Washington, D.C. SubTalk Field Trip Reports

From nycsubway.org

First SubTalk Washington, D.C. Field Trip

Saturday, April 21, 2001. A report by Oren H.

I took Rohr 1221 from Friendship Heights to Union Station. When I got to gate G, Rob from Atlanta was already there. Within the next twenty minutes, we were joined by Dan Lawrence and Ken LaCapria. With the arrival of train 79 (20 minutes late at 10:10), we were joined by Eric Smith (E_DOG), Alan Braunstien (faxman), and Alan Schneider.

We then headed down to the Metro and bought day passes for those who hadn't done so already. Then it was down to the platform to watch a train pull out. Within moments, another one came in but stood at the station for some time. The lead car was Breda 3286. They were doing single tracking north of the station. We passed the Brentwood Shops and saw a single car with feelers. Does anyone know the unit number? It was a Rohr with the roll signs (rolled to Special). I think it was formerly 1028. At Fort Totten, we paused for a group picture (see photos).

After taking the shot, we proceeded to the lower level and took the green line to Greenbelt. This was my second time on this branch. It was very scenic. Alan S. pointed out what was formerly Lake Metro but was since renamed. We were on Breda 3070 for this run.

At Greenbelt we walked back to the other end and boarded Breda 4040. We doubled back to Fort Totten, then proceeded to take the green line all the way to Branch Avenue. This incorporated the two newest segments of track, Columbia Heights and Branch Avenue. Branch Avenue hasn't changed much. You can still tell those are new stations. By this time, most of us were hungry so it was back on the green line to L'Enfant Plaza on Breda 3070. Then, Breda 4011 took us across the Fenwick bridge to Pentagon City for lunch.

After eating and talking, we proceeded to the yellow line trains to Huntington. At this time, Dan H. parted from the group. We boarded 4039 and went from Pentagon City to Huntington. At Huntington, we rode and got photos of the elevator there for ElevatorTalk. Then to the other end of the train to double back to King Street. This was the only unit number I didn't record but it was a 4000 series. I took a photo of the train car we rode so maybe I can catch the number when its developed.

We passed up on the blue line across the platform so we could have the railfan window. This was built into our schedule so we had time. The lead car on the train was Breda 2072. Alan S. pointed out the Northern-Suffolk Piggyback yard at Van Dorn Street. Then, just before Franconia-Springfield, the train came to an abrupt stop. A door sensor wasn't working so the T/O soon started making announcements telling people not to lean against the doors. After doing this three times, she got up and started walking through the train to find the open door. When she didn't find one, she came back and made the announcement again. We soon were on our way again, I do not know how we got started, but the train was taken out of service upon our arrival at Franconia-Springfield. It was another few minutes until a Rohr train pulled in. The middle cars, 1100 and 1101 did not have the AC marker under the number plate. We are still wondering if these two cars do not have AC motors. Dan Lawrence, who noticed this, asked the T/O if they had the AC motors but she replied she was too busy or something to that effect.

The Rohr train, led by 1204, left after a very fast relay at Franconia-Springfield. We had the same T/O as before and we believe we had the same run number meaning that WMATA probably "relayed the line." Dwell times were short the whole way to Rosslyn. We saw two trains we believe to be put ins from Alexandria because of the delay and the gap train that had been at National Airport was now gone. There were no large crowds at most stations so clearly, gap trains were added. Ken LaCapria departed from the group at the National Airport station.

At Rosslyn, we took Breda 3289 to Vienna. Just before West Falls Church, Alan S. pointed out what he believes to be the start of the Dulles line: a pier between the two tracks. He showed us the other evidence on the return trip, led by Breda 3128. The fence just east of West Falls Church is curved out for a flyover to go over the Vienna tracks.

At Metro Center, we decided to make a pit stop to get some photography of the upper level. At this point, Alan S. left us. The group was now Rob from Atlanta, Alan B., Dan L., Eric, Jonathan, and me. We went back downstairs and caught Breda 4049 to go to New Carrollton. At Deanwood, the T/O asked us if we wanted to photograph the cab (I guess he realized I was photographing just about every station). At the next stop, Cheverly, he let us take photos of me and Jonathan at the console as well as just the console itself. It was very cool. I got to see some controls I normally don't get to see.

We arrived at Vienna and Rob from Atlanta headed back to the airport. Then the rest of us went to the waiting room at New Carrolton and had a chat. Jonathan and I then headed home, Dan headed to Baltimore, and Eric and Alan waited for train 148 heading north.

