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Morning Poll: Proposed Changes to Blue, Orange Lines

by ARLnow.com — March 9, 2011 at 10:12 am 1,951 108 Comments

On Thursday, Metro’s board will discuss a plan to divert some Blue Line trains across the Yellow Line bridge, thus freeing up capacity through the Rosslyn tunnel for additional Orange Line trains.

The plan, however, is a bit more complicated than it initially sounds.

The shift would only happen during rush hour. The affected Blue Line trains would travel from Franconia-Springfield, across the Yellow Line bridge and over to Greenbelt via the Green Line.

The move would allow Metro to add three trains per hour to the Orange Line. Those trains would travel from West Falls Church to Largo Town Center, at the end of the Blue Line.

In addition to alleviating some of the overcrowding on the Orange Line, the plan would free up capacity for future Silver Line trains, which are expected to start running in 2014.

The change would come at a price, of course. The Washington Post and Greater Greater Washington each have more details about the significant logistic and communication challenges involved in implementing the plan.

Obviously, any changes to the Orange and Blue Lines are going to have a large impact on Arlington commuters. Do you agree with the plan?

Flickr pool photo by BrianMKA

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  • Lou

    This is a no-brainer. Has to be done.

    • Truthi

      It only needs to be done if you are North Arlington. South Arlington gets the shaft again. County Board will you give us increased parking now that you took out direct line to DC away?

      • Lou

        Every regional transportation decision does not revolve around Arlington. Otherwise Zimmerman would be suing WMATA for violating the rights of South Arlington residents by denying them equal access to North Arlington.

    • imissTX

      F*ck this. What about the commuters who need to go from Crystal City/Pentagon City/Pentagon area to Rosslyn to catch the orange line out west. Totally screws us over. We’ll get dumped at L’enfant, forced to take the orange line from there, and add 20 min to our commute.

      • Bummed

        Or just wait six minutes and catch a blue to Rosslyn, only adding six minutes to your commute.

  • bennynojets

    I don’t think 3 cars an hour is going to solve much of anything during rush hour. If memory serves me correctly prior to the June 2009 crash when the trains were not operated manually, the trains were more frequent.

    • rft42

      maybe if they went back to 8 car trains; why on earth are they running 6 cars during rush hour?

  • Nightmare

    Good plan if our reps are aiming to extend my commute. I’ve already adapted my living and commuting arrangements to fit existing systems. This is an FU for my trouble.

    • mehoo

      Change happens.

      • Nightmare

        Change happens, but thanks to my reps for proposing it the burden fall on my back. Meanwhile, the benefit to the system is minimal at best. I did my part to adapt to Metro. Not like I can sell my place now without losing a bunch of cash. This screws me without putting a dent in others’ issues.

        • mehoo

          I’m sorry for that, though I think you’re overstating the case.

    • Southeast Jerome

      Relax. This will have a marginal negative impact on those negatively impacted. Its not like they are getting rid of service between the Pentagon and Rosslyn all together, just reducing the frequency ONLY during rush hour. Not nearly a “nightmare”

      • Truthi

        You mean the times when oh, folks take Metro?

    • Overgrown Bush

      Just get in the car and drive.

  • Suburban Not Urban

    This should have been figured out and decided before $ one was spent on the silver line.

    • Overgrown Bush

      Actually, it should have been part of the silver line plan. A new bridge or tunnel would be a wonderful start.

  • Chris Slatt

    It’s a good temporary solution, but the region is already long overdue in moving forward on the best long-term solution to this problem: a separated Blue Line with its own river crossing as outlined in WMATA’s 2030 vision.

    http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/790/what-wmata-is-really-suggesting/

    • CW

      How about the best short-term solution – running 8-car trains?

      • V Dizzle

        33% increase in capacity right there. Don’t see the downside outside of the obvious cost of running more cars on Orange line trains. I guess they’d have to stay an extra 100 feet apart.. what’s the downside?

        • Southeast Jerome

          Metro doesnt have enough cars or adequate power supply to run 8 car trains.

          In other words, Metro doesnt have enough money to run 8 car trains.

      • Lou

        I do not think they have enough cars just sitting around to suddenly turn every train into 8-cars. I and know for a fact the electrical capacity in the rails is not sufficient to run all 8-car trains at current service levels.

        • CW

          Right, I’m not saying a fairy could do it with a magic wand, but buying some cars (which metro is already doing, no?) and upgrading the electrical systems still seems a bit cheaper and easier than, say, adding lanes to 66 or running streetcar lines.

