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  #1461  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2022, 12:19 AM
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I don’t really see the feasibility of looping the entire Blue line, especially considering that there isn’t designated termini for layovers and rest for the train engineers.


Not having a terminal station for train operator changes or layovers is not a big deal. Brentwood and Alexandria yards have platforms for making mid run operator changes or layovers, as many operators begin their runs from those yards. A Blue line loop would likely have a platforms at the yard that will built to service the cars that operate on the line.

Many of the stations in the existing system have facilities for train operator changes or layovers as they were temporary terminals during build out of the system. Silver Spring, Rhode Island Avenue, Wiehle - Reston East and Mount Vernon Square to name a few. A Blue line loop will likely be built out over multiple phases and will be fitted with terminal facilities at those temporary terminals.
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  #1462  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2022, 6:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cambron J View Post
@wanderer34
I don’t really see the feasibility of looping the entire Blue line, especially considering that there isn’t designated termini for layovers and rest for the train engineers.


Not having a terminal station for train operator changes or layovers is not a big deal. Brentwood and Alexandria yards have platforms for making mid run operator changes or layovers, as many operators begin their runs from those yards. A Blue line loop would likely have a platforms at the yard that will built to service the cars that operate on the line.

Many of the stations in the existing system have facilities for train operator changes or layovers as they were temporary terminals during build out of the system. Silver Spring, Rhode Island Avenue, Wiehle - Reston East and Mount Vernon Square to name a few. A Blue line loop will likely be built out over multiple phases and will be fitted with terminal facilities at those temporary terminals.
I look at the proposed Blue Line loop and wonder who will use the loop from Alexandria, especially considering that the Yellow Line is the main line from Alexandria to the Waterfront and Mount Vernon. My main concern with the circle line isn’t so much that it’s shaped in a circle but that there’s no layover and when you have a mass transit line, you need termini not necessarily to change the engineering and conducting crew, but to give the train some layover time (usually 10 min), rather than stopping and leaving every minute at every station, which would be a drawback if a circle line were ever built and operated, as well as giving commuters enough time to reach their train and find an open seat before the train departs to the commuter’s destination.

I still say the circle is wishful thinking and that the Blue Line would be much more effective with a pair of termini only because whether a bridge is being built over the Potomac or a tunnel underneath it, is going to cost a lot more money considering that the Potomac is the widest south of DC. And what about the structures and dwellings on the VA side. It looks like in order to connect the Yellow line to National Harbor, you may have to demolish some structures for a seamless connection between the two points.

I fully support the expansion of DC’s Metro and even the DC Streetcar system, but I also like to see concrete planning and if it takes demolishing houses and structures just to connect National Harbor and Alexandria, then I’d oppose only because the city and area planners should’ve had the foresight to see how DC’s Metro should’ve grown and what direction it should take
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  #1463  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2022, 4:31 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is online now
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Originally Posted by Qubert View Post
My personal proposal would be making the Silver line run express under I-66 after East Falls Church then under K st with stops at Foggy Botton, Farragut, McPherson Sq, Mt Vernon Sq, then turn south under Captial St NW, then turn down Massachusetts to stop at Union Station (thus relieving the Red Line), continue south down 2nd St NE/SE and then turn down L st SW with stops at Navy Yard and Waterfront, then take over the Yellow Line bridge and replace the Yellow south of L'Enfant to Huntington.
I like this concept. I had the idea myself, years ago, to express the silver line from East Falls into the district. The only flaw I see in your description is that if the Yellow Line is to be deleted from the map, the Silver Line can't interline at all with the Green Line tracks through L'Enfant Plaza. There would have to be a separate platform built in its own station box somewhere adjacent or below the existing station box.

Having the Silver take over the Yellow would enable the Green line to be forked toward either terminus, if there are any viable expansions, enabling the yellow color to return.

Last edited by jmecklenborg; Nov 29, 2022 at 2:07 PM.
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  #1464  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2022, 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
I like this concept. I had the idea myself, years ago, to express the sliver line from East Falls into the district. The only flaw I see in your description is that if the Yellow Line is to be deleted from the map, the Silver Line can't interline at all with the Green Line tracks through L'Enfant Plaza. There would have to be a separate platform built in its own station box somewhere adjacent or below the existing station box.