Five Random Images

Image 23873

(80k, 800x600)
Photo by: Dan Lawrence
Location: Greenbelt

Image 23876

(89k, 800x600)
Photo by: Dan Lawrence
Location: New Carrollton

Image 23878

(72k, 640x480)
Photo by: Alan Braunstein
Location: Huntington

Image 23881

(90k, 800x600)
Photo by: Dan Lawrence
Location: Franconia-Springfield

Image 23887

(65k, 640x480)
Photo by: Alan Braunstein
Location: New Carrollton

More Images: 1-10

Second SubTalk Washington, D.C. Field Trip

April 5, 2003. A report by Oren H.

The second Washington, DC SubTalk trip will probably be remembered for its numerous delays, missed connections, and other minor mishaps, but it will also be remembered by those who went as it being a great time for all and a chance to meet the faces behind the handles. My day began when I took Rohr 1088 from Friendship Heights to Grosvenor, where I met Mark Greenwald (Mountain Maryland), and his son, Jeremiah. We then took Breda 4029 to Union Station to meet up with everyone else. En route, Ken LaCapria boarded the train.

Upon our arrival at Union Station, we found out that train 79, which was transporting our out of town contingency was 30 minutes late, so we started looking at Mark's Rohr roll sign and my copy of The Story of Metro. We rolled through the roll sign from end to end and introduced ourselves until the train arrived. At 10:45, the train did arrive, so our group set out towards the Metro. The group consisted of myself (WMATAGMOAGH), Alan Braunstein (Faxman), Chris Der (New Look Terrapin), Wayne Johnson, Chuck Greene (TransitChuckG), Mark Greenwald (Mountain Maryland) and his son, Jeremiah, Tristan Cunningham (BusStalker), Raymond Mui (aznboy4305), Bob Vogel (chuchubob), Perry Palistrant (1C/Ballston), Walter Walsh, Ken LaCapria, Carlton Walton (Transit is my Drug), and Chris Garnier, a total of 15 people.

At the Metro, those who did not have day passes bought them and we proceeded to the platform to wait for the train. It was Breda 3239 and we took it to its last stop, Grosvenor-Strathmore. As members of the group announced facts and trivia at several stations, the entire car grew quiet, an event that happened many times throughout the day. At Grosvenor, we asked a bystander to take a group photo of us around the rollsign. We then took advantage of our day passes and went to Mark's car, where he showed us a framed map showing the Green Line to Rosecroft Raceway, the Yellow Line to Huntington, and the Blue and Yellow Lines to their original southern terminals, among other things. After some time, we proceeded back onto the Metro to continue onwards to Shady Grove. To that, we were on Breda 4003. Ray left the group upon our arrival at Shady Grove.

At Shady Grove, we took the first of the two bus legs of the trip on board the Q2 route, operated by WMATA. We had Orion V 2144 from Montgomery Division. The ride was fairly fast and served its purpose, allowing us to cross to the other side of Montgomery County without riding the Red Line all the way around. Again, the tour guide type announcements got the attention of everyone. At Wheaton, we alighted and went to Wheaton Plaza to have a quick lunch. After lunch, we boarded the Metro again by using the longest escalator in the system and the second longest in the Western Hemisphere. We rode Breda 3271, the last car of the train, from Wheaton to Glenmont, expecting it to be the lead car on the next trip out. But the next train was already at Glenmont and on the other platform, so we crossed over. The lead car of that train was Breda 2023. At Silver Spring, Carlton ran out to get pictures of a Neoplan AN460 Articulated and we made plans to meet him later. The rest of the group got out at Fort Totten with plans to wait for Carlton. Unfortunately, he missed the next train from Silver Spring and by the time he caught up with us, we had missed two Green Line trains. Fortunately, we were able to get pictures of the Capitol Limited passing by Fort Totten on the CSX tracks.

Another unfortunate thing was that both trains we had let go while waiting for Carlton were Bredas, and the one we ended up taking was also a Breda, not the CAF we had hoped for. The lead car was 3277. At this point with the trip nowhere near our original schedule, we polled the out of towners who agreed to go for a train an hour later, giving us more flexibility in planning the afternoon. After passing the pocket at Mount Vernon Square where we saw the next Yellow Line train would be yet another set of Bredas (notice we haven't been on anything else as of yet), we decided to go to L'Enfant Plaza in hope that the Blue Line might have something different. At Gallery Place, we saw a train of CAF cars on the Green Line heading towards Greenbelt. Luckily, a train of Rohr cars pulled in at L'Enfant. We got on the third car, took advantage of the large number of tourists at Smithsonian to move up to the second, and at Federal Triangle, finally made it to the lead car, 1288. We were separated in the process but reunited by the time we reached Pentagon City, where we took a brief but needed bathroom break.