          (I realize that these are apples and oranges, but I just think it’s silly when people talk seriously about very big projects which will take a long time to realize, but then dismiss simple plug-and-play remedies which will have a massive immediate impact.)

          • Lou

            Well, you’re right except the only real short-term solution is to monkey with the schedule and allocation of the current rolling stock.

            Everything else has to be considered a long-term solution given the pace at which WMATA moves.

            Now, this rerouting idea has been talked about for years, and they get some credit for planning ahead for that. But for as long as the Silver Line has been in final planning and construction, they had time to add to the recent car order, and possibly be closer to the electrical upgrades.

          • CW

            No, you’re right – schedule monkeying is more or less free and instant. But still, in the overall scheme of things, buying new cars and upgrading existing systems falls somewhere between schedule monkeying and building a new line in terms of difficulty, and they’re doing both as it is.

            Side note – if the electrical systems can’t handle the standard load of trains if they were upgraded to 8 cars each, then how in the world is it going to be able to power a third set of trains? Looks like they’ll have to solve this problem sooner rather than later, and, when they do so, they should build in enough reserve to enable upgrading to 8-car trains if ever needed.

  • CW

    Agreed.

    Here’s another idea – find out a way to stop having trains go out of service due to “mechanical difficulties”, only to then parade through the rest of the line empty, at full speed with all doors the closed and lights on. That’s one thing I’ve never understood. The train has “mechanical difficulties”, is put out of service, and then magically works again. Makes no sense, as there is clearly nothing wrong with it. Maybe one door has gone bad and they have to manually lock it? Still, can’t they just close off one car or something when they do that? It seems like the vast majority of breakdowns are not true breakdowns, but instead just the operator following some spec somewhere that says that if X or Y error light comes on, the train must be put out of service. I’d just really like to know what constitutes a situation where a train must be taken off the line. I’m an engineer – enlighten me with technical details please.

    • Southeast Jerome

      Yes, this happened at Virginia Square this morning around 7:55am and added 15 minutes to my trip.

      • CW

        Oh, you think my ranting about this condition on this very morning just came out of nowhere? :) It screwed up my trip in too!

    • SB

      Just a couple of weeks ago a train off-loaded at Ballston due to “mechancial difficulties” only to come back in service at Rosslyn. It never makes sense to me either. Just close the car with the issues off. Off-loading the whole train leads to nightmares for everyone.

      • CW

        I would love to get my hands on a copy of metro’s procedures or manual for operation. My money is that the vast majority of mechanical “failures” are not true failures, but instead just fault codes or some other combination of criteria that when met, according to spec, constitutes a “failure”. Basically like saying that you have to turn off your car and park it the second the “check engine” light comes on – you don’t actually know what the problem is, if it’s even anything severe to begin with (could be that the gas cap isn’t on tightly enough).

        • local

          You’re probably right. But what are they supposed to do about that?

          • CW

            Set specs that make more sense. Not take entire trains out of service because of one bad door. It’s hard to make more suggestions without knowing the details of the specs and failure criteria.

  • Lauren W

    While I understand the line of thinking, it would completely destroy my current commute. I work in Arlington but live in Alexandria, so I take the blue line from Pentagon to Rosslyn every day. This shift would add significant time onto the hour it already takes me.

    • CW

      1) SOME, not ALL, blue line trains would be diverted.

      2) An hour from Pentagon to Rosslyn?

      • Chad

        How often do the trains come per hour during rush hours? Say it’s every 6 minutes (that’s probably generous)? That’s 10 trains an hour and “some” would be diverted. I guess the big question is, what is “some”?

    • mehoo

      How do you get to Pentagon? It’s two miles as the crow flies from the Pentagon to Rosslyn. Is there no other alternative?

      • CW

        By sloth, apparently…

      • Aaron

        There are too few bus routes connecting south Arlington/Alexandria to north Arlington (Rosslyn/Courthouse/Clarendon, at least). Blue Line or bust are our only real options.

        • mehoo

          There is a great bike trail. Just sayin’.

          • Overgrown Bush

            And two miles would take a whole 15-20 minutes by bike.

    • Southeast Jerome

      This is going to cause some people to have longer commutes no doubt. But it will benefit many more people than it harms, thus it is difficult to argue with WMATA making the change.

      If they do this, I would hope they could perhaps add an express bus from Rosslyn Metro to Pentagon Station as an alternative to help those like Lauren W.

      • mehoo

        I was thinking the same thing about a bus, though that would have to be an awful big bus (i.e. lots of buses).