Having the Silver take over the Yellow would enable the Green line to be forked toward either terminus, if there are any viable expansions, enabling the yellow color to return.
I believe that once the DC Metro first got constructed back in the 1970s and 1980s and the DC Metro started as all local, that was the template that the Metro went by due to DC’s land area size (61 sq mi), and as a result, all lines in the DC Metro provide only local service. Not denying that making the Silver Line into express service is better, but the template for the Metro has already been set, and the Google Maps links I just provided show that the Silver Line from Metro Center to IAD has a similar ETA as WTC and JFK in NY and Union Station and ORD in Chicago. I believe that people should be happy that the DC Metro finally has a connection to IAD, as well as having the second best mass transit system only behind NY, and that WMATA should concentrate on further expanding the Metro within DC and the metropolitan area
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  #1465  
Old Posted Nov 28, 2022, 10:35 PM
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Originally Posted by wanderer34 View Post
.... and the Google Maps links I just provided show that the Silver Line from Metro Center to IAD has a similar ETA as WTC and JFK in NY and Union Station and ORD in Chicago. I believe that people should be happy that the DC Metro finally has a connection to IAD, as well as having the second best mass transit system only behind NY, and that WMATA should concentrate on further expanding the Metro within DC and the metropolitan area
We are happy the Silver Line has finally reached the premier int'l airport for DC but your defense of lack of express service based on travel times for CBD to airport rapid rail services in NYC and Chicago is a weak one, if not a bad faith one altogether. JFK does not have a premier first-world express airport rail link, with air passengers dumped off at Jamaica to change to the E train or LIRR for the rest of the journey to Manhattan. Nor does Chicago with a truly pitiful time it takes the Blue Line to pull into ORD from downtown. When compared to international expectations, the lack of a true express or very limited stop rapid rail link to JFK should have NYC officials and the MTA hanging their heads in shame. Airtrain...give me a f***ing break. NY is an global alpha city...it's inexcusable, and LGA has no link at all. Chicago isn't quite alpha city and while a rapid rail link to ORD is good, it too deserves a limited express dedicated rail link to compete with its global peers. Which brings me to DC. It isnt just some random metro. It's our nation's capital...its seat of government... The wealthiest nation on the planet should have made it a priority to roll out a red carpet for both domestic and foreign visitors in not just a rail link to the airport but a truly swift and impressive express train to the heart of the District. The trip from Dulles terminal to Mall should take about 12 minutes not an hour plus. Thats what would have impressed the citizens of this country and the world. Many unfortunately will decide a cab is a better option even with potentual traffic and that is a very unfortunate outcome for such an opportunity the Silver Line presented.
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  #1466  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2022, 12:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
We are happy the Silver Line has finally reached the premier int'l airport for DC but your defense of lack of express service based on travel times for CBD to airport rapid rail services in NYC and Chicago is a weak one, if not a bad faith one altogether. JFK does not have a premier first-world express airport rail link, with air passengers dumped off at Jamaica to change to the E train or LIRR for the rest of the journey to Manhattan. Nor does Chicago with a truly pitiful time it takes the Blue Line to pull into ORD from downtown. When compared to international expectations, the lack of a true express or very limited stop rapid rail link to JFK should have NYC officials and the MTA hanging their heads in shame. Airtrain...give me a f***ing break. NY is an global alpha city...it's inexcusable, and LGA has no link at all. Chicago isn't quite alpha city and while a rapid rail link to ORD is good, it too deserves a limited express dedicated rail link to compete with its global peers. Which brings me to DC. It isnt just some random metro. It's our nation's capital...its seat of government... The wealthiest nation on the planet should have made it a priority to roll out a red carpet for both domestic and foreign visitors in not just a rail link to the airport but a truly swift and impressive express train to the heart of the District. The trip from Dulles terminal to Mall should take about 12 minutes not an hour plus. Thats what would have impressed the citizens of this country and the world. Many unfortunately will decide a cab is a better option even with potentual traffic and that is a very unfortunate outcome for such an opportunity the Silver Line presented.
I think providing a rail connection to Dulles airport is secondary to allowing continued growth of the Dulles corridor, Reston, and Tysons, with the latter two become dense, walkable, mixed-use communities.
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  #1467  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2022, 2:45 PM
jmecklenborg jmecklenborg is online now
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
The trip from Dulles terminal to Mall should take about 12 minutes not an hour plus.
One way to create a four station bypass in the future would be to build rail in the Dulles Toll Rd. around Tyson's. That 2-mile bypass doesn't make any sense right now because there aren't any free slots in the scheduling of the triple-interlined Orange/Blue/Silver section of Metro.

