07/28/14 12:25pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user wolfkann


“Metrorail, the nation’s second busiest rapid transit system, grew 10 percent larger today with five new stations and new direct rail service between the Washington region’s two largest employment centers, all as a result of the opening of the Silver Line’s first phase. The new rail line is the largest expansion of Metrorail — and the first time a new color has been added to the Metro map — since the Green Line opened in 1991.

Rail service to the five new stations – McLean, Tysons Corner, Greensboro, Spring Hill and Wiehle-Reston East – began at noon with the departure of an inaugural train from Wiehle-Reston East Station in Fairfax County, Va., bound for Largo Town Center in Prince George’s County, Md. Along the way, Silver Line trains connect Fairfax County with popular destinations in Arlington County and Downtown DC, serving a total of 28 stations.

As one of the largest capital construction projects in the United States, the Silver Line has national significance. The Dulles Corridor is home to several of the Washington, D.C. metropolitan region’s most dynamic and rapidly growing activity centers, including Tysons Corner (Virginia’s largest employment center), the Reston-Herndon area (Virginia’s second largest employment concentration), Dulles International Airport and the emerging activity centers in eastern Loudoun County. Silver Line trains will provide high-quality, high-capacity transit service that reduces travel time between the Dulles corridor and Downtown D.C., expands the reach of the existing regional rail system, offers a viable alternative to automobile travel and supports future development.

It is anticipated that the Silver Line will quickly become one of Metro’s busiest services because of the draw of two employment and entertainment destinations — Downtown DC and Tysons — appealing to riders at all times of the day and week. Serving many of the region’s great destinations, the Silver Line will deliver football fans to FedEx Field and baseball fans to Nationals Park, entertainment destinations in Arlington County, and nationally known cultural attractions in Downtown DC. About 25,000 daily riders are projected to use the five new stations after the first year of service.

By offering a convenient alternative to driving, the Silver Line is expected to transform Tysons, previously an automobile-centric, congestion prone area into a more walkable, bikeable, livable community anchored by high-density, mixed-use developments around the new stations. The Silver Line gives commuters traveling to or from Fairfax County a new option to avoid traffic congestion along I-66 and the Dulles Toll Road, while saving on fuel, parking and tolls.

With the opening of the Silver Line, Metrorail now serves a total of 91 stations on a 118-mile system in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.

The new Silver Line tracks branch off from the existing Orange Line between East Falls Church and West Falls Church. The first new station, McLean, is about 8 minutes away from East Falls Church, and is the first of a cluster of four Tysons-area stations that are each two minutes apart. The line’s western terminus, Wiehle-Reston East, is another eight minutes west of the Tysons area.

The four Tysons-area stations put most parts of Tysons Corner within an easy half-mile walk of a Metrorail station providing easy access to the region’s second largest employment center with nearly 100,000 jobs, shopping malls and restaurants.

Wiehle-Reston East Station is connected to Reston Town Center and Washington Dulles International Airport by frequent bus service.

Silver Line construction (more…)

07/25/14 3:10pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user JEO Photography


Red Line
Trains every 10-20 minutes

Red Line trains will operate as follows throughout the weekend:

Between Shady Grove & Glenmont: every 20 minutes
Between Grosvenor & NoMa-Gallaudet: every 10 minutes Saturday & Sunday from 9AM-9PM only

Work Performed: Rail tie and insulator renewal between Shady Grove and Twinbrook.

Orange Line
Regular weekend service

Blue Line
Regular weekend service

Silver Line
Opens Saturday, July 26 at noon with regular weekend service

Yellow Line
Regular weekend service between Huntington and Fort Totten

Green Line
Regular weekend service”

07/24/14 10:50am


Thanks to all who sent photos of the streetcar being tested on H Street last night.


DDOT writes:

“This week the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) permanently moved four streetcar vehicles to the H Street and Benning Road NE streetcar corridor. At no time prior have four vehicles been on the corridor at once. These vehicles will now continue System Integration Testing (SIT) and operator training in advance of passenger service, which is expected later this year. The District’s two other streetcar vehicles will join them in the coming months.

SIT includes the integration of vehicles, power, communications and traffic and train signal controls to ensure that all components are safe and working properly. Elements that are tested include radio communications, overhead contact system (OCS) interface, track switch interface, traction power emergency trip, braking, signal and sign visibility and streetcar control center communications. These tests will occur in live traffic conditions on the corridor.

In-traffic operator training is also beginning, building on the training and pre-qualification operators already received at the DC Streetcar Testing & Commissioning Site. Each operator will train with supervisors along the corridor under various traffic scenarios in order to be certified to carry passengers on the H/Benning Line.

Pre-revenue operations, in which service is simulated without passengers, will follow SIT and operator training. These elements are required for DDOT to certify its system and be accepted by the State Safety Oversight Agency (SSOA). The safety certification process involves several critical steps and is intended to ensure that the system meets safety standards and is ready to carry passengers.

Pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists are advised to use caution as they travel through the corridor during testing and training activities. Remember to “Look, Listen, Be Safe!” around streetcar vehicles at all times – look both ways and listen for the streetcar before stepping into the crosswalk, and never walk in front of a moving streetcar.