        • Southeast Jerome

          Perhaps. Though I dont think there would be a HUGE demand for additional bus service if they are only getting rid of 3 blue line trains to Rosslyn. Blue line riders as it stands now have it pretty good compared to the Orange Crush.

      • LBSki

        I agree with this. It doesn’t mean that all train service will be cancelled between Rossly and Pentagon, just some. I’d like to see numbers on how many that is.

        And also, I’d like to see how the change will effect riders on the Yellow Line? Will there be less yellow line trains? There is essentially going to be no difference between the yellow and blue lines at this point.

        • Lou

          It’s like the new subversive Green Line.

        • 4Arl

          The presentation (which also talks about a related $2.7 million signage redesign project) is at http://www.wmata.com/about_metro/board_of_directors/board_docs/031011_03ABlueYellowLineRealignColor.pdf
          It says 1/3 or 30% of peak blue line trains will be diverted, and claim that the “max wait time increase” for blue line riders will be 6 minutes. They forecast that 20-33% of current blue line riders will go to L’Enfant and transfer instead of going through Rosslyn, though I wouldn’t try that on game days. As far as I could tell the existing yellow line would be the same, but the map adds dashed-yellow segments from Franconia-King and Ft. Totten-Greenbelt.
          I’m not sure how they came up with the numbers – if things on Metro worked like their PR staff say, it probably wouldn’t be so bad. But in reality, the details matter, and Metro’s record has been spotty on that.

  • Aaron

    We generally identify trains in Metro by their terminal point. I dread giving directions to a tourist/casual user nowadays due to the constantly changing terminal points. “Go to the upper level and board a Blue line to Largo, unless they’re only running every other train to Stadium-Armory and then that one’s okay too.”

    This system would just exacerbate this problem, unless WMATA takes actual steps to guide the non-commuting population (e.g., describing trains as Inbound/VA-Bound/Outbound or with the appropriate “via” indicators that some operators use).

    • CW

      Wait, so confusing tourists and getting them lost is a bad thing?

      • geegle

        If they are wearing Tea Party T-shirts, first you chastise them for using a government-run transportation system, then you send them the wrong way.

        True story – I saw a Tea Party guy taking Amtrak home from a protest. The irony.

        • CW

          Oh yeah, for sure. I was cycling downtown on the day of the Beck rally and they were pouring out of the Foggy Bottom and Smithsonian stations by the thousands. Of course, plenty of them were complaining how crowded it was, how poor the service was, etc. But they’re overtaxed already, so they can’t do anything about it. It’s the fault of liberals like myself that metro is so bad. I’m actually about to go hand out some undeserved welfare checks as I speak.

      • JamesE

        Also execute them on the spot for stopping at the bottom/top of the escalators.

        • WeiQiang

          Harsh, brah. just use a cattle prod.

    • LBSki

      This is how most major cities run their transportation. Tourists in NYC and London figure it out. They’ll figure it out in DC, too.

      • Thes

        Perhaps the Blue Line trains that go over the bridge can be “light blue” and the ones that use the tunel can be “dark blue”. And perhaps extra Red Line trains to Dupont can be lavender.

        • WeiQiang

          too pastel … use fuschia. be bold or be gone, brah

  • Lacy Forest

    Change management and communications are going to be everything for this route/schedule revision. How does Metro do on those items? I picture many people getting to places they didn’t know they were getting to.

  • Arlwhenever

    Y’all should be voting against this change, because once the Silver Line gets fully loaded there isn’t gonna be any room left on Orange Line trains for inbound Arlington residents — the existing Blue Line routing at least gives options to folks in South Arlington.

    • CW

      Explain about the silver/orange interaction, please.

      Either way, mark my words, when the silver line opens, I’m moving to Rosslyn.

      • Arlwhenever

        Silver Line is going to dump trainloads of passengers at East Falls Church who are going to use up whatever capacity hasn’t been occupied by the Vienna, Dunn Loring, West Falls Church crowd — what little capacity (if any) remains will be filled in at Ballston.

        • CW

          Uh, why would it do that?

          I thought the silver line was going to run to stadium-armory?

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:WMATA_Thin_Silver_Line_Map.jpg

          ???

          • Arlwhenever

            If Silver Line continuing across the river is the ultimate routing then same result, but different process. Since the Orange Line route is capacity constrained at the river, the only way to get Silver Line trains through is to reduce the number of Orange Line trains, which packs them up before getting into Arlington. The only way the new set-up would work is if there is a relief valve put in somehow at East Falls Church to siphon much/most off the increased ridership.

