Archive for November 26th, 2012

Chart of the Week: Getting Past the Max on the Current Tracks

November 26th, 2012 Comments off

Metrorail congestion in 2040 with and without all eight-car trains.

Metro is planning to alleviate these crowded trains and platforms by investigating the potential of running 100% eight-car trains, among other options. This option would require not only planning, but at the very least purchasing more cars, finding places to store and service these cars, and upgrading our power network to power the vehicles.  Going “All 8s” is a major capital investment, which includes  power upgrades, vehicle purchases and storage facilities. Additional operating (recurring) costs are also associated with running all 8-car trains, including increased car maintenance staff and additional power.

If we can reach this goal, each of the current six rail lines entering the DC core in the peak direction could handle a huge volume — upwards of 20,000 passengers per hour, up from between 14,000 to 17,000 depending on the line. Even with the growth expected through 2040 this would mean much less severe crowding than would occur without those additional cars.  The graphic on the right, above, illustrates the additional system throughput provided by running 100% eight-car trains.

To read more about Metro’s future and join the conversation, visit