There also appears to be space in the I-66 median between the silver line junction and the tunnel portal to create a third express track without having to dramatically alter the expressway. From the tunnel portal into DC things get much more complicated, however.

I think that the "ultimate solution" would be a new four track subway in the district with the Blue Line as the local and the Dulles Airport silver line express as the express. The Dulles express would skip 4 stations at Tyson's, 4 in Arlington, 7 beyond Tysons, and 2-3 in the district. So approximately 16-17 stations would be skipped between Union Station and Dulles, cutting 30~ minutes off the transit time.
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  #1468  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2022, 4:32 PM
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Originally Posted by 202_Cyclist View Post
I think providing a rail connection to Dulles airport is secondary to allowing continued growth of the Dulles corridor, Reston, and Tysons, with the latter two become dense, walkable, mixed-use communities.
Well the elevated line through Tysons is pretty damn ugly. Frankly, the planning and build-out of this area has been a disaster.
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  #1469  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2022, 6:36 PM
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Well the elevated line through Tysons is pretty damn ugly. Frankly, the planning and build-out of this area has been a disaster.
It's ugly if you are at street level, but the emerging urban pattern in Tysons has pedestrians at Level +1 or +2. It will end up like La Defense in Paris, gradually stepping down to more residential neighborhoods as you get further away from Rte 7 or Rte 123.
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  #1470  
Old Posted Nov 29, 2022, 8:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ardecila View Post
It's ugly if you are at street level, but the emerging urban pattern in Tysons has pedestrians at Level +1 or +2. It will end up like La Defense in Paris, gradually stepping down to more residential neighborhoods as you get further away from Rte 7 or Rte 123.
Google led me to this interesting article from 2005:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-bad25288d82d/

I'm really surprised that we're over 500 feet in this area, since it's only a few miles from sea level, and NVA has never struck me as having a significant incline.

Also, some circa-2015 reporting complains that the silver line was poaching riders from the orange line. That thought doesn't acknowledge that to whatever extent the silver line doesn't serve Tyson's well, it definitely makes no attempt to serve an existing node west of the Dulles Toll Road.

It seems to me that Tyson's should have been built first, and if they had, would there still have been an impetus to build the orange line past the Dulles Toll Rd.?
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  #1471  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2022, 2:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
We are happy the Silver Line has finally reached the premier int'l airport for DC but your defense of lack of express service based on travel times for CBD to airport rapid rail services in NYC and Chicago is a weak one, if not a bad faith one altogether. JFK does not have a premier first-world express airport rail link, with air passengers dumped off at Jamaica to change to the E train or LIRR for the rest of the journey to Manhattan. Nor does Chicago with a truly pitiful time it takes the Blue Line to pull into ORD from downtown. When compared to international expectations, the lack of a true express or very limited stop rapid rail link to JFK should have NYC officials and the MTA hanging their heads in shame.
You’re saying that I’m defending the lack of express service in DC when I said that the Silver Line from Metro Center to IAD takes about an hour, which is similar to a trip from WTC to JFK in NYC and Union Station and ORD. I’m in no way defending the cities who opt to not use express trains to go to and from their int’l airports, but supporting them for providing mass transit links. Out of the three cities, DC doesn’t have express service on it’s Metro, so I believe that’s the reason why the Silver line isn’t an express service like the other lines on the DC metro, not because I prefer the Silver line to be local!

If you want to beef on why the cities didn’t provide express transit links, you can’t take it out in me, as I didn’t build the lines, but with the transit agencies that built out the lines instead and speaking about NYC, the A runs express via Fulton St in Brooklyn and the E runs express via Queens Blvd in Queens, so there’s express service on those routes, so when it comes to NYC, I don’t know what you mean by express service as both the A and the E has express service. Once again, take it out on the transit agencies, not random.