          • CW

            The diversion of some blue line trains as mentioned in this article as one step, albeit a relatively small one, to help with the capacity constraint. I do think that 8-car-trains is also no-brainer here, regardless of what it takes in terms of hardware upgrades…

          • Lou

            The tunnel bottleneck is also due to Blue line trains at Rosslyn. This plan reduces the number of Blue line trains going through Rosslyn, which allows for the extra trains coming from Court House.

          • Southeast Jerome

            RE: capacity issues at the Rosslyn tunnel….

            Keep in mind that one of the reasons why there is a bottleneck is because of the switch. Having fewer Blue/Orange switches will allow more Orange lines to pass through. You could have Blue (switch)/Orange/Silver/Orange/(switch)Blue/(switch)/Silver/Orange/Silver/ (switch) etc.

            This will increase the # of trains under the river from Ballston/Courthouse areas

      • Southeast Jerome

        The Silver Line is going to run all the way to Stadium Armory, so you will have Orange and Silver running on the same tracks from EFC to Stadium Armory. This should actually HELP congestion in the Ballston-Courthouse corridor.

        Keep in mind that a lot of people that currently bus to WFC and get on orange line from Reston/Herndon/Chantilly will instead get on Silver Line at Whiele Ave.

    • Wayne Kubicki

      Not sure about that..it’s my understanding that there will be an equal # of Silver & Orange Line trains running through Arlington. Will the Silver trains be crowded by the time they hit East Falls Church? Probably. But the Orange Line trains should be less so, as fewer folks should be getting on from Vienna inbound. Plus, there will be more trains in total running from EFC east. I think the jury may still be out on whether the “Crush” will be better or worse once the Silver Line opens.

      • Arlwhenever

        To the extent that the Silver Line draws ridership away from Vienna that will free up parking that others will backfill. There are plenty of people, today, who don’t take Metro because they can’t be assured of parking. Also, outlying population is anything but static, Fairfax County and Loudoun County are mcuh bigger and grow substantially faster than Arlington. And Fairfax County has a consistent record of steadily increasing parking opportunities at outlying stations.

        • Overgrown Bush

          Other than Springfield, the parking at Fairfax metro lots is full early from what I can tell.

      • Arlwhenever

        Though few recall, a longstanding first order impact of MetroRail is conversion of bus traffic to rail traffic. For example, before MetroRail was expanded south of National Airport there were well over a hundred daily 9, 10 and 11 bus trips along the GW Parkway, Route 1 corridor, going to National Airport, the Pentagon and across the 14th Street or Memorial Bridges. When MetroRail opened up through Alexandria these routes were almost completely eliminated and replaced by relatively few Fairfax Connector routes.

        In this day and age there are, for example, many dozens of Loudoun County commuter buses coming into DC every day — with the second leg of the Silver Line extension many/most of these bus routes will fade away, transfering passengers to rail.

  • LyonSteve

    This will screw those who live in South Arlington and work along the Orange line or in DC west of Metro Center.

    Since I’m in N Arlington this would benefit me.

    • Nightmare

      Exactly. Thanks, representatives, for not looking out for many of your southside residents (again).

      • South Arlington

        I actually think it’ll be faster for South Arlingtonians to get everywhere but maybe Foggy Bottom by just taking the Yellow or the new additional Blue trains to L’Enfant or Chinatown and transferring. Especially when taking into account the history of delays in Rosslyn due to the tunnel traffic.

        • Truthi

          Not at all as we will ave to go to L’Enfant and transfer back and anytime you transfer that spells trouble. I note this was originally called the Brown Line proposal. It was aptly named.

          • South Arlington

            I’ve never found transfering to the orange or red line being overly difficult during rush hour. There seems to be a red line train every 2-3 minutes. And the only times transferring to the orange or blue is difficult is when there is a line-wide interruption/problem that would have slowed me down had I taken the blue through Rosslyn.

          • Nightmare

            How is this better for southsiders who aren’t trying to get into the district in the first place? This just extends their commute, no benefit at all.

    • Bringmetheyuppies

      Won’t piss off anyone where I live in SA because we all drive. Metro is not a viable option for traveling from SA unless you live in Crystal city. Until there is a train down the pike .

  • Chris

    Blue Line heading north From Alexandria/Arlington is already crowded with people who get off at Rosslyn. This would force those same people onto even fewer trains. Having done the commute in both directions, that Blue train in the mornings is frequently the most crowded.

  • Steve

    How about they add more 8 car orange line trains during rush hour? I hardly EVER see one of those.

