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Old October 25th, 2012, 06:46 PM   #281
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What for a fake map? Why didnt they use a real one?
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Old October 26th, 2012, 03:07 AM   #282
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Nothing extraordinary, coz plenty a report on the operating authority's disingenuous intentions/directions/mandates get published virtually daily by the region's media there
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Old November 27th, 2012, 07:19 PM   #283
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http://greatergreaterwashington.org/...s-are-busiest/







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Old November 27th, 2012, 08:41 PM   #284
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Wow they look nearly identical in style to the NYC subway both interior and exterior, including floor patters, seat coloration, station displays, etc. There are more similarities than differences. It would be funny if the announcements are the same voice too "This is a Vienna bound Yellow Line train. The next stop is Rosslyn. Stand clear of the closing doors please" *doo doo*
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Old January 24th, 2013, 11:59 PM   #285
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Greater Greater Washington
http://greatergreaterwashington.org/...of-whats-next/

Quote:
WMATA wants longer trains, more tunnels, better service
by David Alpert • January 24, 2013 7:52 am

WMATA hopes to lengthen all its trains to 8 cars, add pedestrian connections at downtown stations, and maybe build new rail tunnels for the Blue and Yellow Lines in the region's core. That's part of a strategic plan which its media relations team showed only to the Washington Post this week, and which board members will see at a meeting today.




The potential for new downtown tunnels and connections between existing lines.

More broadly, the agency will focus on safety, service quality, better regional mobility, and its own financial stability in the strategic plan. Besides a set of still somewhat amorphous connections and service improvements, the plan calls for building a system where riders can more easily "plan, pay, and ride" in a smoother customer experience.

The big money, up to $20 billion, in the plan would be for tunnels to separate the Blue Line at Rosslyn and the Yellow Line at L'Enfant Plaza, the two major chokepoints, as part of a vision for Metro by 2040. Silver Line trains from Dulles Airport could also turn at Rosslyn to go toward Arlington Cemetery, then stop at Pentagon before crossing the Yellow Line bridge into DC.


Map by the author, from 2009.

By 2025, Metro wants to have the railcars and power stations to run all trains with the full 8 cars. It would like to build pedestrian tunnels to link Farragut North with West and Metro Center with Gallery Place, and a train tunnel so that some Dulles trains can go down to Franconia-Springfield, which would relieve some of the immediate Blue Line problems of Rush Plus, which will only get worse once the Silver Line opens.




Potential connections between existing lines and stations.


WMATA Media Relations team makes transit supporters' task harder

This plan covers a lot of ground, and is at times very detailed yet at others quite vague. I wasn't able to get all of the details, because WMATA decided to give an exclusive look at the plan to the Washington Post.

This has been the agency's practice every since Barbara Richardson, Lyn Bowersox, and Dan Stessel took over at WMATA communications and media relations. This isn't a matter of blogs versus traditional media, though that's been an ongoing problem as well; WMATA also does not tell the Washington Examiner about its major initiatives.

This seems inappropriate, and really disrespects the journalists and bloggers who care about transit in the region. It's also pretty foolish, because it forces others to write about the plan in a more hurried way than they otherwise would.

WMATA planning head Shyam Kannan spent an hour talking to me after midnight last night, and this post was still not done by 4:30 am as a result. Still, there are plenty of questions I did not have time get answered.

What will happen with Union Station and commuter rail?

While the plan goes into a fair amount of detail about how there could be a second Pentagon station for the trains making the new track connection, the plan does not talk about whether the new lines would serve Union Station, the system's biggest point of overcrowding. It seems obvious for any separated Blue Line to go there.

One of the biggest opportunities to improve regional travel would be to let MARC trains reach L'Enfant Plaza, where riders can transfer to all four lines that don't serve Union Station, and onward to Virginia. Unfortunately, perhaps bowing to political realities, the plan just calls for WMATA to play a role of supporter and advocate.

Finally, the plan shows some diagrams with vague arrows depicting potential extensions to the ends of lines, regional transit in the suburbs, and streetcars crossing the river:




Vague arrows showing possible line extensions and surface transit connections.

All of these ideas and more were part of a study WMATA has been working on for a few years, called the Regional Transit System Plan. That also included proposals to send the Yellow Line through the rapidly-growing Capitol Riverfront and up to Union Station.

According to Kannan, the RTSP study is still going on, and even many decisions about which routes WMATA wants to pursue in the future are not fully set.

