• BWI Airtrain

  • 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

  by STrRedWolf
 
Various conversations about putting in an Airtrain at LaGuardia Airport in NYC got me thinking... what if BWI actually got an Airtrain.

I think of it this way:
  • BWI Amtrak station
  • Terminal A/B
  • Terminal C/D
  • Terminal E
  • Light Rail/Business Park station
The train yard would be next to the Light Rail/Business Park station.

It would kill a few buses (and some taxi traffic) and speed up the Light Rail (since it won't need to go into BWI itself anymore and navigate a single-track line). I can't think of anything else.
  by RRspatch
 
Needs to extend it past the BWI rail station to the BWI Airport rental car facility. This would take even more buses off of the roads. The few times I've flown into BWI on Southwest the buses to the rental car facility were packed.

Shuttle buses from all the hotels/casino near Arundel Mills mall could pickup/drop off people at the rental car facility. This would also reduce congestion around the airport.

Didn't BWI do a study of this years ago?
  by octr202
 
Including the Rental Car Facility would be a great help - those shuttles, while better since larger buses were added, can still be a challenge at busy times. A shame since the center is a largely nice facility otherwise. If the AirTrain went from the Rental Car Center to the Amtrak/MARC station, it would also make it easier to use Amtrak to BWI and pick up a rental car (which currently involves using two shuttle buses).

I wonder if it would make more sense to go with a two-branch system, running into a stub-ended airport terminal branch? The "shared portion" could serve the terminals and daily parking garage. "East" branch would run to the employee lot/Business Park light rail station and then continue to the long term parking lots. "West" branch would run to Amtrak/MARC then the Rental Car Center.

The stub terminal would reduce people mover throughput versus a continuous line which loops through the whole terminal, but given the quick-turn capability of an automated train, this should be workable provided the trains have a decent capacity.
  by andrewjw
 
It would definitely be an inconvenience for light rail riders to have to transfer at the business park stop, and if the people mover was already running to long term parking, why not extend it to Linthicum and run all light rail trains to Glen Burnie?
  by STrRedWolf
 
andrewjw wrote: Sat Dec 07, 2019 1:34 pm It would definitely be an inconvenience for light rail riders to have to transfer at the business park stop, and if the people mover was already running to long term parking, why not extend it to Linthicum and run all light rail trains to Glen Burnie?
I would trade not having to walk around from Terminal E to Terminal A to catch a flight after waiting for another train to clear the *single track into the station* for that inconvenience of having to haul baggage down a flight of steps (on the Light Rail vehicle), into an elevator or escalator, and then on a high-platform matching the vehicle.

For those thinking of a stub end, I say not worth it.
  by andrewjw
 
Running two tracks down and two tracks back on separate ROWs would be a pretty high cost. a stub end configuration would be a two track line the whole way, entering on one side (say, E), and terminating at A. (Think a fish-hook shape.) the other sensible configuration would be to have a two track row (or two separate one track rows) with a single track running in a loop (like the road is a uni-directional loop), and all trains proceeding in the same direction around the central loop. (The terminals are close enough that intra-airport riders would still mostly walk.)
  by STrRedWolf
 
andrewjw wrote: Fri Dec 13, 2019 10:55 pm Running two tracks down and two tracks back on separate ROWs would be a pretty high cost. a stub end configuration would be a two track line the whole way, entering on one side (say, E), and terminating at A. (Think a fish-hook shape.) the other sensible configuration would be to have a two track row (or two separate one track rows) with a single track running in a loop (like the road is a uni-directional loop), and all trains proceeding in the same direction around the central loop. (The terminals are close enough that intra-airport riders would still mostly walk.)
I can see a 2-track ROW, but the track would dip through the airport terminals. I don't see stopping at every terminal, though -- I think that would be slow. Besides, (as mentioned above), A/B would hit at the Southwest desk, C/D would be at the security checkpoint to C (which D branches off of), and E can hit right at the end (along with Light Rail).

Fishhooking through the terminals ending in a stub track also doesn't make much sense when taking the system as a whole. Remember, my initial plans were from the BWI Amtrak station, through the terminals, to the Light Rail station, giving some options to expand out to the various long-term lots. Plus, BWI is a Southwest hub, which is located in terminals A, B, and C. I bet any engineer is going to wonder why we're wasting time missing the terminals just to go into the fish-hook when we can through-run.