    • CW

      See above for excuses as to why they don’t take this no-brainer step.

      • Thes

        I think it is fair to say that if they had the money, WMATA would convert all rush hour orange line trains to 8 cars immediately. “No money” seems to me to be a pretty gosh darned good excuse for this “no brainer.”

        • CW

          Fine, then convert the trains to 8 cars and make riders pay an extra dollar to ride in the extra two cars. Bet you’ll get a lot of takers.

  • OX4

    I think in order for this to work, it’ll be critical to get train operators to properly enunciate the route when you board the train. In other words, this will probably be a disaster.

    • CW

      Mwffff mwfff judishuwary square mwffff mwff garble…

    • Lou

      Claringdon is one of my favorites.

      • CW

        Next stop…”Boston”.

        Damn, the northeast corridor trains are FAST these days! I must have missed NYC…

      • LuvDusty

        One particular conductor calls it “Sclarendon”. Not sure how that S got in there…: )

        • CW

          That’s only on Halloween.

    • geegle

      Sometimes they overdo it, like yesterday it was Virgin-ee-a Square.

  • dave schutz

    Some of the subways around the world have put in articulated trains, where you don’t lose the passenger space at the junction between the cars. See wikpedia article on Toronto Rocket trains: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toronto_Rocket_(Toronto_subway_car) this could get us more capacity from the same trains. But, yes, long term you ought to separate the blue and orange lines, run one of them through Georgetown and down M Street, thus double cross river capacity.

    • Max

      This would be a no brainer. Unfortunately for us Metro has already stated that they are unwilling to do this because it would require modification of the rail yards, and there are no other North American examples.

  • Max

    I think this is a good idea overall. It would reduce the capacity on the Blue line but capacity there is already a bit higher than it needs. Note that this plan would only take place during rush hour so North-South trains would not be affected during the day. It’s very obvious why a lot of South Arlingtonians and Alexandrians would be against this plan. On the other hand, it puts more trains into downtown DC for people coming from that direction. I’ve tried this a few times: go get from Pentagon to Metro Center, it’s quicker to take the yellow line to Gallery Place and switch to the red line than it is to take the blue line direct, albeit with a more inconvenient commute if you consider switching to be difficult. Foggy Bottom and perhaps Farragut West might take longer on the yellow line. That being said, this is only a “temporary” solution. Other ways to increase capacity at low cost on the Orange line would include removing seats or introduce longitudinal seating. In regards to the longitudinal seating, Metro has said they were concerned about safety because in the case of a sudden stop, a passenger could go flying quite a long way. Of course, Metro already has some lateral seating right next to the doors, and other subway systems around the world use this system without any problems. The next best thing would be to remove all the seats and turn some cars into cattle cars like they do in Boston. It’s uncomfortable, but seats take up a lot of precious room. It would also lower maintenance costs since you’d have one less thing to clean. See this post for more info: http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/6640/7000-series-designs-sacrifice-capacity-for-vague-safety/

    Really, a long term solution would include building a new tunnel or bridge across the Potomac for the Blue line to use, but that would cost billions of dollars that Metro doesn’t have. It was in the works a few years ago but WMATA nixed it due to lack of funding.

    • ossipago

      In a way, as annoying as it might be, maybe a really successful Silver Line will be a good thing. If it SO overloads Metro capacity that rush hour Arlington Orange Line use becomes much worse, maybe regional planners will be forced to separate the Blue Line. (Perhaps we can find a way to implement a regional sales tax increase to fund it and other WMATA improvements? CA did it and their sales taxes are near double ours).

      • Max

        I think the anticipated influx of riders is somewhat overstated. A lot of the silver line riders will simply move over from current orange line riders. For example, people in Tysons that ride metro go to West Falls Church to ride the metro. Once the Silver Line is built, they’ll simply switch to the Silver Line.

        That being said, I hope this makes planners realize we need a new tunnel, or another solution, to the overcrowded trains.

    • Southeast Jerome

      The ultimate long-term solution needs to involve another track to add some type of express train from further out, which would also involve another bridge crossing. Even if the added track only went as far as Farragut West, it would help tremendously.

      • ossipago

        That’s not going to happen. It would cost as much as a new deep-bored line, but without any new stations or redevelopment potential or much of a projected increase in ridership. Besides, the vast majority of heavy rail in the world has just two tracks, one for each direction – NYC is a notable exception.

        • Max

          sorry, basically repeated what you just wrote. Didn’t read your comment.