Customer service, trip planning are even more central to the plan

Kannan emphasized that the rail expansions and connections are not the "real meat" of the plan, despite what was in the Post article; instead, it really focuses on "an improved customer service experience today" that will let riders plan, pay, and take transit more smoothly than today. The vision for 2025, which is not far away, is fundamentally about "the completion of a journey to a self-service system. He explained:

Imagine, for a moment, walking into a Metrorail station or a Metrobus platform and not needing to ask for assistance in either route planning, fare payment, and even walking to or from your bus or train. There would be improved lighting so you can read your book, mobile payment options so you can use your smartphone to pay your fare.
With these added services, Kannan said, station agents will not need to sit in their booths all day to handle everyday needs. Instead, Metro could dedicate its staff to "customer-facing ambassadors" who could roam around and help people, and choose people for those jobs best suited to a customer service role, which as we all know is not always the case with today's station agents.

Another big element of this self-service world is better trip planning. Kannan talked about having a "unified regional trip planning technology" so a rider can use a desktop computer, smartphone, or other device, pick where he or she wants to go, and get transit suggestions that could use Metro, commuter rail like VRE or MARC, or regional buses like Ride On and DASH.

The plan describes that as "Provide transit riders with a regional trip planning system that is mobile-device friendly." Hopefully this language does not lead the agency to decide it should issue a procurement for a big IT project to build one single integrated trip planner that works on today's mobile devices, and that's all. WMATA is not in a position to be a good customer-facing software company, and a big contracted software project will build something that will likely be obsolete as soon as it launches.

Rather, the agency needs to offer open data and support open source projects to create the building blocks of trip planning. VDOT funded a grant, which I wrote for Arlington County, to make progress on some open source technology for trip planning. If WMATA can support the efforts of the people who are going to do this work, and other developers who contribute and create other tools of their own, it will do far more to "provide" this kind of "unified regional trip planning technology."

The plan is not very detailed about how to reach this or most other goals, from "Educate the customer about transit coverage and usage in regional emergencies" to "Work with partners to ensure seamless connections between Metro and other transit systems in the region." Those are fodder for future plans. Meanwhile, though, if top management buys in and directs the organization to follow this plan, it can get the 13,000-person organization moving all together in some important directions.

The WMATA board will discuss the document at a meeting today. As usual with WMATA's process, since staff don't release anything until the very last minute before a board meeting, that means board members won't have the opportunity to hear any considered feedback from riders, to the extent they are interested in riders' views, as some are, while others are not.

Matt Johnson and I have also been working on some posts about the core capacity Metrorail proposals, and will try to better illuminate what kinds of tradeoffs Metro faces as it tries to deal with its bottlenecks and overcrowded segments.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 01:35 AM   #286
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http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/...5ee_story.html

Metro’s top managers are proposing a new rail tunnel under the center of the District, a second tunnel under the Potomac, and they estimate the transit agency will need $26 billion over the next three decades to pay for those and other improvements to an aging system that is falling behind the region’s needs.

The proposed new rail tunnels — one under 10th Street to Thomas Circle and another between Rosslyn and Georgetown and on to Thomas Circle — would be massive undertakings. The projects would require major financial commitments from local and federal governments and would take several years to plan and several more years to complete.

It is not the first time Metro has talked about such new tunnels, but in making them a central piece of the transit agency’s new strategic plan, Metro’s top managers are seeking to focus public attention on what the agency says is a long-term threat to the region’s economic growth.

The 49-page strategic plan is to be presented Thursday morning to Metro’s board of directors, which has yet to endorse the blueprint.

“If we don’t do something about what’s coming at us in terms of the region’s growth, we will have such a crowded system that it will create its own set of problems with regard to safety and infrastructure,” Richard Sarles, Metro’s general manager, said in an interview. “Now is the time for the region — with Metro in the lead — to begin talking about projects that make the most sense for making long-term investments.”

The continuing population growth in the District and its suburbs, especially among young people who choose not to own cars, has made Metro’s long-term capacity an existential issue for the transit system, one of the busiest in the nation.

Along with the proposed tunnels, Metro says it must spend billions of dollars to upgrade the rail system’s electrical grid to handle more eight-car trains and must add pedestrian corridors between transfer stations such as Metro Center and Gallery Place. Above ground, Metro needs to buy more buses, build more bus garages and create bus-only lanes on busy downtown streets.

