreport

NikolasM -
Care to elaborate? I was figuring maybe $1-1.5B to reconstruct Rosslyn station for another approach and put in a Pentagon bypass(or simply a pocket turnaround track), plus however much is necessary for a new Yellow tunnel across the city (what, $5B or so to get to Silver Spring and another $2.5B to White Oak running in a semi-cut-and-cover median?).

I'm just pointing out that if you're considering a pricy deep-tunnel separated yellow line as the basis for Metro expansion (rather than a separate blue line), doing some a little trackwork to max out the two river-crossings at 10 trains per 12 minutes makes sense. Right now there are seven trains crossing the Potomac every twelve minutes. As the original post has it, you've still got only eight or nine trains crossing the Potomac every twelve minutes (depending on whether you split the Blue).

A Separated Blue could handle 10 trains / 12 min as well.

I'm assuming, of course, that the track switches and train control program can handle (or be made to handle) this safely - a big assumption.

---
stevek_fairfax -
I examined that possibility about six months ago as one of the only viable ways to handle the Silver Line without a Separated Blue, and indeed found several pocket tracks and three-way junctions have been identified by WMATA to study (damned if I can find the PDF for it though). My idea involved the Silver using the rest of the Green Line track - focusing on the minimal-investment option necessary to handle a large Silver Line ridership without crippling the rest of the system.

Potential problems included:
If the switching/train control really isn't up to it, this greatly increases the number of line merges WMATA has to do;
Difficult near-surface tunneling in watery ground at Pentagon & Washington Channel;
The fact that if you want to make these 3-way junctions cheaply, they have to completely bypass the station;
The need for a new transfer station at East Potomac Park(not much of a problem);
The end of the "only 1 transfer necessary to any destination" policy that Metrorail currently uses (not much of a problem)

by Squalish on Jun 29, 2009 11:12 pm • linkreport

Another cheap way to relieve Metro's core capacity is to invest in run-through service for the two regional commuter rail services, MARC and VRE:

http://www.vre.org/about/strategic/StratPlan_Sect5.pdf
(see pdf page 13)

Allowing MARC trains from Maryland to continue past Union Station and onto L'Enfant Plaza, Crystal City and Alexandria and run more frequently would divert passengers from the most congested segment of the red line between Union Station and Metro Center/Gallery Place. It would convert many drivers to transit riders by creating faster, one-seat rides from Maryland to many more places of employment.

I would also like to see a MARC infill station and Fort Totten.

by Delegate Al Carr on Jun 30, 2009 5:28 am • linkreport

Al: that may help some with the Red Line downtown, but it does very little (if anything) for the Orange Line and the Rosslyn Tunnel.

by Froggie on Jun 30, 2009 7:04 am • linkreport

"Al: that may help some with the Red Line downtown, but it does very little (if anything) for the Orange Line and the Rosslyn Tunnel."

Froggie, commuter rail run-through service would certainly relieve the Orange Line. There are some Maryland residents who currently take MARC to Red Line to Orange Line and would gain a one-seat MARC ride (example - Rockville to L'Enfant). There are also Virginia residents who currently take Orange/Blue to Red line and could switch entirely to commuter rail (example Crystal City to Silver Spring).

http://www.mtamaryland.com/marc%20plan%20full.pdf

by Delegate Al Carr on Jun 30, 2009 7:31 am • linkreport

Al: are there really people who take Blue Line trains for the movements you describe, when the Yellow Line does the same thing shorter and quicker?

That's why I find it hard to believe that "thru trains" on the commuter rail side will relieve the Orange Line, when the Yellow Line is the main line for those movements (Union Station to L'Enfant/Pentagon/Crystal City/etc).

by Froggie on Jun 30, 2009 8:54 am • linkreport

Froggie,
You are right. The Yellow Line would be quicker for those movements.

by Delegate Al Carr on Jun 30, 2009 9:21 am • linkreport

Thanks.

Don't get me wrong, though...thru running commuter trains is something that makes sense. I just don't think "relieving the Orange Line" is one of the arguments that can be used to support it.

by Froggie on Jun 30, 2009 10:30 am • linkreport

Interesting comments, everybody. A couple thoughts:

I think a separate yellow line is not a bad idea, if ridership and TPH can warrant it. It would be great if it eventually continued north to Silver Spring, perhaps up Georgia avenue (there's already a planned streetcar on this route). But there's already reasonable redundancy in that region through Ft Totten. Even better might be if it cut across through Adams Morgan and then on toward Bethesda. That would give us better east/west transit options inside of the Purple Line route and outside of the separate blue line, and some redundancy over that very long stretch of western red line.

I like the idea of building three-way intersections around Rosslyn, Pentagon and L'Enfant, and I think it's long overdue (they work really well on the BART in SF, though they also have four parallel tracks through some sections). And it could make a great deal of sense to route Silver Line trains through National Cemetery to L'Enfant and Nationals Stadium.

On the other hand, the tracks at Rosslyn and Pentagon are configured with one rail above the other to allow trains to avoid crossing each other's tracks, and it will probably be tricky and costly to connect them the other direction. South of L'Enfant plaza, it would probably have to be a three-way level crossing intersection, not the greatest for throughput. And in each of these cases, trains would need to completely avoid the current transfer station. Silver Line trains would go Clarendon -> Court House -> Arlington Cemetery -> Jefferson Memorial (isn't it about time?) -> Waterfront. Probably not the best for ridership.