Drivers should also be aware that the Department of Public Works (DPW) is now ticketing cars that are parked in such a way as to impede the path of the streetcar, including cars parked outside of the white lines and illegally double-parked vehicles. The fine for vehicles blocking the path of the streetcar will be $100. At DPW’s discretion, vehicles may also be towed to clear the streetcar’s path and then relocated within the immediate neighborhood. Ticketing will be an ongoing occurrence along the corridor and is not expected to cease.”

And @dcstreetcar tweets:

“REMEMBER: The streetcar is still in testing mode. For your safety, do not attempt to board.”


07/22/14 4:45pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

From a press release:

“H Street Main Street, in conjunction with H Street Corridor businesses, will host “Streetcar Stroll and Roll” events on Saturday, July 26 and Saturday, August 23 from 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. to promote the upcoming launch of the District’s first streetcar line and highlight the development of the H Street NE Corridor and it’s vibrant businesses.

A number of streetcar style decorated pedicabs will provide the public with free rides along the H Street Corridor from the Union Station to Maryland Ave. NE—the route of the upcoming H/Benning DC Streetcar line. While enjoying the pedicab rides, participants are encouraged to visit H Street NE businesses, restaurants and bars, enjoy displays from local artists that will be featured along the corridor and experience the neighborhood’s unique atmosphere. (more…)

07/21/14 9:15am


From MPD:

“The Metropolitan Police Department announced today the deployment of new photo enforced locations beginning on or about Saturday, July 19, 2014.

The deployment locations for the Photo Enforcement Units will be sites where speeding and pedestrian safety has been identified to be a problem.

The thirty-day educational phase will commence on or about July 19, 2014, whereas violators will receive warning citations. After thirty days of warning tickets, MPD will begin issuing live moving citations to violators.

The new photo enforcement locations are as follows:

3900 block South Dakota Ave NE southeast bound

3700 block Minnesota Ave NE south bound

49th St NE northbound @ Clay St

For a complete list of red light cameras click here.

For a complete list of speed cameras click here.

For a complete list of stop sign cameras click here.

For a complete list of gridlock cameras click here.

For a complete list of pedestrian right of way cameras click here.

For a complete list of intersection speeding cameras click here.

07/18/14 3:50pm

Photo by PoPville flickr user Mark Alan Andre


Red Line
Trains every 10-15 minutes

Red Line trains will operate as follows throughout the weekend:

Between Shady Grove & Glenmont: every 15 minutes
Between Grosvenor & Silver Spring: every 8-10 minutes Saturday & Sunday from 9AM-9PM only

Work Performed: Rail tie and insulator renewal between Shady Grove and Twinbrook

Orange Line
Trains every 12-24 minutes

Orange Line trains will operate as follows:

Every 22 minutes on Friday after 10 p.m. and all day Saturday
Every 24 minutes on Sunday between Vienna and New Carrollton; every 12 minutes between East Falls Church and Stadium-Armory

Work Performed: Platform rehabilitation between Minnesota Avenue and Cheverly

Blue Line
Trains every 22-24 minutes

Blue Line trains will operate as follows:

Every 22 minutes on Friday after 10 p.m. and all day Saturday
Every 24 minutes on Sunday Franconia-Springfield and Largo Town Center; every 12 minutes between Rosslyn and Largo Town Center (trains will be labeled and operating as Orange Line trains)

Work Performed: Rail joint elimination and fence replacement between Braddock Road and Van Dorn Street; switch replacement preparation, tunnel inspection and repair between Benning Road and Capitol Heights

Yellow Line
Regular weekend service between Huntington & Fort Totten

Green Line
Buses replace trains at Greenbelt Station on Saturday and Sunday

Free shuttle buses will replace Green Line trains between Greenbelt and College Park. Riders using shuttle bus service should allow about 15 minutes of travel time.

Green Line trains at normal weekend intervals between College Park and Branch Ave.

Station Closed: Greenbelt

Work Performed: Continued construction of a new test track located between College Park and Greenbelt to accept Metro’s new fleet of 7000-series railcars”

07/17/14 10:50am

Photo by PoPville flickr user Barbara.K

“Dear PoPville,

There’s a petition out to Save the blue line:

Thousands of riders take the Blue Line to and from work every day, but Metro is cutting their service to have just one train every 12 minutes. This will cause a major inconvenience for the many people who rely on the Metro for their daily commute, while only providing minimal additional benefits to other riders in the system. After this change the Blue Line will be the only line in the DC Metro system without enhanced rush hour service. We request that Metro respect the needs of the many Blue Line riders and stop the planned service cuts.

As a blue line commuter, I can tell you the new changes in anticipation of the silver line have made a HUGE negative impact on my commute and I’m sure has done the same for others. I’m glad that metro is expanding their services, but it shouldn’t come at the expense of existing services and reliability to long-time riders.

Hopefully this petition can get enough signatures to cause WMATA to consider a more even distribution of orange/blue/silver line trains during peak hours.”