Dubbed “Momentum,” and 18 months in the making, Metro’s new strategic plan catalogues the system’s needs and renews the long-standing argument for Metro to have a dedicated funding source, just as many big-city transit systems do.

Metro’s lack of capital investment in the past decade has been blamed on that lack of dedicated funding, and planners say that unless that changes, there is little hope of executing the ambitious strategic plan that will be formally unveiled Thursday.

A new Metro line is being built in Northern Virginia, but it is being constructed for Metro by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority, with revenue from the Dulles Toll Road financing a significant part of the line’s $5.6 billion cost.

No such obvious source of financing exists for the new rail line and tunnels proposed in Metro’s new strategic plan, and the plan does not specify how the agency would finance the rail expansion and other costly improvements.

In Maryland and Virginia, the state governments have struggled for years to come up with ways to ensure long-term funding for transportation.

Unlike other transit agencies in New York, Boston and Los Angeles that depend on some level of dedicated funds from specific taxes, Metro receives contributions from the District, Maryland, Virginia and the federal government for its operating and capital budgets, which total $2.5 billion.

Shyam Kannan, Metro’s chief planner, said it will take a “reliable, sustained stream of capital funding from a combination of local and federal” moneys to pay for the slew of proposed projects.

Metro’s system, including Metrobus, ranks as the fourth-largest transit system and second-largest rail system by ridership in the country, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

In the past decade, Metro has seen its ridership grow, and despite recent drops in riders from weekend track work as it rebuilds the aging system, officials said they expect ridership to increase 40 percent to 1.05 million weekday rider trips on average by 2040 as the new Silver Line comes on line later this year and other transportation projects in the region are underway.

Metrorail, which carried its first passengers in 1976, is entering a new era.

It faces the costly challenge of upgrading an aging system that hasn’t been well maintained over the years. Escalators break down frequently. Switches, tracks and other equipment are being replaced to meet National Transportation Safety Board safety recommendations. New rail cars have been purchased to replace the rail cars from the 1970s that were involved in the deadliest crash on the system in 2009.

Sarles said the $1-billion-a-year capital-spending project he has been aggressively pushing in the two years he has been at the helm shows the system is “middle aged and getting a facelift.”

Transportation experts said it is key to have an efficient and reliable transit system.

“We’re seeing a sea change in how people move about,” said Michael Melaniphy, president and chief executive of the American Public Transportation Association. “We see cities competing against each other to attract new business, and those that have access to public transportation have an edge.”

In its strategic plan, Metro proposes to spend $6 billion on its rail and bus systems by 2025.

Planners said running all eight-car trains on its five rail lines would help trains carry at least 35,000 more passengers an hour during weekday rush hours. But to do that, Metro needs to spend $2 billion to increase its power system, add more space at rail yards to park trains, and buy more rail cars.

Busy stations such as Gallery Place, Metro Center, L’Enfant Plaza and Union Station need additional mezzanines, stairs, elevators and escalators. Metro plans to build new underground pedestrian tunnels between busy stops such as Metro Center and Gallery Place.

One of the biggest ideas in its plan is to try to relieve congestion through the Rosslyn tunnel where Metro is already at its maximum capacity of 26 trains per hour. Riders on the Blue Line have expressed frustration of getting fewer trains per hour to make way for the new Silver Line.

To help alleviate the problem, planners suggest creating what they call the “Rosslyn bypass.” New tracks would be built west of Rosslyn and near the Pentagon, allowing trains on the Orange Line to go south into Virginia on the Blue Line and east over the Yellow Line bridge.

New stations would also be added at Rosslyn and Pentagon.

Planners also want to spend $600 million for bus service improvements, including new buses, garages and bus-only lanes along busy streets in downtown, including H and I streets NW between 13th and 17th streets.

The transit agency calls for an additional $20 billion worth of projects to be done by 2040, including building two tunnels.

One north-south tunnel, costing $2.7 billion, would be built under 10th Street SW and NW to Thomas Circle and would allow Green and Yellow line trains to run in separate tunnels. That would take pressure off the tunnel that runs between L’Enfant Plaza and Gallery Place. Another $3.3 billion tunnel would run east-west through Rosslyn to Georgetown and along M Street NW to Thomas Circle.

Zachary M. Schrag, author of a book on how Metro got built, said the rail system is pushing close to the 1 million riders a day it was designed to handle.

