Sunday, January 30, 2011

Baltiimore - Washington Regional Rail

I found this real neat proposal for increased commuter rail service in the Baltimore - Washington metro area. It's far too ambitious to be put into place any time soon, but the guy was designed it is an urban planner, so it's an impressively well-thought-out design.

It's quite a plan - adding four new commuter rail lines in Maryland (including connections to Annapolis) and extending all five of the current lines. It would involve the construction of several new tunnels in Baltimore and Washington, including a tunnel from Union Station to Farragut square. It would cost billions of dollars - but it will probably be needed within 40 years.

What's really neat about the plan, though, is the center city connection. Currently, there are five commuter rail lines serving Washington D.C. - two in Virginia (VRE) and three in Maryland (MARC). They meet at Union Station in downtown DC. The proposal would extend the MARC lines along the VRE tracks to Alexandria, and add additional capacity to two VRE stops inside the city. Thus, the load from the commuter rail lines would be spread out onto four stations instead of mainly Union Station, which would lessen the load on the Metro's Red Line.

And now, I'm off to map it.

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