But if DC is going to get into the business of building new lines parallel to existing lines, what this region REALLY needs is express service. A split Yellow line should skip Navy Memorial, for instance.

But Al is right: the most cost effective option for express service and additional core capacity is to look more closely at MARC and VRE services. MARC already provides an "express service" to New Carrollton, Silver Spring, Rockville, College Park and Greenbelt; VRE provides it to L'Enfant Plaza, Alexandria and Franconia-Springfield. Let's focus our effort there.

If there was a train once every 15 minutes or less from Rockville or Greenbelt through to Franconia-Springfield, that would solve a large chunk of our capacity problem, and it would be felt throughout the entire system. The only lines not directly effected would be the western Orange and Silver lines and the southern Green line, but capacity adjustments elsewhere could relieve these lines somewhat.

Of course, the rail lines have a capacity problem as well, and it is largely due to through-freight trains. CSX just built a third track on the Virginia side, but a more southerly Potomac bridge would be better to route trains around the city. MARC has talked about adding a third track to the Brunswick and Camden lines, but that's likely to be difficult, and they still need a dedicated storage facility at Union Station.

But most of the freight trains that roll past Silver Spring are headed from West Virginia toward College Park or Baltimore and back. Why didn't Maryland build a couple of tracks parallel to (or instead of!) the ICC to allow these trains to avoid fouling the tracks around Union Station? This would have freed up all of rail lines in the city core for passenger service, shortened freight runs and may even have allowed MARC service from Baltimore to Frederick.

But alas. Keep dreaming...

by Andrew on Jun 30, 2009 11:21 am • linkreport

Very good ideas you all have there. @Squalish, how about a new Gold Line between Pentagon and Bethesda? It would address the need for a connection from SoArl to Union without the hassle of capacity constraints on the tracks south of Union. It would run as @DavidAlpert described on some other posts. The yellow would be rerouted under 10th instead of 9th to avoid problems with the Convention Ctr garage, as @crin noted. It would then run under K west to 16th, then up 16th to Colesville Road then up that with a transfer to the Red Line at Silver Spring up to White Oak. The Gold Line would run under L Street with transfers to Waterfront and Navy Yard stations, then up 2nd SE/NE to Massachusetts and have a transfer to Union then up North Capitol and west under Michigan and Columbia Rd with a transfer to the Yellow and Green lines at Columbia Heights, then down with a station at the original Adams Morgan crossroads with a future connection to Woodley Park station, then up Calvert St and Massachusetts Ave with a station at American University/National Cathedral (Ward Circle) then up 46th and Western (deep bored to head underneath Red Line tracks north of Friendship Heights (no station) up to a terminus at Bethesda. This increases capacity at the downtown transfer stations for more outer-edge commuters to avoid extreme crowds at Metro Center, Gallery Place, and L'Enfant. The new line will also serve more communities previously inaccessible by Metro. A separated Blue Line would also be beneficial (or should I say absolutely essential) to compliment the new line. The line, however, would use Pennsylvania to swing down fron M to L for a shorter walk at the Farraguts to transfer. It would also be closer to Mt Vernon Sq itself than the current station closest to Mt Vernon Sq (transfer there). Then the Blue would swing down NJ then to Massachusetts with a station at Union. But instead of running down H/Benning, the Blue would swing south under 2nd NE/SE with a transfer to the Gold at Capitol North (Union as well). Then run under East Capitol with a station at Lincoln Park and a 4 track transfer (6 track counting the double track Silver under Benning(it's a terminus too)) to the Orange and Silver lines bordered by the western Anacostia riverbank, Oklahoma Ave and Benning Rd. The Blue Line would then continue on it's current route to Largo. BTW, I want a separated Silver Line, too. No modifications to the route under construction and in design along the Dulles Corridor, but build separate tracks for the Silver line between 267 and Fairfax Dr with a bored station at East Falls Church deep enough to not create problems on Sycamore Street, but shallow enough to be reachable by a short-medium escalator from the current mezzanine. (i would just continue the shaft of the current elevator to serve the Silver Line. Then the Silver Line would run along I-66 beyond Fairfax Dr to where US 29 runs adjacent to I-66, then the Silver Line tracks would bore under to align with Key Blvd and a transfer at Rosslyn to the separate Blue and current Orange stations. Then cross the Potomac and underneath H to a transfer to the Farraguts and to a transfer to Metro Center and the same station to Gallery Place and a transfer to a future Yellow Line station below 10th St between G and H. Then straight east with a transfer to all other lines at Union Station. It is here an Airport Express would terminate on it's own tracks. The Airport Express would run on the same tracks as normal Silver Line trains from Union to just North of where the Silver Line splits off from the Orange Line. Then they would get their own tracks and bypass Tysons and run Express all the way to Wiehle or Reston Town Ctr, then Express again to Dulles Airport. They might even use the previous option of an underground station
at Dulles for the Airport Express terminal. The Orange, Red and Green Lines would retain their current alignments at least as far as I know. This proposal would actually create a non-continuous lopp without the hassle of capacity on other lines feeding the loop originally proposed by Metro. That's all. :)

by YoungTransitSupporter on Jul 20, 2014 7:23 pm • linkreport

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