“It’s pretty much maxed out on the original design,” he said. “It is up to the next generation to plant the olive tree.”

Last edited by LAmarODom420; January 25th, 2013 at 01:58 AM.
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Old January 25th, 2013, 03:10 AM   #287
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A Georgetown metro tunnel? That has to be a joke.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:15 AM   #288
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I would loooooveee a Georgetown Metro stop. No more dealing with the buses from Rosslyn and all that nonsense.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 12:31 AM   #289
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Among the nimbys who live there are the most powerful people on the planet, so it's basically never going to happen as long as Washington is the capital.
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Old January 26th, 2013, 02:05 AM   #290
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Has ATO been put back to use on metro?
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Old January 26th, 2013, 05:53 AM   #291
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Woonsocket54 View Post
Among the nimbys who live there are the most powerful people on the planet, so it's basically never going to happen as long as Washington is the capital.
Well proximity to a metro stop has been shown to increase land values so I don't think that would be the case today.
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Old May 18th, 2013, 11:02 PM   #292
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WASHINGTON | Streetcar

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Mayor Vincent C. Gray by DC Streetcar, on Flickr

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Old May 19th, 2013, 12:54 AM   #293
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I'am always wondering why the streetcars are so short in USA ?
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Old May 19th, 2013, 07:05 PM   #294
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WASHINGTON-BALTIMORE | Commuter Rail

Baltimore Sun
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/201...portation-bill

Quote:
MARC to add weekend service to Washington
Officials say gas tax increase makes Penn Line expansion possible
May 16, 2013|By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun

Maryland's MARC commuter trains, which have always operated Monday through Friday, will begin offering weekend service between Baltimore and Washington on the Penn Line in coming months.

The expansion — put on hold in 2008 when the recession hit — is possible as the result of the new transportation revenue law that raises the state's gas tax, officials said. The governor signed the bill Thursday.

The news was welcomed by Baltimore officials, who said it would offer city residents a less expensive means than Amtrak of traveling to Washington for weekend events while also encouraging D.C. residents to travel to Charm City.

"We hope it will encourage more visitors to consider Baltimore for day trips, long weekends and vacations since it will be easier than ever to get here seven days a week," said Tom Noonan, president of Visit Baltimore.

But Del. Michael Smigiel Sr., a Cecil County Republican who fought the gas tax increase, said he sees nothing in the MARC expansion that will benefit his constituents.

"They'll be operating at a loss, and they'll be expecting the rural areas to subsidize it," he said.

Del. Mary Washington, a Baltimore Democrat, said weekend MARC service was a top priority for city lawmakers in the transportation bill, which won the support of the entire delegation with the exception of one delegate.

"So many of our people not only work in D.C. but also want to socialize and enjoy the cultural arts in D.C.," she said.

MARC has operated Monday through Friday since its creation in the 1980s.

MARC expansion was one of 10 highway and transit initiatives — together worth about $1.2 billion — announced Thursday by the Maryland Department of Transportation as the result of passage of the transportation bill.

"It's allowing us to make improvements in every part of the state from Western Maryland to Southern Maryland to the Eastern Shore and to the metropolitan areas — both highways and transit," said acting Transportation Secretary Darrell B. Mobley.

The projects include long-sought highway expansion projects in the Baltimore region and continued funding for the design of the east-west Red Line light rail project between Woodlawn and Bayview.

When fully implemented, the transportation bill is expected to provide more than $800 million in added transportation revenue each year, primarily through an increase of 13 cents to 20 cents per gallon on the gas tax. Whether it will cost motorists the higher or lower amount depends on what Congress does with a bill allowing states to apply sales taxes to Internet purchases.

Of the $1.2 billion in new projects, $100 million will be directed to MARC improvements, including weekend service.

Maryland Transit Administration spokesman Terry Owens said the agency has entered into negotiations with Amtrak — which owns the track on which the Penn Line runs — to find slots in the national railroad's weekend schedule to allow the MARC service. MTA officials said they hope to offer eight round trips on Saturdays and Sundays.

Simon R. Taylor, the MTA's chief administrator, said it is too early to announce a date for the beginning of weekend service. Written material provided by the department estimated that it would start this winter.

"It will be sooner rather than later. It's a top priority for us," Taylor said. He said the weekend service would primarily run between Washington's Union Station and Baltimore's Penn Station, not to the northern end of the Penn Line at Perryville, but said some trains could go as far as Middle River.

