• MTA Purple Line Bethesda - New Carrollton Light Rail

  • Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.
Discussion related to DC area passenger rail services from Northern Virginia to Baltimore, MD. Includes Light Rail and Baltimore Subway.

Moderators: mtuandrew, therock, Robert Paniagua

  • 193 posts
  • 1
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 13
  by afiggatt
I have not seen any recent news updates on the (last ditch) Federal court lawsuit by Chevy Chase residents to block the Purple Line since the judge raised the possibility of stopping work for 6 months for yet another ridership study. The excuse was that the Metro ridership was in decline because of the years of track work, so the state should reevaluate the ridership projections, even though the proposed line has been studied to death over the past several decades. Which was a new story which made me want to bang my head on the table, because by 2022, the SafeTrack disruptions should be long over.

Anyway, there was news in late June about the completion of the financing deal so the Purple Line Transit Partners consortium can proceed. The design-build stage of the project should be underway.

Railway Age: Maryland Purple Line closes financial deal
Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT), Maryland Transit Administration (MTA) and Purple Line Transit Partners, have signed the final financial documents for a $5.6 billion PPP contract to design, build, finance, operate and maintain the light rail Purple Line north of Washington DC.
Purple Line Transit Partners comprises Meridiam as a 70% equity provider, with Fluor Enterprises and Star America each providing 15% of the equity.
The 26km east-west Purple Line will run from Bethesda to New Carrollton serving suburbs inside the Capital Beltway north of Washington DC. The 21-station line will connect four branches of the Washington Metro, three commuter rail lines, plus Amtrak's Northeast Corridor, and will have 21 stations. The line will have a mixture of dedicated rights-of-way and street running. Passenger services are due to begin operating in early 2022.

Railway Gazette:CAF awarded Maryland Purple Line LRV contract
USA: CAF has been awarded a contract to supply 26 five-section light rail vehicles for the Purple Line project in the Maryland suburbs of Washington DC.
The contract announced by CAF on June 28 is to be managed by its CAF USA subsidiary, which will manufacture the LRVs at its plant in Elmira, New York. The contract is worth more than US$200m and includes spare parts, tools and test equipment.

Yep, the CAF Elmira plant will be building the Purple Line vehicles. Hopefully they won't be as delayed as the Viewliner IIs or the vehicles CAF built for Houston light rail.
  by MCL1981
The whole thing will be a massively delayed, massively over budget, underutilized, complete boondoggle. There is no parking at the purple line stations. The metro parking lots, stations, and trains leading to the Purple line stations are full with no plans to expand that infrastructure. And no plans to expand the surrounding road infrastructure. Ridership studies have never once been accurate around here, so I have no doubt every study is based on a fantasy land where people ride unicorns to the station. It's amazing how every ridership study always shows people will flock to it and heavily utilize it. Then, never happens. But we keep paying these idiots to tell politicians what they want to hear.

I'm sorry, but the only thing this waste of money will be used for is getting some people from Montgomery County to New Carlton Amtrak so they can avoid Union Station. Well, that and it will give criminals a quick escape from Bethesda back to PG, which no matter how much you don't want to hear it, is absolute reality. Neither of these primary uses justify the cost in my opinion. All this money could be much better spent fixing the existing road and rail infrastructure, not adding new and useless ones.
  by SemperFidelis
Back to the Purple Line...

How in Earth are they going to keep a set schedule if a goodly amount of the trackage is running in mixed traffic? One accident in the wrong place and half the line could get shut down. Heck, without an accident, traffic in that region is friggin' legendary. Metro might have its problems, but right now at least you can sort of count on the train being where it is supposed to be, when it is supposed to be there (within reason anyway). I wonder how close to timetable the light rail will be able to run without it being totally grade seperated. Somehow I doubt the line will be as well planned as trolley lines of old with plenty of quick turn facilities to reset schedules when needs be.
Last edited by Jeff Smith on Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total. Reason: Edited for reference to now deleted posts; sorry for the collateral damage, SemperFi
  by Robert Paniagua
Ok, everyone, lets not get into a racist attack bait. This is about the Metro/MTA Maryland Purple line operation discussion.
  by realtype
The Green Line in Boston is the busiest light rail line in the United States (230,000 riders daily) and, I believe, has (MBTA managed) parking at only one of its 66 stations, North Station. The Silver Line stations in Tysons have no WMATA parking. I don't know which parking lots you're referring to as "full," but the Silver Spring, College Park, and New Carrollton garages are nowhere even close to full, and (excluding Bethesda) these stations will probably have the highest ridership. The smaller stations will be in dense areas and don't need parking since most riders will walk or take the bus to the station.
  by Jeff Smith
Site Admin: I believe the moderator requested we leave the non-rail related stuff out. This is not "socio-economic-impacts-of-LRT.net". Although I'm sure the domain is available if someone wants to register it.

I understand you all have your points-of-view, but please, for the love of Pete, let's move on.
  by STrRedWolf
Yeah, if MTA ever made the Green (Metro subway) and Blue/Yellow/Short Red (Light Rail) line names official.
  by Sand Box John
  by Sand Box John
This one seems the have been missed:

Groundbreaking for Maryland's Purple Line set for Monday
Brianne Carter ABC7
08 24 2017

Construction begins on the Purple Line
Cheryl Conner ABC7
08 28 2017

I chose this media outlet because of the amusing accompanying video featuring Governor Larry Hogan.
  by afiggatt
Coverage by the Bethesda Beat on the August 28 official ground breaking ceremony: Officials Break Ground on Long-Awaited Purple Line Project; Construction Immediately Starts. With the video clip of the Governor operating the excavator to knock down the building. Is it ever a good idea to allow a politician operate heavy construction equipment at a public event? What could possibly go wrong? (Governor, you were supposed to knock down the other building...)

The key news is the official signing of the FFGA (Full Funding Grant Agreement) as the Trump administration US DOT could have stalled the project. Anyway, some excerpts:
Hogan and U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao participated in a ceremonial signing of the project’s federal full funding grant agreement. The signed grant will enable the state to access the $900 million in federal funds proposed for the project—including $325 million already appropriated for it.

During the ceremony, Hogan promised that construction would start right away--and it did. After the speakers were done, Hogan got in an excavator and used it to tear down a building to make way for what will become a Purple Line operations center. Construction is also expected to start right away along other parts of the route.

The 16.2-mile rail line is project to be completed in 2022. It will stretch along an east-west route from Bethesda to New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and include 21 stations—10 in Montgomery and 11 in Prince George’s.
So now the completion date is 2022. So who thinks the PL will actually start service in 2022? I'm rather skeptical.
  by STrRedWolf
MCL1981 wrote:I will put money on at least 2 years behind schedule and tens of millions over budget, at a bare minimum.
Double the time from the original "current" estimate and double the cost. That's how long and how much it really will be.
  • 1
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 13