      • Max

        As practical as that might seem, it’s unnecessary. An additional track outdoors, let’s say with a stop in Vienna and WFC and various points along the silver line, could be cheap to build, but it’s unlikely to make a difference. There are dozens of major commuter trains that run on two tracks, Chicago and London are notable examples, that have absolutely no problem during rush hour. Our problem stems from the switch at Rosslyn, and overcrowding of the metro rails that make often put trains out of service.

  • AbeFroman

    IF, BIG FAT NASTY HAIRY IF, metro does it well, it will work.

    Oh well, its detined to fail.

    • BoredHouseWife

      People talk like money goes into infrastructure.

  • wat

    Two bus lines could easily eliminate some of these concerns
    1. from pentagon to rosslyn
    2. from pentagon to ballston

    I realize at least for the pentagon to ballston there is an ART bus, but there are too many freaking stops to make this worthwhile. There needs to be a rapid transit option for each of these, express bus without the express price.

    The blue line during rush hour from rosslyn to pentagon is already packed on a regular basis, even when the trains are ‘only’ 6 minutes apart. Some people from farragut-foggy bottom may end up going in reverse to get south (to l’enfant-pentagon), but the added minutes between blue trains will easily negate the few that do the reverse trek.

    • CW

      PENTAGON STREETCAR LINES WOOOOO!!!!!

    • George Bluth

      I commute from Ballston to Crystal City on metro every day. I’ve tried the bus, done it out of necessity when the train was awful at Ballston, and would never voluntarily do it again for the exact reason you stated. Going from Ballston to the Pentagon by bus basically gives you an in-depth tour of all of South Arlington. There needs to be an express – something that heads out of Ballston, goes straight down Glebe or George Mason, across Columbia Pike, and to the Pentagon station. I’d even be willing to transfer to rail there or on a nice day, walk to Crystal City.

      I get that there’s a general disinterest in riding the bus. I’m suggesting a lot more of us would if the bus didn’t entirely suck. For me, it has nothing to do with who rides it, and entirely with how long it takes to get anywhere.

  • Ballston Rider

    Here’s a potential alternative solution.
    Have the Blue Line trains terminate at Rosslyn during peak hours. This would cut the number of trains operating on the Blue Line and prevent trains from backing up at Rosslyn. Then, the extra trains could be shared between the Orange and Yellow Lines, allowing the Orange Line to run more frequently and the Yellow Line to be extended to Fort Totten permanently.

    Logistically, this would only cause confusion at Stadium-Armory and Rosslyn. Passengers passing into Maryland through Stadium-Armory would simply have to pay attention to the train signage, as trains would service Largo and New Carrolton. Rosslyn, however, would be a little trickier, as the Blue Line trains would have to share the less crowded platform. I guess, in this theory, blue line trains would single track from National Cemetery to Rosslyn, using the lower platform in the morning rush and the upper platform in the evening. This would allow all DC-bound Orange Line trains to easily pass through on the upper platform without interruption during the morning rush hour, and all VA-bound Orange Line trains to pass on the lower platform during the evening rush.

    While I can see arguments against this proposal, I think it might stir some interesting ideas/debates. What do you think?

    • ossipago

      I don’t think it is technically feasible. There is no pocket track for trains to turn around at, at either Rosslyn or Arlington Cemetery. Besides, if they head to Rosslyn, you don’t alleviate the switching problem.

    • wat

      where do you propose the trains go in order to magically turn into a yellow or blue line?

  • 4Arl

    I would say this is a misguided effort. Cutting the southbound blue line trains will likely cause problems due to the longer dwell time spent sitting at the lower platform. Back when they ran occasional 4 car blue line trains, it would take forever to pack people in at Rosslyn, and it would delay everyone, including those sitting on a Vienna train behind in the tunnel. There were numerous times you would end up waiting for a really long time just to go from Rosslyn to Pentagon, watching orange orange blue-with-no-room orange orange and so on. What may be more helpful is having the lead orange line train skip Rosslyn but immediately be followed by another orange that does stop. This wouldn’t mess up South Arlington/Alexandria commutes but should get more trains through.

  • Glenn

    if they did a better job scheduling and synchronizing trains this wouldn’t be an issue. The problem is that no one at Metro knows how to run a railroad.

    It will suck for my commute too since I live in Ballston and work in Alexandria. It will be especially bad in the AM. At night I have to wait for several orange trains to go thru Rosslyn before I can get on one anyway.

    • Max

      Well the idea behind this is that it will be easier to catch an orange line train in Rosslyn.

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