Here’s one of my other posts that defends what I believe about express service in general: https://skyscraperpage.com/forum/sho...3&postcount=27

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Originally Posted by Busy Bee View Post
Airtrain...give me a f***ing break. NY is an global alpha city...it's inexcusable, and LGA has no link at all. Chicago isn't quite alpha city and while a rapid rail link to ORD is good, it too deserves a limited express dedicated rail link to compete with its global peers. Which brings me to DC. It isnt just some random metro. It's our nation's capital...its seat of government... The wealthiest nation on the planet should have made it a priority to roll out a red carpet for both domestic and foreign visitors in not just a rail link to the airport but a truly swift and impressive express train to the heart of the District. The trip from Dulles terminal to Mall should take about 12 minutes not an hour plus. Thats what would have impressed the citizens of this country and the world. Many unfortunately will decide a cab is a better option even with potentual traffic and that is a very unfortunate outcome for such an opportunity the Silver Line presented.
NYC is an Alpha++ global city and Chicago is an Alpha city (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global..._Network#Alpha) according to GaWC 2020. That being said, those cities provide some of the best mass transit in America. We all want quicker access to the airports from the CBDs and that’s not even the argument.

The real argument is whether these cities provide mass transit links to their respective airports, & NYC, Chicago & now DC provides mass transit links to their int’l airports, albeit not in your preferred time of 12 minutes. You have to understand that America has done a bad job in funding mass transit for over 70 years already and now America is playing catch-up to Europe and Asia when it comes to not just providing mass transit links to airports, but mass transit in general.

Finally, the MTA is already starting to build a transit link to LGA from Willets Point-Mets on the 7 train. America isn’t a perfect country and would’ve we have preferred to have a 15 mink link from the city’s CBD to the airport? ABSOLUTELY! But you also have to consider the infrastructure the city has plus the housing, the dwellings, and the city’s natural barriers that make it impossible and if you’re thinking that the city should demolish multiple housing and infrastructure just to have a 15 min airport transit link, then you don’t know how national and local American politics works.

You cannot just steamroll and demolish vibrant neighborhoods because you want a 12 min link to the airport. If there’s a faster way w/o demolishing neighborhoods and it’s cost effective w/o overruns, then go for it, but if you have to go around neighborhoods just to provide that transit links and the neighborhood wants their community intact, we also need to consider the voices of the people that inhabit that community, so long as it makes a lot of sense and the plans benefit the long term for both the community and the city. There’s really no magic wand to provide swift transit to the airport and if there’s a quicker way to get to IAD from DC, we’d all support it but you have to use what you have and all complaints should really go to WMATA if you’re not satisfied with the speed of the Silver line!

Last edited by wanderer34; Nov 30, 2022 at 2:51 AM.
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  #1472  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2022, 4:57 AM
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From my outsider perspective, the issue just seems to be that it's really far. It's about 35km or 22 miles from the terminal to central DC by way the crow flies compared to about 20km / 12 miles from midtown to JFK and 24km / 15 miles from the Loop to O'Hare. For all intents and purposes, the DC metrorail is already an express service given the wide station spacing and high top speeds compared to many metro systems. The idea of building a separate dedicated rail line or significantly more expensive version of the silver line just for the sake of ultra express airport service seems quite excessive given the cost. Greater Washington already has the strongest regional rail system in the US imo, perhaps tied with BART, so while anything could be better it has some of the least room for improvement.
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  #1473  
Old Posted Nov 30, 2022, 7:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jmecklenborg View Post
Google led me to this interesting article from 2005:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/archi...-bad25288d82d/

I'm really surprised that we're over 500 feet in this area, since it's only a few miles from sea level, and NVA has never struck me as having a significant incline.

Also, some circa-2015 reporting complains that the silver line was poaching riders from the orange line. That thought doesn't acknowledge that to whatever extent the silver line doesn't serve Tyson's well, it definitely makes no attempt to serve an existing node west of the Dulles Toll Road.

It seems to me that Tyson's should have been built first, and if they had, would there still have been an impetus to build the orange line past the Dulles Toll Rd.?
per wikipedia:

The Orange Line alignment to Vienna via the Arlington subway and the I-66 median was chosen in 1968, when Tysons was still just a single shopping mall and a highway interchange - not a major employment center. The goal of Metro was to bring workers from the suburbs into DC offices - reverse commuting was not significant.

8 years later in 1976, as the Arlington subway was under construction, the Feds ordered WMATA to look into rerouting the Orange Line to Tysons instead of Vienna. But they decided not to do it because it would require all-new environmental impact statements and delay the project by 5 years, and Tysons was still more of a shopping area than an employment center. It really became a big employment center with the defense build-up in the Reagan years, but by then the line to Vienna was already under construction.
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  #1474  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2022, 5:57 PM
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per wikipedia:

The Orange Line alignment to Vienna via the Arlington subway and the I-66 median was chosen in 1968, when Tysons was still just a single shopping mall and a highway interchange - not a major employment center. The goal of Metro was to bring workers from the suburbs into DC offices - reverse commuting was not significant.

