Folks, After making my previous post, I notified our local railfan group "The Pope's Creek Railfans", of this thread. John read the thread and provided some further information on the light rail efforts in DC. Here are his comments:
"The two lines under construction in D.C. are the H Street NE line and the Anacostia line. They are mostly for demonstration purposes, especially the “nowhere to nowhere” Anacostia line, but there are plans to lengthen them extensively and join them together, funding pending.
One runs along the edge of H Street NE from its west end at 3rd Street NE (where it will eventually run into nearby Union Station for service to Amtrak/MARC/VRE passengers) to 14th Street, then turns slightly onto Benning Road and continues to the intersection with Oklahoma Avenue NE at its east end. This end of the line will one day cross into Anacostia and join the line there.
The Anacostia line itself is very short. The present project runs a few blocks along Firth Sterling Avenue to South Capitol Street, where it turns south and runs along the edge of the highway for about 1/3 mile. On Firth Sterling, it runs north to Suitland Pkwy and stops. It’s supposed to eventually terminate at the nearby Anacostia Metro station.
I have not visited either project since last fall, but at that time, the H Street line was almost finished. The Anacostia line’s progress had been somewhat limited. Photos of both lines can be found on my blog by referring to the Blog Archive panel and selecting September 2010.
DDOT announced last fall that both lines will begin operation in spring 2012. These initial line segments will use overhead wires. Future lines will “move to wireless operation as the system expands” (DDOT’s October 2010 streetcar plan), presumably hybrid streetcars with battery/overhead-wire capability for use in Washington’s historic “monumental core”—decreed a century ago not to be obscured by streetcar wires, hence the old underground plow system.
I do not believe D.C.’s DOT has any streetcar plans for Georgetown."
I neglected to mention in my previous post that if you click on "Older Posts" and scroll down in John's blog you'll find photos from last fall of the light rail construction. The bottom of page #2 contains photos and information on the H Street/Benning Road Line. Clicking on "Older Posts" again will take you to page #3 with photos and information on the Anacostia Line.
Here's the link again: http://fullertography.blogspot.com