Rafi Guroian, chairman of the MARC Riders Advisory Council, said the news was "fantastic."

"This is an enhancement to the MARC service we've been waiting for," he said.

Guroian said many MARC commuters sometimes have to work on weekends, and that Saturday and Sunday service will make the commuter trains that much more attractive.

Currently, a round-trip weekend ticket from Penn Station to Union Station costs a minimum of $32 on Amtrak. The same trip on MARC on a weekday costs $14, not counting discounts for monthly passes. A one-way Amtrak ticket from Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport to Washington costs $15; the MARC fare is $6.

"It's a major boost for BWI," Guroian said.

In addition to weekend Penn Line service, the MTA also announced plans to add two runs each weekday to its Camden Line service.

Owens said monthly passes will be valid on weekend trains once that service starts. He said that under the transportation bill, MTA fares will rise by $1 per trip in July 2014.

In addition to the new funding for MARC, the MTA announced that $450 million of the spending announced Thursday would go toward completing the design of three high-priority transit expansion projects. The Red Line will get $170 million, while the proposed Purple Line between New Carrollton and Bethesda will receive $280 million. Another $100 million will go toward a transit line in Montgomery County's congested Interstate 270 corridor.

Mobley said the new design money would not speed the projects but would allow the MTA to keep moving forward on them. He said the state still hopes to start building the Red and Purple lines in 2015 and to complete them in 2020, but the projects still must compete for federal construction dollars.
The highway spending announced Thursday includes some long-delayed safety and expansion projects across the state.

The big items in the Baltimore region are $60 million to rebuild the Leeds Avenue interchange with the Beltway in Baltimore County, $44 million for intersection improvements around Aberdeen Proving Ground in Harford County, and $49 million for widening northbound U.S. 29 in Howard County between Seneca Drive and Route 175 to three lanes.

The U.S. 29 project was a top priority of Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, one of the top local elected officials who lined up in support of O'Malley's transportation bill.

"As anyone who has sat in traffic there knows, removing this bottleneck will allow parents to get to their kids' schools and games quicker, get home to their families sooner and generally make life easier for so many of us," he said.

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Old May 19th, 2013, 10:11 PM   #295
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanar View Post
I'am always wondering why the streetcars are so short in USA ?
Because this streetcars line shares its a large part of its route with car traffic.
On the other hand, Light rail line rolling stock are long because it is mostly segregated and built with quite heavy substructures.
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Old May 20th, 2013, 03:26 AM   #296
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanar View Post
I'am always wondering why the streetcars are so short in USA ?
They don't need to be any longer than necessary to carry the number of passengers that they attract. The ridership for most streetcar systems in the United States is not very impressive.
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Old June 1st, 2013, 09:33 PM   #297
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Silver Line progress at Tysons Corner

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Old July 18th, 2013, 07:46 PM   #298
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Progressive Railroading
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Quote:
7/18/2013
D.C. airports authority announces delay in Dulles rail line project

The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority (MWAA) yesterday announced that completion of the Metrorail Silver Line project's first phase would be delayed by eight weeks to accommodate additional safety and performance testing.

The additional time is needed to finish systems and equipment testing before the line is transferred to the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), MWAA officials said in a press release.

"Any project this large and complex is inevitably going to encounter unexpected issues that require additional tests and adjustments," said MWAA President and Chief Executive Officer Jack Potter.

MMWA, in conjunction with Dulles Transit Partners, is building the rail line, an extension of WMATA's system that would connect with Dulles International Airport. Phase I would connect WMATA's Orange Line in Falls Church, Va., to Wiehle Avenue in Reston, Va.

The original plan called for Phase I to be substantially completed by September, at which time the line would be turned over to WMATA. Revenue service is set by WMATA, and had been anticipated to begin in late December following 90 days of personnel training, systems tests and operation simulation.

The announced delay in completing the project likely will delay the start of revenue service, MMWA officials said.

As Phase I approaches completion, construction has begun on Phase 2, which would extend the line from Wiehle Avenue through the airport and onward into Loudoun County, Va., ultimately lengthening WMATA's transit system by 23 miles.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 08:00 AM   #299
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Washington Streetcar

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Old August 15th, 2013, 06:33 PM   #300
trainrover
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Any map of the future network there? I understand that a train derailed during testing on the Silver line this week.
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