After our break, we went back to the Metro where we decided to take the Blue Line out to Franconia-Springfield. The lead car of the Blue Line was 3081. Unlike two years ago when our Franconia-Springfield bound train broke down between Van Dorn Street and Franconia-Springfield, we made it to Franconia-Springfield without any delays. It was at this point that Ken left us; his car was parked at Van Dorn Street. We then waited for a Fairfax Connector bus to take us to Huntington, thinking it would be just as long as the Blue to Yellow Line routing. The 109 trip on Orion V 7797 took a mere 50 minutes, but it was well worth it. Once again, all point of interest announcements created a hush through the entire bus (popular group, aren't we?) and we got to see a few cherry blossom trees. At Huntington, after observing there was still a small pile of snow under a tree in full bloom, we went up to the platform and found a 6 car train of CAF cars with its doors wide open and awaiting the group. At this point, we had ridden on board cars from each of the five shipments of cars. The lead car was 5051 and it was the first ride on board the CAF cars for a number of people in the group. Unfortunately, the interior LEDs were not working but that did not dampen anyone's spirits at this point. We saw some of the Tidal Basin cherry blossom trees as the train crossed the Fenwick Bridge from Virginia to DC, the closest we came to seeing them. At L'Enfant Plaza, where we got off, a train of CAF cars on the Green Line was sitting there but just before anyone could get in a position to take pictures of the two CAF trains along side each other. We then proceeded downstairs, to continue onwards, Chris Der left the group to go to the MCI Center.

We took the Blue Line, lead car Breda 4019 (having gotten both a Rohr and a CAF, the Breda didn't bother people too much), to Addison Road. At Addison, we were able to photograph the rear car of the train under the now fast setting sun, as well as a train of Rohr cars waiting to be laid up on the opposite track. We decided to ride in the rear of the Blue Line train back to Stadium-Armory so that we would be up front on the Orange Line out to New Carrollton. Unfortunately, transit police had to do a quick investigation of something on board the train, so its departure was delayed, making us miss the New Carrollton bound Orange Line train. After yet another wait during which we got pictures of a Breda train going to Addison Road and a Rohr train to Vienna, we got on board Breda 3174, which took us out to New Carrollton. By now, it was nearly dark, so the busfans in the group had trouble making out the various MetroBus lots along the right of way, but they still managed. At New Carrollton, we went into the Amtrak waiting room to say our goodbyes and get a much needed drink from the station vending machines.

At this time, Walter, Alan, Carlton, and Bob went to wait for their Amtrak train, which this time arrived at New Carrollton on time, left on time, and arrived at their respective destinations on time. Mark and Jeremiah went ahead to start going back to their home. The rest of the DC area contingent, now consisting of myself, Perry, Wayne, Chris Garnier, and Tristan, boarded an Orange Line train led by Rohr 1267 to head back to our respective residences or whatever intended destination we were bound for. Perry left at L'Enfant Plaza, the rest of us got off at Metro Center but Chris and Wayne headed towards Glenmont, while Tristan and I headed towards Shady Grove on board Breda 3254.

All things considered, everyone considered the day to be a successful one. We passed through approximately 73% of the stations on the system (61 out of 83 stations). For those of us who had been on the first SubTalk trip to Washington in April of 2000, we had each now traveled the entire system in its entirety at least once. At least three other people on the trip had completed their tours of the entire system. And everyone was pleased to have met various people who had merely been online acquaintances before with the hopes of meeting each other again in the near future and also those who had hoped to but were unable to join us.

Five Random Images

Image 30772

(103k, 800x600)
Photo by: Mark Greenwald
Location: Addison Road/Seat Pleasant

Image 30773

(86k, 640x480)
Photo by: Oren H.
Location: Addison Road/Seat Pleasant

Image 30774

(74k, 640x480)
Photo by: Oren H.
Location: New Carrollton

Image 30786

(61k, 640x480)
Photo by: Mark Greenwald
Location: Grosvenor-Strathmore

Image 30788

(59k, 640x480)
Photo by: Mark Greenwald
Location: Fort Totten

More Images: 1-14

Page Credits

By Oren H.

Copyright © 1995-2012 nycsubway.org.
nycsubway.org is not affiliated with any transit agency or provider.
Not mobile.