," discusses how Metrorail shut down a number of key transfer stations in the Metrorail subway station, crippling its functioning as an everyday transit system.
This suggests that there should be expanded thinking about how to go about maintaining such connections even in the face of other infrastructure shutdowns.
Rail-subway connection redundancy in DC
. The previous entry also mentioned some discussion that came up in the ad hoc advisory committee on the DC State Rail Plan ("New State Rail Planning Initiative in DC
," 2015; DC State Rail Plan
), where we discussed adding rail connections to subway stations in DC, to provide additional connections to the MARC passenger rail system, if for some reason Union Station is shut down.
Currently, all three MARC lines terminate at Union Station, without additional station stops within DC. MARC's Brunswick Line has a station stop in Silver Spring, not far from the DC line, while the closest Camden Line stop is in Riverdale Maryland, and for the Penn Line, New Carrollton. VRE by contrast, also has a connection at L'Enfant Plaza.
In those State Rail planning discussions, one example was making a connection at the Fort Totten Station for the MARC Brunswick Line, which would provide a new direction connection to the Green and Yellow Lines, but also a Red Line connection independent of Union Station.
A Camden/Penn Line station could be added to the New York Avenue corridor, but it would be without a subway connection.
And of course the ongoing discussions to extend MARC to Crystal City and Alexandria, although I argue for merging the MARC Penn and VRE Fredericksburg Lines into a single, integrated service.
One added benefit would be to provide better connections to Crystal City (now called National Landing) to provide better connections to the new Amazon HQ2, as well as better rail connections to National Airport from both north and south.
A Southeast Rail Corridor to complement and extend the Northeast Rail Corridor
. The Northeast Rail Corridor
is built on the Pennsylvania Railroad connections between DC and New York and the old New Haven Railroad's connections between New York and Boston.
Another element in the DC State Rail Plan discussions then was how you could look at the Northeast Corridor of Amtrak, and Virginia's concept to extend the terminus so to speak, south to Richmond, by upgrading the tracks and Long Bridge.
Virginia is foremost focused on upgrading existing trackage between DC and Virginia, and secondarily extending high capacity trackage from Richmond southeast to Hampton Roads and south to Raleigh, North Carolina. In turn North Carolina Department of Transportation is focused on extension not just to Raleigh but Charlotte.
These extensions would contribute to the creation of a Southeast high speed rail corridor complementing the Northeast Corridor, conceptualized as an extension of the existing rail assets.
DC and Virginia are connected by the Long Bridge
There is an ongoing program to renovate the Long Bridge which provides rail connections between Union Station and Virginia.
The Long Bridge is owned by CSX, which because the freight rail capacity of the bridge is adequate to their needs, has no interest in expanding the capacity of the bridge to accommodate passenger rail service.
Therefore, Virginia has taken responsibility for bridge expansion, as part of their rail initiatives under the Atlantic Gateway
The recent bridge closures in advance of the Inauguration demonstrates this is worth considering, as well as shifting from a bridge to a tunnel connection between DC and Virginia for regional and multi-state rail passenger services.