8 years later in 1976, as the Arlington subway was under construction, the Feds ordered WMATA to look into rerouting the Orange Line to Tysons instead of Vienna. But they decided not to do it because it would require all-new environmental impact statements and delay the project by 5 years, and Tysons was still more of a shopping area than an employment center. It really became a big employment center with the defense build-up in the Reagan years, but by then the line to Vienna was already under construction.

Obviously, Metro did the correct thing by building a subway straight through Arlington as opposed to going cheap and building in the I-66 median and missing Rosslyn, etc., entirely.

The fact is that this strategy by Metro was possible in Washington DC and nowhere else *because* no blue blood land leasers and corporations were holding dear to DC being the only viable office center. Metro was free to both build in the District where lines and stations were best-suited AND to promote rival business districts outside it - Bethesda, Silver Spring, Rosslyn, Tyson's.

Compare this to the battles in so many other metro areas - subway systems and even streetcar lines are obstructed by those entrenched entities who stand to lose not from absolute decline of their property but rather relative decline.
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  #1475  
Old Posted Dec 1, 2022, 6:41 PM
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What are you thinking of specifically? It's certainly true that DC has been more friendly to dense suburban TOD than any other US city, but usually when other cities have outlying business districts they also take pains to route transit there.

-LA ran the Purple Line to Century City despite a bruising battle with Beverly Hills NIMBYs.
-St Louis made sure their light rail expansion went to Clayton.
-Atlanta spent big bucks to extend MARTA to Sandy Springs including a costly underground detour off of GA-400 to more closely serve the office and shopping concentrations.
-Denver sort of missed the boat with Tech Center, but they spent a lot of extra money to route the I-225 line off the interstate to better serve Aurora Town Center and Anschutz.
-Seattle just spent a lot of money building a subway under Bellevue.
Etc etc.

Houston is unfortunately an exception, with no light rail to Uptown. But Houston and Dallas are kind of unusual, they don't just have one or two outlying office clusters but many, with none of them quite big enough or dense enough to support transit. Uptown is big enough, but the politics just didn't work in Oil City USA. They have now built one of the country's best BRT lines in Uptown, though.
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Last edited by ardecila; Dec 1, 2022 at 6:51 PM.
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  #1476  
Old Posted Dec 2, 2022, 2:16 AM
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Houston and Dallas are anamolies because TX cities in general are very spread out and try as they might, Houston and Dallas as of today just doesn’t have the best mass transit systems because both cities are primarily car dependent.

It made a lot of sense to build the DC Metro in that manor because unlike NYC, LA, Chicago, and even Philadelphia, DC is about 61 sq mi and having express service would’ve been a bonus for DC, but the stops are spaced out every mile of so for a reason.

I can’t wait to see the Georgetown realignment for the Blue line just to decongest the Orange and Silver lines in DC, and I can also hope that DC strongly considers expanding it’s small streetcar system. The design alone needs to be strongly considered and the DC streetcar system would strongly supplement what is already one of the best mass transit systems in the country.
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  #1477  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2022, 9:04 PM
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Surprised no one has posted an image of the new 8000 series that will be built by Hitachi:


____

They're very good looking and an improvement on the previous renderings that have been in the media for the last several years that looked just like a 7000 series but with square headlights. I do wish the rest of the exterior would have been made more sleek with plug doors and flush windows with maybe a dark window/belt line like the original fleet but overall they look great. Metro's decision to forgo open gangway hurts but the industrial design of the train face makes up for it and does the iconic system justice like the original fleet did. I wish all the 7000's could just be buried and forgotten and replaced by these but I know that's not financially reasonable or realistic obviously. I'm curious if the Hitachi badge is just for rendering purposes or will actually be on the front like that... I'd hope for the former just for dignity/pride sake with it being the nation's capital and all. I dont believe builder names were on the exterior of any other series car.
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  #1478  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2022, 10:46 PM
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They'll be a real magic wand for WMATA, for sure.
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  #1479  
Old Posted Dec 5, 2022, 10:58 PM
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  #1480  
Old Posted Dec 6, 2022, 9:38 PM
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Not so much sarcasm as... a... different kind of joke.
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